Fri, Feb 8, 5:45pm by Kevin Pitstock
We took a look through the eight race program at the Moonee Valley night meeting on Friday, February 8
Keen to start the night with $200 bet from race sponsors Sportingbet?
R1: Sportingbet Handicap (3000m)
The opening race of the night, is a small, but select group of stayers to contest the 3000m slug-fest. Leaning towards the Michael Kent-trained No 5. Toranos, a winner three starts back, the Elvstroem gelding finished second last time out to fellow competitor Phizup. Putting in No 2. High Kingczar for second as this gelding has had three starts at the journey for a win and a second place and with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle, he should get a good run from barrier three. No 1. Grand Ducal does have to contend with the top weight of 60kgs, but with Craig Newitt riding, the gelding should not be discounted. In the small field, going with No 4. Phizup who has had two starts at the 3000m – his last two starts – and has a win and a second place.
R2: Top Cut Squires Loft Plate (1200m)
A contest for three-year-old and up maiden gallopers sees a very wide open race. Last start runner up, No 10. Young Girl from the Steve Richards stable presents with good credentials and goes on top, while No 1. Best In Town, a four-year-old Elusive Quality gelding races first up here and does have some claims if he has improved from his first campaign. Going with No 7. Catered from the David Hayes stable for the top three. A well-bred Red Ransom filly our of the stakes winning Catechuchu, the Chad Schofield-ridden filly could simply prove too good for this field, but I feel she make take a run or two. Putting in No 4. Prince Of Perilla from the Nigel Blackiston stable for fourth. A first starter by Refuse To Bend, this stable has seemed to work out this bred, and at good odds, could add value.
R3: Alternate Railway Handicap (2040m)
Another small race here with only five final acceptors and we are putting the well-bred No 3. Aliberani from the Peter Moody stable on top and as the Best On Breeding. A four-year-old by Redoute’s Choice, the mare is slowly working into form, and with the small field and the step up in trip should be the one. Putting in the David Hayes –trained No 1. Manila Jewel from second based on the weight scale. A stakes class mare, the Chad Schofield ridden galloper will also be very hard to beat. No 2. Classic Elle seems to always be thereabouts, but has struggled at her past few to make a good impression, but should be capable here, as should No 5. Princess Mossman, who is likely to be good odds for first four players.
R4: Boscastle Plate (1600m)
The fourth on the night over the 1600m is an open event, with the money coming for No 5. Great Game. Trained by David Hayes, the Choisir gelding has had four starts to date for four second places – so at least he is consistent, and from barrier 1 and with Chad Schofield in the saddle, he should prove extremely hard to beat. Going with No 7. Willis, a first starter from the Hickmott stable – who have produced two impressive winners in the past few days, and this Fastnet Rock gelding out of the stakes winning mare Coupe could be another. No 8. Aubaine Bel is yet to break her maiden from 11 starts, but does have five places to her name and the Robbie Griffiths trained mare should run well once again, as will No 10. Panaera, a last start second over 1532m at Mornington, the Delzao mare should appreciate the step up in trip.
R5: Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge 13 (955m)
The sprint of the night that will see the filed run like scalded cats! The Best Bet Of The Night, and possibly the weekend lines up here in No 1. Shamal Wind. An impressive winner pf both of her starts to date, the three-year-old Dubawi filly from the Robert Smerdon stable should get a good run from barrier one with Glen Boss on board and just prove too good. For second we are going with No 2. Lady Antebellum who has been consistent of late winning two of her last three starts. No 3. Zippa The Rippa is building up to a good run and third time in this campaign, the well-bred Pins mare should run well, as should No 7. Arrogant Cat, a last start winner over 1000m at Mornington.
R6: Spotless Handicap (1000m)
The Peter Snowden-stable send No 4. Agulhas to the races here over the 1000m and the three-year-old Exceed And Excel filly should be right in the money. A last start second at Flemington over the distance, Kerrin McEvoy should be able to get the gun run from barrier one and prove hard to run down. Putting in No 6. Later Gator from the Peter Mood stable for second. Was nominated for Saturday and has decided to run here which is a good indication from the recent stable acquisition. No 1. Day Procedures from the Robert Smerdon stable has the enviable record of never having finished further back than fourth from seven starts, and with a good weight relief through the apprentice claim, should be in this for a long way. To fill the first four we are going with No 5. Prettyhappyaboutit, the unbeaten Magnus filly, who will have to step up to the class here, but you cant do anymore than she already has.
R7: John Paraskevas Handicap (2040m)
Michael Kent looks like he will have a good night, and No 8. Hula Lua could provide the stable with a winner here over the 2040m. A winner of two from six, the four-year-old mare does have a win second up and looks to be the one here. No 10. Princess Rock should run very well third up here and is likely to start the favourite for trainer Darren Weir. For third we lean towards No 7. Crystal Icon who has a very good record from his 18 career starts including four top three finishes from five starts at the trip. No 2. Elms who is bred to be a stayer being by Zabeel out of a Rosehill Guineas winner should relish the trip and could prove the value runner after some disappointing performances of late.
R8: Late Starter Membership $99 Handicap (1000m)
The final event of the long night of racings sees No 4. Rifleman, a last start Sandown winner over 1000m the top chance. Likely to start favourite, as the Hussonet gelding ticks many boxes, trainer David Hayes could have a very good night. No 8. Planet Voyage is a stakes placed son of Exceed And Excel in the Peter Moody stable, and with the right run here could just blow them all away – one to watch if the money comes. No 5. Delegance is second up here and although has only placed once from three second up runs, she does have a win at the track and a few wins over the distance. To round out the first four, the Jason Warren-trained No 2. Pronto Pronto, a stakes-winning son of Snitzel who is resuming goes in.
Best Bet Of The Day: Race 5, No 1. Shamal Wind 3yo f. (Dubawi x Firemaid, by Machiavellian), trained by Robert Smerdon, unbeaten Listed winner
Best On Breeding: Race 3, No 3. Aliberani 4yo m. (Redoute’s Choice x African Rain, by Woodman) – bred on the same cross as multiple Group One winner Miss Finland
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