Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley: Group 1 tips and preview

Caulfield and Flemington have had their taste of Group 1 racing this spring, and we’ve seen some fantastic racing – Behemoth winning back-to-back Memsies, Incentivise laying a down-payment on future riches in the Makybe Diva Stakes, and Sierra Sue winning a thrilling Rupert Clarke Stakes to give Daniel Moor his first Australian Group 1 winner. […]

Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley: Group 1 tips and preview

Caulfield and Flemington have had their taste of Group 1 racing this spring, and we’ve seen some fantastic racing – Behemoth winning back-to-back Memsies, Incentivise laying a down-payment on future riches in the Makybe Diva Stakes, and Sierra Sue winning a thrilling Rupert Clarke Stakes to give Daniel Moor his first Australian Group 1 winner.

Now it’s Moonee Valley’s turn to be front and centre, kicking off their night racing season with the Moir Stakes, a 1000m weight-for-age race. It’s the first pure sprint race of the season at the highest level.

Moir Stakes

It’s quite an eclectic field that’s been assembled. A number of our gun sprinters ran in the Shorts at Randwick last week, and these are the next rung below. It looks an even and competitive betting race, and any number of compelling storylines could come out of it.

A three-year-old colt, Profiteer, heads the market, and it’s a big ask for punters to step into a favourite when he hasn’t run since he was two. There is precedent here, as there has been two three-year-olds win the Moir since it became both a Group 1 and a 1000m race in 2015 – Extreme Choice and She Will Reign.

Both were first-up after having had a Golden Slipper campaign in the autumn, and Extreme Choice was trained by Mick Price, who also handles Profiteer. Profiteer is a real speed machine, and there’s something to be said for him zipping around the Valley from the front with 52 kgs on his back, off and gone and too hard to catch – if he can avoid too much pressure.

Ballistic Lover is the horse most likely to be eyeballing Profiteer, and don’t Joe Pride-trained horses love doing that – he’s had much success with Eduardo against Nature Strip in this fashion.

(Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

She put away a handy field at this track and distance last start, and hasn’t reached her ceiling yet. She’ll need to improve though, given she’d be getting 5 kgs or more of a lot of this opposition in a handicap.

Miss Albania was three lengths behind Ballistic Lover last start after missing the start and settling back. She’d prefer to be up there asking the question though, so what her, Ballistic Lover and Profiteer do when fighting for the lead will dictate how this race plays out.

The McEwen Stakes three weeks ago is a key lead-up race here. The Inferno, Portland Sky and September Run ran the trifecta there, all have class, and are chances here.

The Inferno’s win was a blazing one, sweeping past the other two (both Group 1 winners in their own right) with arrogance and contempt. It was hard to line-up his Singapore form, followed by a plain run first-up when he was unfit.

He’s drawn to get a beautiful run and with the expected speed he’ll be strong late. The niggle is whether he’d prefer 1200m instead of 1000m now, but you can mark him down for The Everest if he wins here. He deserves to be getting a slot anyway, and would run top half no worries at all.

Portland Sky is an Oakleigh Plate winner, and split Masked Crusader and Libertini in the William Reid here back in March. That’s Everest form, and he loves the Valley. More was expected from him first-up when he had every chance but got windburn from The Inferno, and he will also riding a hot tempo here. The jury’s out.

Masked Crusader at Moonee Valley

(Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

September Run is a gun Flemington straight horse, but she keeps finding herself at the Valley because that’s where the most suitable scale of races for her are. She oozes talent, but savours one clean run more than most and barrier one is a concern for her on this tight track.

Swats That was a bitter rival of September Run’s in their three-year-old season, and they face off at four for the first time here. The scoreline was 4-1 September Run’s way with rarely more than a length or so between them. If Swat’s That has matured, she can turn the tables and barrier nine gives her every chance to have an uninterrupted run too.

Trekking is the warhorse of Australian sprinters, a Group 1 winner in Queensland and SA, and twice finished top four in The Everest. He ran second in this race last year, and has run some bottlers at the Valley without winning. The question is whether at seven he is quite the horse he was, but in the last 12 months he’s finished between second and fifth in all eight races, six of them at the highest level. Has to be in the game.

Wild Ruler finished second, just in front of Trekking last time out, when Nature Strip put them to the sword in the Concorde. He looks unlikely to be up to that level, but this is certainly more his sort of race if he’s going to crack a Group 1.

His only run in Melbourne was a third in the Coolmore behind September Run and Swats That, so he’s never been around a turn left-handed. The box seat run is his from gate four as the speed unfolds from the first three.

Brooklyn Hustle has one of the most electric turns of foot of any horse in the country, and strikes this race first-up after racing in Brisbane over winter. She ran a dazzling fourth in this race last year, the first of six Group 1 races in a row that she contested. A drop back in grade after that saw her have a couple of wins and she’s back as a more mature five year old mare now. She can have last crack, and is good enough to win.

Shaquero is the second three-year-old in the field, although far less fancied than Profiteer. He was seen as among the second tier two-year-olds last season, and he was a couple of lengths behind Profiteer in the Slipper. He is another that should push forward given the light weight, and we’ll see how well he’s come back.

It’s going to be on early, and it’s a matter of how the first three, four or five runners settle while setting the tempo. Any number of scenario’s could play out, but it’s going to be a whole lot of fun.

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Selections
1.The Inferno 2.Brooklyn Hustle 3.Profiteer 4.Swats That

There are a number of good races on the card to support the Moir.

The Stocks Stakes is always a good form race for mares, and this field looks impossibly even. You’d want to be coming home wide in the quaddie.

The JRA Cup also looks like a competitive affair, and has been known to throw up a rough result over the years. Don’t be afraid to have a go if you like something at big odds.

The Stutt Stakes for three-year-olds can give us a bit more information about this group. Can someone put themselves forward for the Caulfield Guineas, or stamp themselves as a Derby contender? Forgot You might be one for the latter, and can take this out along the way.

Group 1 racing at Moonee Valley on Friday, followed by the Underwood at Sandown, the Golden Rose at Rosehill, and then the AFL grand final. Plenty of good punting to be had.

Source : The Roar Horse Racing More   

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Three challengers to test the deserved favourite: Golden Rose preview and tips

Sydney racing has always done glitz and glamour well. Who else in the racing world would have the audacity to make a 1200m sprint for two-year-olds their marquee race? In recent times they have revolutionised the industry with The Everest and tried to re-shape the spring carnival to their will. The Golden Rose is one […]

Three challengers to test the deserved favourite: Golden Rose preview and tips

Sydney racing has always done glitz and glamour well. Who else in the racing world would have the audacity to make a 1200m sprint for two-year-olds their marquee race?

In recent times they have revolutionised the industry with The Everest and tried to re-shape the spring carnival to their will.

The Golden Rose is one of the most exciting races that Sydney has, an event that has risen to prominence in the last decade or so and overtaken the Caulfield Guineas as the pre-eminent stallion-making race for three-year-olds.

This year’s edition doesn’t perhaps have the lustre of previous seasons given some of the lead-up performances have been a little plain, but the race is still going to be run and won.

And one colt appears to be standing above all others on the path to greater riches.

Anamoe holds firm favouritism, and deservedly so according to anyone with eyes. His quality as a two-year-old was unquestioned, with placings in the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper, before the most breathtaking win in the Sires Produce to round out his campaign.

He suffered a minor setback before his resumption at 1200m in the Run to the Rose, but put those qualms behind him with an authoritative win there. While the margin wasn’t huge, he did enough carrying top weight with the promise of more to come.

Everything about Anamoe says he’ll be better at 1400m this time out, he has proven adept on top of the ground and with the cut out so no conditions will faze him, and he has drawn a nice middle barrier to give James McDonald options when stepping out of the machines. He should be able to sit midfield or just worse, with a nice bit of cover and be given every chance.

Can anything from the Run to the Rose turn the tables on the Godolphin colt? There are three rivals here to try.

Godolphin head trainer (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

In the Congo is underrated in the market again, once more hovering around a double-figure quote. He’ll lead this field, and give another tough and honest performance while being difficult to catch. If you don’t like taking red figures about the favourite, you can do worse than back this horse the place.

Remarque is another one of these spruik horses that the Hawkes yard seems to produce, long on talk and short on results. Anamoe has had his measure twice across their careers, and he’s yet to remotely prove that 1400m is suitable.

Captivant was a consistent three lengths off Anamoe in the autumn and appears to still be in that boat. While his second-up run in the Run to the Rose was a bit basic ridden more forward, his first-up run was more than sound. He may well be looking for further now, but it wouldn’t surprise to see him run well at big odds.

The second-string Sydney form produces the likes of Tiger of Malay, Giannis and Royalzel, who clashed in the Dulcify last start with not much between them. Giannis was stylish in victory, Tiger of Malay was good with weight, while Royalzel is still improving and should be a fraction of his current $81 quote. It is hard to see them testing Anamoe though.

Writing off Chris Waller in these grand finals is folly, but Coastwatch couldn’t beat Tiger of Malay when getting 8kg’s off him first-up. Moridan would need six legs to be competitive. Hilal is yet another Hawkes runner that gets beat a lot at short odds.

That leaves three horses to try and upset Anamoe, each of them bringing something different to the race.

Artorius had Anamoe’s measure in the Blue Diamond, beating him fair and square after sprouting wings in the last 100m and leaving all others standing. It was as dynamic as a win as you see from a juvenile. His return in the McNeil Stakes was superb, savaging the line late – we saw that form franked at Caulfield last week with wins to Lightsaber and General Beau, who both finished behind Artorius.

Artorius was second again last start, not quite getting the job done when the race looked all his. Has carrying full penalties of 59.5kgs just stopped him at the end? Does he not quite love the end of 1400m? He gets another chance to show off his wares.

Two fillies are contesting the Golden Rose this year, still looking to break the duck for their sex by winning this race in the spring.

Jamaea is underrated for a filly that’s won a couple of Group 2s and been placed at stakes level twice more. Her three wins have come at SPs of $7, $17 and $21. She’s got a big finish on her, and could well be a fly in the ointment for some of her more regally bred opposition.

Startantes has won five of eight up in Queensland for Rob Heathcote, and comes in here off three wins in a row. Two back she claimed the scalp of Alpine Edge, who was competitive in the Guineas Prelude last week. Tying all that form together does make her look a few lengths inferior, but she’s on the up and deserves her place.

In the Congo is the natural leader here, probably stalked by Tiger of Malay, neither of which should have to do too much work to take up the one-two in running. Hilal might push across from a wide barrier.

Opposition jockeys will be looking to keep James McDonald posted three wide on Anamoe, but if he slots in and gets cover, it should be game over.

Selections
1. Anamoe
2. In the Congo
3. Artorius 4.Tiger of Malay

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There is a keen support card to be run with a few horses to keep an eye on.

Entriviere is a Kiwi mare making a name for herself and an Everest slot wouldn’t be out of the question if she dominates the Golden Pendant against some smart opposition.

The Shannon Stakes is a last chance saloon for horses looking to win a ticket into the Epsom, and the Colin Stephen fulfills a similar role in regards to the Metropolitan. Admittedly these races look like the B-form into those big Group 1 handicaps, but will be competitive betting events.

The three-year-olds have a couple of races to stamp their cases for future spring glory too, the Heritage Stakes for the sprinters and the Gloaming Stakes for those on the way to the Spring Champion and perhaps a VRC Derby. Paulele looks extremely well placed in the Heritage, but has been priced accordingly in early markets.

Source : The Roar Horse Racing More   

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