Fri, Feb 21, 9:43am by Daryl Curnow
Where: Moonee Valley, Melbourne
When: Friday, February 21. First race starts at 6:45pm.
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Wairoa is a one-paced gelding who last raced in the Pakenham Cup earlier this month where he finished fifth. He was just over four lengths from the winner where he carried only 54kg, he rises to 58kg for this but the field is considerably easier. He is having his first start at the Valley but Damien Oliver rides and that indicates he’s in good shape for this and will start the $2.80 favourite.
The Robbie Griffiths-trained Daybreak gets a luxury weight of only 54.5kg and he has been running consistently well this campaign. The Elvstroem gelding has placed in his last two runs including a narrow second behind Praesentia at this track two starts back. He is the second favourite currently at $4 which suggests he is a chance here.
London Stripe is a Pat Carey-trained gelding who is getting up in the age ranks but is still performing well enough to suggest a win isn’t far off. He caused a big upset when winning on this track late last year and he has placed in two races since. He has to carry the top weight here but at his best he would take this event out.
Suggested bet: Wairoa to win ($2.80) at Sportingbet.com.au
First Bloom is the $1.95 favourite following an easy 3.25-length win at Moonee Valley last time out. Darren Weir is on a great run of form and another win with his four-year-old mare looks likely. She is ideally weighted and she looks like a real up and coming stayer.
Text’n Hurley was desperately unlucky to not win at Caulfield after being blocked in the straight and only getting clear late. We were confident on the four-year-old that day and we have no reason to not go again here. She clearly has the best exposed form line in this field and if she gets an ounce of luck her chances will soar. She steps up in distance for the first time but she should be able to handle that.
Crucial hasn’t won for awhile but she gets the inside barrier draw and some nice weight relief with Josh Cartwright in the saddle. The Anthony Freedman-trained mare has been knocking on the door this campaign and a win doesn’t look far away. She is from an astute stable so a good run is to be expected.
Suggested bet: Text’n Hurley to win ($3.20) at Centrebet.com
You Can Dance won well here in January with a 2.5-length win over a quality rating 90 grade. The Redoute’s Choice mare faces the same class but rises slightly in weight thanks to Patrick Moloney’s 2kg claim. Her win came as a surprise as her previous form wasn’t anything to get excited about but she is unbeaten at the Valley and that is crucial.
The aptly named Miss Middleton hasn’t won since travelling to Victoria but the Cummings’-trained mare has won on five occasions. The Churchill Downs mare hasn’t had much luck but she hasn’t finished very far off the winners and is every chance to win here. Damien Oliver rides and the $4.40 could seem like silly money after the race.
Coronation Shallan hasn’t put a foot wrong in all five career starts having won three and placed second in the other two. Brett Scott is usually a jumps racing trainer but he has a pretty handy sprinter here who won last time out on this track. The four-year-old won a $100,000 handicap and she got spelled for four months following that win. With the right run her chances at winning are strong here.
Suggested bet: Miss Middleton to win ($4.40) at IASbet.com
Signoff was too good for his rivals when he travelled to Adelaide last time out but he faces a rise in class for this. Darren Weir trains the son of Authorized who has won three from four but his only run at a premier meeting resulted in a fifth at Caulfield. He looks to have a good amount of staying ability and he’s the worthy favourite.
Justthewayyouare is a five-year-old gelding who has won three from 19 starts including last time out at Mornington. That 1.5-length win showed that he has staying ability and he will try and lead this field a merry dance. If he gets a soft lead in front then it might be hard for his opposition to catch him and he has an astute trainer and jockey in his corner.
Cosentino is currently paying $21 which is quite generous for a gelding that has won at the Valley and is stepping down in class from the Pakenham Cup last time out. The Choisir six-year-old finished well for fourth when last racing on this track and a similar run will see him finish right in the mix.
Suggested bet: Cosentino each way ($21/$5) at Sportsbet.com.au
Let’s Rock’n’roll won very well at Randwick and now the speedy gelding tries his hand at the 55 Second Challenge. The Joseph Pride-trained son of Fastnet Rock has won or placed in 10 of his 13 starts and the shorter distance will only help him. He has had a trial placing to prepare for this and the master Craig Williams is aboard.
Snitzem brings in a form line of 888 which doesn’t inspire any amount of confidence but the son of Snitzel is now with Chris Waller and better efforts are expected. He has won all three career wins at Moonee Valley and all have come over the sprint distance. Four of his last five races came at group level so this is a massive step down in class and he is at $5.
Zedi Knight once finished second to the great Black Caviar but the now nine-year-old is struggling to find winning form. His stats read well however as he has won five times at the Valley and 12 times in total from 56 starts. His last four starts came in top company and he will find this easier.
Suggested bet: Zedi Knight to win ($21) at Centrebet.com
Miss Promiscuity has won three from four already in her short career and the Peter Moody-trained filly looks the goods at $1.90. The Magnus three-year-old won at her first start by 2.25 lengths and then faced a tough field at Caulfield but she finished a disappointing last. There clearly was something not right that day as she has won her next two races by four and 4.25 lengths. She has drawn the inside barrier and she has the potential to win a big stakes race – this could be the first of many.
Miss Rose De Lago brings in grand form from Perth after winning the Group 3 Champion Fillies at Ascot two starts back. The Encosta De Lago filly then ran second in the Western Australian Guineas behind the talented Ihtsahymn and that form will take her close here. She is perhaps more suited to the mile but you can’t overlook her class.
Michael Kent trains The Huntress who hasn’t won since April last year. The Husson filly bled two starts back and then failed to run on last time out at Caulfield. At her best she can test the two favourites, especially with Craig Williams aboard but realistically she is out of form and is only a place chance.
Suggested bet: Miss Promiscuity to win ($1.90) at Sportsbet.com.au
Travolta was huge when running second in the Mornington Cup a fortnight ago and the conditions of this race are quite similar. The Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding will again carry 60kg but this time Damien Oliver takes the ride and he defeated the current favourite Big Memory by a nose at Randwick earlier this campaign. The six-race winner is having his first start at the Valley which won’t suit but he’s a classy animal.
Big Memory has the weight advantage on the toppie, carrying only 54kg with Craig Williams in the saddle. The four-year-old fought hard last time out when narrowly going down to Travolta but he will be better for that and he will strip fitter for this run. Tony McEvoy knows how to prepare horses for races and he’ll likely set the pace and try and kick around the tight turning Valley track.
Use The Lot is a five race winner including his last two which both came at Caulfield. He will likely be outclassed by the tougher opposition here but he is down in weight and winning form is good form. He was won and placed on the course so that will be of an assist.
Suggested bet: Travolta to win ($2.90) at Sportingbet.com.au
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