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Moonee Valley Saturday December 23 – Preview, Best Bets and Odds

Thu, Dec 21, 3:03pm by Staff Writer

Melbourne racing is back at Moonee Valley on Saturday. The rail is in the true position and the track will be good.

The VOBIS Gold Carat is a set weight and penalties over 1200m with top weight Bel Sonic ($9) a big drifter in early markets. He resumed from a break with a half-length win on Pakenham Cup day which gave him two career wins and a minor from his four starts to date. He jumped from barrier one on that occasion, where this week he’ll jump from the widest gate but he’ll most likely get back anyway.

Muraahib ($2.10) has been placed in two G3 races and was only 3.6L from Catchy in the G1 Blue Diamond (1200m) and he resumes here as a solid favourite. Pique ($8) – like Muraahib – is having his ninth career start, making them the most experienced in the race.

The Ellerton/Zahra team saddle up two runners and both are coming off last start wins. Crystal Spirit ($11) broke his maiden status at his fifth attempt although he did run second at his four runs before that while Eluded ($34) was a narrow winner at his third career start.

Aeecee Tong De ($9.50) is down from Sydney after a last start Canterbury night win for Waterhouse/Bott while Teleplay ($8) and Miss Skeptical ($26) are also last start winners. Blackwolf Run ($12) has only had the one career start and that was a third behind Cao Cao over a year ago while the Henry Dwyer duo of Straviera ($31) and Je Suis Tycoon ($19) and are at big odds and jump from next to each other in barriers eight and nine respectively.

A capacity field of 15 plus the one emergency have accepted for race eight, a BM84 over 1000m and it’s a wide betting affair.

Sirbible ($13) is the top weight on 63kg but gets the 2kg claim. The six-year-old is a three-time winner at the track and he was placed to Malaguerra and Black Heart Bart earlier this year here in the G2 Australia Stakes (1200m).

Nasdex ($7.50) has won six of 13 and comes into this off a photo-finish victory over Wise Hero ($5) – who has won three from six career starts – while Leodoro ($17) was over 2.5L away in third.

Modern Wonder ($8) has won two from three at the track and is unbeaten over the distance. Mogador ($8) was a high profile 2YO for Godolphin who is well known for beating Exosphere on debut but he’s only won the two from 19 career starts. Lady Espirit ($10) was second to Crystal Dreamer over this distance two starts back while Invincible Al ($9) held out Showpero ($15) over the 955m here when first-up.

Ken’s Dream ($8.50) has a Listed win and placing to his name, and he resumes on Saturday but is drawn awkwardly in barrier 15 with stable mate Olivier ($34) faring no better and will jump from 16.

Playmaster ($81) raced well at big odds last campaign but that was on the spacious Flemington straight. He’s only had the three starts at the ‘Valley’ for a third but he’s won two from five when fresh and he gets the 3kg claim of Chelsea Hall. Murphy’s Reward ($31) is first-up and resumes from a campaign which saw him win three of his last five starts.

Suggested Bet: Jockey Stephen Baster is building a formidable partnership with the Waterhouse/Bott team and hoping that can continue with Imperial Aviator ($2.40, race 5, number 2).

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