Race 1 - 12:10pm
Listed Inglis Banner (1000m)
Luiza, Miss Wahoo and Feng Chu are the only horses that have previously been seen at the races. Luiza was the most impressive winner and it is unusual to see Chris Waller with an early two-year-old, but there are far too many unknowns in this race and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.
Race 2 - 12:40pm
City Jeep Handicap (955m)
The 955 metres at Moonee Valley is a very specialist trip and the majority of the horses in this field are genuine short-track specialists. Gun Case has been an absolute revelation since he joined the stable of Darren Weir and he did the job done strongly last start over this track and distance. There is no reason that he can’t win again. Felines is racing in outstanding form and this is a drop back in quality following her victory in the Concorde Stakes. She has the big weight and she will need a touch of luck from the gate, but she has an excellent record over this trip.
1.5 Units Gun Case
1.5 Units Felines
Race 3 - 1:15pm
Listed Crockett Stakes (1200m)
The Crockett Stakes has drawn a capacity field and two of the leading chances have drawn wide, but that just means there is a better price available. My Sherry has the speed to cross the rest of the field to take up the running and if she does that she will be tough to run down late. She returned to the races with a brilliant win over this track and distance and she had no luck whatsoever in the Atlantic Jewel Stakes. I like that she has been freshened up for this race. My Country has been racing well without winning and this would be the perfect event for her if she had drawn a bit closer to the inside. There was plenty of merit in her last start performance and Team Snowden are very confident about her chances this weekend.
1.5 Units Sweet Sherry
1.5 Units My Country
Race 4 - 1:50pm
Group 3 Telstra Phonewords Stakes (2000m)
Ken’s Dream has opened as a clear favourite and he is a horse that I have a big opinion of, but I am happy to take him on in this race. He was flattened by Flying Artie in the Blue Sapphire, but he was still entitled to finish better and he may have had enough at the end of his maiden racing campaign. Archives failed to fire in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude, but he looks as though he is a pure sprinter. He was excellent before that in the Danehill Stakes and John O’Shea has plenty of success when he drops his horses back in trip.
2 Units Archives
Race 5 - 2:25pm
Group 3 Merlin Garage Door Openers Stakes (1600m)
This looks like the perfect race for Lady Le Fay. She returned to the races with a more than credible effort in the Bill Ritchie Handicap and she was only beaten by a fitter hors in the Angst Stakes. This really is not the strongest Group 3 race that you have ever seen and she maps to get an outstanding run in the race with Hugh Bowman in the saddle. She will never have a better chance to record a maiden race win in Australia.
3 Units Lady Le Fay
Race 6 - 3:00pm
Group 2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (2000m)
The two horses with form around Global Glamour are clearly the horses to beat in this race. I Am A Star was excellent in the Thousand Guineas after having no luck in the Prelude and there was plenty to like about her effort. My one concern is barrier two as she will need plenty of luck at the right time and I can’t get her as short as her current quote. Sezanne found the line fairly to finish third behind Global Glamour and Yankee Rose in the Flight Stakes and that has obviously been a strong form race. The wide barrier draw is actually an advantage as she will be able to swoop the field and if they are able to run on late she will prove very tough to hold out late.
1.5 Units Sezanne
Race 7 - 3:35pm
Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m)
There are plenty of winning chances in what is an open edition of the Crystal Mile. The United States has had issues since he finished a luckless sixth in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes. There is no doubt that he is the class horse in this field, but it is tough to get him as short as his current price. Stratum Star, He Or She, Royal Rapture, Federal and Ulmann could all easily win this race, but they look to have found their right prices.
Race 8 - 4:10pm
Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m)
I am more than happy to take on the local stayers with the Godolphin stayer Second Wave. He is a much better horse than Qewy and he won the Geelong Cup in tough fashion. Second Wave was second behind the highly-talented Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot and he was far from disgraced last start. That form is more than good enough to win what is not the strongest edition of the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and $6 is well over the odds.
2 Units Second Wave
Race 9 - 5:00pm
Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m)
This is a truly epic edition of the Cox Plate. The lead-up to the race has been dominated by Winx and Hartnell and the market suggests that it is basically a two-horse race. You simply can’t knock the form of Winx. She has not been beaten in well over a year and everybody saw just how impressive she was when she won the Cox Plate last year. She maps to get a dream run in this race with Hugh Bowman in the saddle and it would take a much braver man than me to pot her.
Hartnell was handily beaten by Winx in the Warwick Stakes, but he has since produced a string of most impressive performances in the Chelmsford Stakes, Hill Stakes and Turnbull Stakes. He raced away from Jameka without really being asked for an effort in the Turnbull Stakes and John O’Shea believes that there is still improvement left in him.
There is no doubt they are the two horses to beat, but they look to have found their right price and there is one runner at double-figure odds that has a genuine chance of recording an upset. Vadamos is a French galloper of the highest quality. He puts himself right in the speed on the top of the speed and he can then kick away from his rivals when asked for an extra effort – the perfect type of horse for Moonee Valley. He is a much better chance than his odds suggest and he is the best chance of a Cox Plate boilover.
1 Unit Vadamos
Race 10 - 5:45pm
Group 2 LUCRF Vase (2040m)
I am willing to give Sacred Elixir another chance following his Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas failure. He has always given me the impression that he would be a better horse when he gets out over more ground and that is exactly what he gets this weekend. Moonee Valley is probably not the perfect track for him, but he maps to get an absolutely dream run and he could prove far too strong for his rivals late.
1.5 Units Sacred Elixir