Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for Moonee Valley on Friday, February 7th.
It's a monster 10-race card tonight due to last Friday's abandoned meeting, and it looks fairly tough going from a punting perspective.
@Tim_Tips has done his best to find you the winners below with his tips, best bets and analysis for every race.
The track is rated a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position.
Best Bet: Race 1 - (4) Rebel Racer
Best Value Bet: Race 9 - (4) Sizzleme / (7) Think We're Due
I think this is a two-horse race between (4) Rebel Racer and (6) Sweet Gold and I'm pretty confidently in the corner of the former. Both of these horses raced at Sandown Lakeside at their last starts back on January 22nd. Rebel Racer raced over 1300m, while Sweet Gold ran over 1600m. Now it's not so simple to just compare the sectionals of the two horses given they ran over different distances, but if we look at their final six splits in their races, Rebel Racer recorded a better figure in every single one of them. The final 600m in particular, Rebel Racer's splits were 11.32-10.78-11.02; Sweet Gold's splits were 11.46-10.88-11.24. I think racing over the mile also suits Rebel Racer much better. Rebel Racer has been racing like he's crying out for more ground, so the step up from 1300m to 1600m is ideal. Sweet Gold had his first run in Australia last start and that was also over 1600m, but he's raced over further previously and is likely going to be better up in distance, so sticking to 1600m is a little query. Tactically, Rebel Racer has the ability to race on speed, which should hold him in good stead at Moonee Valley, while Sweet Gold should be out the back, just as he was last start, especially given he's drawn the widest barrier in the eight-horse field. (8) Prophecies is the other high in the market but I think her form is inferior to the other two horses. Her advantage is the inside gate, so she should also land on speed. Rebel Racer looks incredibly hard to beat here and $2.25 looks a great price for mine.
This is a very competitive race. I can see why (3) Born A Warrior is favourite but I'm not sure I'm keen on jumping into the $2.70 on offer. His two career starts in Sydney were in strong races, but he's first up for 46 weeks here, hasn't raced since he was a two-year-old, and was beaten 5.6L and 7.3L in his two starts. His jumpouts were OK, but for a horse that's had a habit of jumping slow, he could be in a world of trouble from barrier 1 if he does that. (6) North Trek goes on top, he's first up here and has been freshly gelded in his time off. He jumped out well at Flemington leading into this, where he went to the line with Spend. He could well lead here and will take plenty of running down if he does. (2) Bellows ran the fastest last 200m of the meeting last start. He'll be back in the field and will appreciate a good tempo if those up front take each other on. $8.00 looks reasonable odds for him. (9) Intrigue could be the value at $10. She started $1.30 first up in a much easier race and was beaten, but she was very heavily backed on that occasion and there's generally a reason for that kind of money. She gets the blinkers applied for the first time tonight as well as the tongue tie, so don't be surprised if she shows drastic improvement. Taking on the favourite and can have something on the other three mentioned.
Again I'll be taking on the favourite (1) Donndubhan here. There's no real knock on him, he's won four of his eight starts this campaign, but Craig Williams is off tonight, Liam Riordan goes back on, there could be some competition for the lead and he's a little bit suspect at 2000m. (6) Under Oath ran well int he Great Western Cup last start behind Street Sheikh, who will start favourite in a race at Caulfield tomorrow. I think that's good form the $7.50 for him is a good price. He should be able to land right on the heels of the leaders from barrier 4 for Georgina Cartwright and should be in the finish. (7) Lord Of Darkness steps up to 2000m for the first time. Always respect horses racing over this distance from this stable. (4) Good Idea was one I backed at big odds last start and he ran well as expected, despite finishing out of the placings. He hung in badly so the bubble cheeker goes on tonight and the step up to 2000m third up from a spell suits. He's won three of his five starts at the distance. Trainer Phillip Stokes has a poor record at Moonee Valley though so that's a concern. (9) Duns 'N' Roses not hopeless.
A BM64 over 3000m isn't a race I'm very excited about and I won't be investing too heavily here but I'm with the favourite (11) Patriotic. We've seen Paul Preusker do this before, racing lightly-raced horses over this sort of distance. One that springs to mind is Surprise Baby. This horse isn't quite as good as him but he's got plenty of improvement in him given he's only had five starts. He comes into this off a 6th placing at Sandown Lakeside over 2400m, where he settled back in the field and ran home in the second-fastest final 200m of the race. Notably, he continued to get stronger and faster with every sectional from the 600m to the winning post, indicating he should appreciate the rise in distance that he gets tonight. Craig Williams replaces Dean Yendall and he looks a terrific winning chance.
Tipping (8) Tatalina on top. Above I mentioned how Patriotic ran the second-fastest final 200m at Sandown Lakeside last start - Tatalina was the horse that ran the fastest final 200m. She also ran the fastest final 200m in defeat two starts ago. I think she's ticking over beautifully this prep and so long as she can be within striking distance on the corner, she should be right in the finish. The winkers go on for the first time tonight too. (4) Pissaro is the horse to beat from the inside gate with Oliver on board. He's knocking on the door for another win. (6) Coffee Amour has won three of his past six starts and we've seen the South Australia form stand up so he definitely can't be discounted. He's probably the value in the race at $9.00. One at blowout odds that could be thrown in the numbers is (10) Murphy's Delight. He's a hurdler but he tends to improve sharply at his third run back from a spell. From 20 starts first or second up, he's only ever placed four times, but he's been in the money in six of his eight starts when third up. His only previous start at this track and distance was a win. He's $71.
They should fly along here over the 1000m with a few very speedy horses engaged. (1) Hint Of Mint is the favourite and while I think she'll be hard to beat, I can probably only save on her at the $2.80 rather than have a good bet on her to win. She won her first two starts before being outclassed by Broadwayandfourth here at The Valley back in October. That was in Listed company and this is a BM64, which is a grade she's already won in, so she's a deserved favourite. She has to carry the full 61.5kg first up and she's drawn sticky in barrier 11, so it will need to be a good ride from Jamie Kah. (7) Ms Catherine is one of the speed horses in the race. She's drawn outside the favourite in barrier 12 so expect her to come across from and either lead or sit outside the leader. She was too zippy on debut at Bendigo where she led all the way. Her jumpout leading into this was fair and if she's able to get across and find the front without doing too much work, she'll be tough to run down. (6) Paris gets D Oliver on board and from barrier 8 he should be able to sit behind the speed and peel out coming to the corner. She jumped out well under a stranglehold and the race sets up nicely for her. (3) Mariamia was a complete forgive run last start after the jockey lost the irons early in the race. Her form prior to that was good enough for her to be a player here at double figure odds. Likely to take on the favourite and back Ms Catherine ($8.50), Paris ($7.00) and Mariamia ($13).
(3) Leiter is probably a deserved favourite here dropping out of a good race at Caulfield last start. His form from last preparation in particular looks strong for this, with Gytrash, Halvorsen and Columbus Circle all around him. I thought his first up run was fair but it wasn't eye-catching and although he'll find this easier, I'm not sure I'm desperate to take $2.20. He hasn't had any jumpouts since that first up run so clearly they've kept him very fresh for this drop back to 955m. (10) Deploys Alone is a serious market watch. If he remains firm, he'll be ready to run a big race. But from this stable, it also wouldn't shock me to see him $4-$8 pre-race and run closer to last. Ben Melham jumps back on tonight which is the first positive sign that he's ready to run well, and we saw what his best looks like when he won easily here first up. If he produces that again, he'll win. (12) Princess Flagrant didn't get much luck here in a similar race last start. She'll need luck once again from the inside gate.
(6) Queen Leonora has a poor third up record which usually puts me off, but going back through her form, there may have been one or two factors contributing to that, so with a good set up coming into tonight and Damien Oliver on board for Danny O'Brien, I'll give her a chance to break the hoodoo. She's at a good enough price to do so with $6.50 available. (9) Music Of The Night is running consistently every time she steps out and she's got a good record at The Valley. She will need a touch of luck from the inside gate but can run a place once again. (3) She's On Time is flying this prep. This is harder than what she's been racing against but it's hard to knock a horse that's got three wins and a 2nd from four starts this campaign. (7) Vinaceous isn't without a chance.
This is a good race with a few at a bit of value. (4) Sizzleme is a huge tease but at the odds tonight I can back her one more time. I was convinced she was a terrific each way bet last start, and she ran a great race but finished 4th, beaten a length. It was hard for her to win from the back of the field on a track favouring frontrunners. She's drawn poorly again tonight and faces a similar problem, but Ben Melham goes back on board and at double figure odds she's a chance. (7) Think We're Due is also ready to win. She's placed just once from eight starts when first or second up, but she's won two from two when third up from a spell. She's another that's drawn awkwardly but she comes into this at the right stage of her prep and she's a genuine winning chance at $12. (13) Bacchus gets a lovely run from the gate and can win again. Save on him. (11) Touch Of Mink hasn't had much luck lately. Backing Sizzleme and Think We're Due, saving on Bacchus.
Another race with a few at very good value. (10) Exquisite Beauty won here three starts back and hasn't had much luck since then. She was only run down very late two starts back before going to the line untested last start. (13) Neurotic ran 3rd to Exquisite Beauty when she won here at The Valley and she gets a 4kg weight swing in her favour tonight. She ran the second-fastest final 200m of the race on that occasion and it was only 0.02sec slower than the fastest final 200m of the entire meeting. I was keen on her a week or two ago but she was scratched on that occasion, but takes her place tonight. She's a huge chance provided there is enough speed on. (14) Waltonia was my tip last start in the 955m race she contested, but it was a complete horror show. Williams never got clear at any stage and she went to the line without being tested. Notably he sticks with her tonight and she comes up an $18 chance. That's over the odds. Backing all three at $7, $7 and $18 respectively.
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