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Moonee Valley racing with Cox Plate preview, odds and free tips

Fri, Oct 24, 11:49am by Daryl Curnow

The Chris Waller-trained Sacred Falls is a horse that thrives on the big stage, having won two Doncaster Handicaps at Group One level. The five-year-old has won more than $4.6 million and his best effort this season was beating Royal Descent in the George Main Stakes at Randwick. He son of O’Reilly got too far back at Caulfield last start but ran home credibly for fourth. He placed in his only start here and having drawn barrier nine, he will be forced to go back and run on again. He hasn’t been well supported in the market – opening at $5.50 and drifting to $6.50 which represents good value.

The David Payne-trained Criterion hasn’t won this preparation but is getting closer to a win. The four-year-old finished a close second behind Fawkner in the Caulfield Stakes and he probably should have won if he was situated closer throughout the run. His last win came in the ATC Derby at Randwick over 2400 metres but he does excel over this distance – four starts for one win and three placings. From barrier six he is likely to sit mid-pack and launch his claim around the home turn. His opening price of $9 has been cut to $7.50 and he is a big chance to score another Group One here.

Fawkner is an impressive type for Robert Hickmott and Lloyd Williams, who won the Caulfield Stakes in fine style. He has won and placed at Moonee Valley with his most recent effort here coming in the Group One William Reid Stakes where he finished seventh. Our concern is that he is a Melbourne Cup horse and there is a Green Moon feel about him. Still, he’s twice a winner on a dead track so conditions will suit and his chances appear bright. He is $4.20 out to $4.50 in the betting.

Race 1 – Inglis Banner 2YO (1000m)

Always tough lining up the babies but Fontiton has been very well backed in the market. The Robert Smerdon-trained filly opened at $3.90 and has been slammed into $2.80 on the back of a recent trial win. The two-year-old by Turffontein isn’t that well bred but there has been plenty of support and running from barrier two will switch her on nicely. Money is likely to continue to come for her so watch the market movement.

There have been some sizable bets on Syn City at a nice price of $8.50, despite opening at $7.50. The Liam Birchley-trained filly has race day experience when winning at Toowoombaa last month. The daughter of Jet Spur won by a neck in a slow time of 1.03.22 over 1000 metres but James McDonald has jumped on which instills confidence. Jet Spurs usually run well as youngsters and she could feature in this.

Hot Snippety is the current second favourite following a debut win at Doomben by 2.75 lengths. The Liam Birchley-trained filly went straight to the lead and was never headed before kicking away close to the line. The daughter of Snippetson opened at $3.30 but has since drifted to $3.50, however, we expect her to be well backed closer to the race time. Caulfield Cup winning jockey Zac Purton takes the ride.

Recommended bet: Fontiton to win ($2.80) at

Race 3 – Drummond Golf Fillies Classic (1600m)

Lumosty is the first hot favourite of the day at $1.75. The Robert Smerdon-trained filly didn’t fire last start in the 1000 Guineas when eighth behind Amicus but she got too far back so its best to forgive that run. The daughter of Fastnet Rock won her start prior in a maiden race at Sale by nine lengths and her form prior included placings behind subsequent winners Earthquake, Eloping and Afleet Esprit. Drawn two and she is the clear favourite in this – should run well and is a good multi-building bet.

The Clinton McDonald-trained Tahni Dancer ran on well for fifth in the 1000 Guineas as a $20 shot and she deserves to be well supported in this. The Sebring three-year-old was second in the Group Three Champagne Classic at Moonee Valley two starts back which will be a good form indicator. She has placed twice in two runs on this track and there is plenty of upside about her. Glen Boss rides which helps as he is a good judge of tempo and is a smaller field that is key. She opened at $5 and has been nicely backed into $4.60 to beat the favourite.

Little Hottie won well on debut by 2.25 lengths before running on well in the Group Two Manifold where she settled fifth and didn’t get any clear air till late, where she ran on nicely for seventh. She is by O’Reilly which suggests this distance suits nicely and barrier five poses no problems for her. $5.50 is a touch short for our liking but a nice run is expected.

Recommended bet: Lumosty to win ($1.75) at

Race 4 – Telstra Phonewords Stakes (1200m)

The Tony McEvoy-trained Risen From Doubt returned from a spell in good order when second at Morphettville last start. The three-year-old had a spell following a 13th place in the Group One Golden Slipper at Rosehill but her form prior to that disappointment was solid. The son of Not a Single Doubt won five starts back at Flemington when beating Jabali by 2.5 lengths. He followed that up with a group three placing behind Mossfun and an unlucky run in a group two. He has plenty of pace and will appreciate the dead track. $5.50 on offer for the win.

Greco opened favourite at $3.40 but has since drifted to $3.50. The Hawkes-trained gelding was a last start winner in maiden grade at Warwick Farm by five lengths. The three-year-old by Al Maher looks as though the slight rise in distance will help but that win came on a heavy track and form can often be misguided with heavy track wins. He ran fourth in debut prior to running second behind Valentia at Randwick. His form isn’t overly strong but the penny might have dropped with his last win.

Galaxy Pegasus has looked good when winning two of his three starts. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained colt won by seven lengths on debut at Geelong before running very averagely in the Group Two Danehill Stakes at Flemington. That race came a bit too early for him and he was back to his best last start when winning by 2.75 lengths at Kilmore. This grade is much tougher than that effort but he looks to have good ability and Oliver was more than happy to keep the ride on him. He’s on the second line of betting at $5.50.

Recommended bet: Risen From Doubt to win ($5.50) at

Race 6 – Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m)

Trust in a Gust returns after winning back-to-back Group One’s including the Rupert Clarke where he beat Dissident by a nose and then the Toorak where he fought off a fast finishing Speediness. The Darren Weir-trained horse could have gone for a much deserved spell but they have decided to keep him in work and he’s the deserved favourite for this at $2.45. He has drawn a touch wide in barrier seven which means he will need to find early cover but he’s the best horse in the race currently so should run well – tiredness will be his only downfall.

Hooked has been hyped throughout this campaign which included a win two back at Newcastle. The four-year-old was extremely tough when finishing third in the Group One Epsom Handicap last start after running wide throughout the trip. He won’t run wide here, drawing barrier one, so his natural talent should allow him to run well. This will be his first start at the Valley which is concerning but his opening quote has dropped from $8 to $7.50 so there is good support there.

Akavoroun ran three wide last time out in the Toorak Handicap but still managed fourth in a hotly contested race. The Ciaron Maher-trained gelding won three straight earlier this year including a 0.75-length win over The Cleaner in the listed Winter Championship Final. He’s ready to win again and $8.50 is very good value – in from $9. He has drawn nicely and could slingshot them late.

Recommended bet: Akavoroun to place ($2.40) at

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