Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for racing at Moonee Valley on Saturday, August 24th, featuring the McKenzie Stakes and the Carlyon Stakes.
We have nine races on a Soft 5 track but I’d expect to be in the Good 4 range with the fine weather forecast. The rail is out 4m and the track staff have said they expect it to be difficult to win from back in the field.
We’ve got betting tips and comments for every race below. Tune into Episode 48 of the Before You Bet Podcast as we dissect each of the feature races and discuss our best bets in both Sydney and Melbourne in detail!
Best Bet: Race 3 #5 Multaja
Best Value: Race 2 #9 Angelucci
Very decent race to kick things off here. Track pattern is going to make things very interesting and the speed map also raises some questions. The favourite is (6) Tulip who resumes from a spell and from all reports is flying. She was a Group 3 winner over this track and distance last preparation. Barrier 8 is awkward for her and there’s a chance of her being caught three-wide the trip. If they choose to go forwad, they could be caught wide, but if they go back for cover they risk giving away a start on a track that could be hard to make ground. (1) Ashlor has had five weeks off since runnin gin the Mildura Cup. He’s been freshened up for this and drops back to 1200m. Has to carry 62kg but he won with 63kg three starts ago at Caulfield and the form out of that race is fairly strong. Has a good record at the track and distance and draws barrier 1 so should go forward. Looks a good each way hope at $9. (3) Eusebio has won both starts this preparation. He won first up at this track before going to Sydney and getting the job done in good style. Back to Melbourne now, the query will be if he can make up the necessary ground from back in the field this early in the day. (4) Merriest ran fairly first up but her second up record is outstanding with three wins from five starts. Barrier 2 is good for her and I’d expect her to be right up on the speed. Oliver keeps the ride and she has a reasonable record at the track and distance. Looks suited. (5) Iconclasm returns from a three-month break. He’s extremeley talented with a record of five wins from eight starts. That was all done in his first preparation – he faces a pretty deep race first up here and the query is whether he’s come back as well as he left, and whether he can be sharp enough first up.
Open race with a number of hopes but (9) Angelucci appeals as a blowout chance at $23. He did little first up but he’s performed similarly in the past when he’s fresh. His second up record is good though, with a win and a 2nd from two starts. He was a 2L winner over (7) Red Choux’s in a Saturday race at Caulfield last preparation. Red Choux’s is a $7 chance here and Angelucci is more than triple the price. I can see him taking up a position close to the speed here from barrier 6 and he represents a decent each way bet at the big odds. Red Choux’s should bounce back from a disappointing performance in Adelaide last start. That was one of only three times he’s missed a place in his career. (13) The Passage broke through for a deserved win last start and draws well for Mark Zahra. Slight query dropping back from 1800m to 1600m. (14) Benny Goes Bezerk is a chance after saluting at Cranbourne last start. He’s only having his fourth run of the preparation and the good draw helps. (6) Strike Force looks the natural leader and should be suited by the expected track pattern.
Looks a race in the keeping of (5) Multaja, who has been very impressive in both career starts to date. She won easily on debut at Werribee back in April with a dominant win over 1000m here at the Valley first up. Steps up to 1200m today but draws well in barrier 6 and looks clearly the one they all have to beat. It will take a good one to beat her. (8) Metronome looks an interesting runner first up from the inside gate and (12) Sweet Rockette is also a filly that looks to have some ability.
Big field assembled for the 2500m here, which doesn’t make it easy to find a winner. (3) Pioneertown is undefeated from three runs at this distance, including a fighting win at this track last start when leading all the way. Up 3kg in the weights today and has a slightly tricky draw but is sure to go forward and prove hard to beat once again at around $7. (10) Tiffany’s Lass ran 2nd to Pioneertown last start and gets a 4.5kg weight swing in her favour today. Drawn well in barrier 4 and looks a big chance to turn the tables. (5) Bling Dynasty has had three runs back from a spell now and makes the sharp jump from 2000m to 2500m. That’s never ideal but he is a previous winner over this track and distance. (15) Flaaj had support at longer odds last start but had a pretty tough time of things, caught wide for large parts of the race. Was only beaten a tick over 3L by Pioneertown so from barrier 1 here might be able to run a cheeky race.
Absolute lottery. (4) Summer Sham hasn’t done anything in two starts back from a spell but she might be ready to show something now third up and with Damien Oliver taking over from the apprentices. She’s had six weeks off since her last start failure. She was Group 2 winner last prep and is likely to roll forward. (10) Istria was very disappointing last start but was good first up. Put two dominant wins together at this stage last prep in Sydney and Damian Lane takes the ride. Will need to be very good from barrier 16 though. If (11) Freehearted can position close to the speed from barrier 4 she should be abnle to go close after a strong first up win. She will only improve off that run as she showed last prep. She’s won four of her eight career starts so $7.50 looks a pretty decent each way price. (14) Magnesium Rose wasn’t suited at all last start with a big weight and a wide barrier. Should be much better suited back to 1200m here, down in the weights and Williams taking over.
Another lottery. (5) Trap For Fools looked a complete moral a few weeks back but was scratched due to a foot abcess. He’s now had five weeks between runs and although he has the ¾ bar plate removed today, he’s likely to be vulnerable so I’ll be betting around him. (2) Pacodali also had a foot abcess between his second and third up runs, forcing him to miss five weeks. He’s at least had a run since then so he comes into this ready to bounce back and win again. His record at the distance is outstanding and he looks the one to beat. (1) Our Venice Beach looks a very interesting runner making his Australian debut for Team Williams. Runners from this stable have been going pretty ordinary lately and given the horse is yet to win below 2400m, he looks up against it here, but he was running in Group 1 company back in the UK so shouldn’t be underestimated. (3) Morton’s Fork saluted over track and distance last start but faces a tougher task today from barrier 15. (10) Mr Clarify ran 2nd to Morton’s Fork last start and gets some things in his favour today. He gets a small weight swing, draws well again and had to endure a fairly tough run last start. He is also third up today and should be peaking. At double figure odds he is certainly one to include. (13) Sikandarabad is flying but has a tough draw, while (14) Mantastic finally draws well.
(5) Brutal looks to be the benchmark Melbourne three-year-old after a 5L win on debut at Caulfield and if he repeats that performance here he’ll take care of this field. He’s drawn wide in barrier 10 but he showed plenty of speed to lead on debut and he should land right up on the pace once again here. (4) Ocean Knight was very good on debut last preparation. This is the first time we’ve seen him as a three-year-old but the stable expect him to go very well here and the good draw certainly helps him. (3) Mig Energy was a winner on debut over 1000m at this track and could be a blowout chance at $21.
Very competitive race with a huge amount of speed. (1) Hey Doc isn’t best suited at 1000m here with 60kg but he’s a WFA Group 1 winner and might just be too classy for this field. He’s undefeated from three runs at Moonee Valley and he does have one win at the distance, though 1200m at this stage of his career is likely to be his best distance. He should get a good run from barrier 4 behind the speed. (3) Quilista is a flying machine with a superb first up record and a 2nd placing (beaten a nose) at her only start at the track. She’s another that’s likely to be better suited next start over 1200m but from barrier 3 she might take a sit behind the hot speed and she has every chance of winning this. (4) I’m Wesley could be a value chance at $14. He was beaten a nose by Group 1 winner Secret Agenda first up last preparation and a repeat of that performance would see him competitive. (5) Faatinah has won four from six when first up from a spell, including a win in Dubai last preparation. Likely to enjoy the pace but my slight query is the 1000m – he’s had five starts at this distance for just two placings. (11) Super Too is first up and looks the most likely leader. She’ll fly along and give them all something to chase.
Darren Weir looks to have a strangle hold on th final race with the two market leaders and I’d be surprised if the winner wasn’t one of them. There was only a nose separating (9) Theanswermyfriend and (16) Night’s Watch last start and the latter may be able to turn the tables today with the first up run under his belt and the 1.5kg weight swing. Theanswermyfriend will probably be better suited by The Valley, especially if frontrunners are winning earlier races, but Night’s Watch should get a good run from barrier 8 and be hitting the lin very strongly late. He still needs two scratchings in order to gain a run, though. (5) Hiyaam is a classy runner but might find one or two a bit sharp first up over 1500m. (8) Rhythm To Spare flew home last start over 1600m at this track behind Call me Handsome. Drawn poorly today but a repeat performance will see him be competitive again.
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