Racing returns to The Valley this Saturday afternoon with nine quality races on the card.
Our full The Valley Preview – Saturday 22nd January can be found below.
Race 1 - 12:40pm
Benchmark 70 Handicap (1000m)
Unflinching is undefeated in both his race starts so far in his short career .
The son of I Am Invincible won on debut at Mornington by 3.5 lengths and backed that up with a win at The Valley by 1.5 lengths.
He is clearly a young colt with a stack of ability and he again looks well placed in the opening race of the afternoon here at The Valley from barrier four.
3 Units Unflinching
Race 2 - 1:15pm
2YO Handicap (1200m)
The James Cummings trained Sumatra will make her racing debut in the second race of the afternoon at The Valley off the back of two trials leading in.
Her last start trial win at Warwick Farm was full of merit and the early money suggests she is ready to win first up.
Jamie Kah steers from barrier four.
1 Unit Sumatra
Race 3 - 1:50pm
Benchmark 100 Handicap (2500m)
The Phillip Stokes trained Good Idea finished second behind Smokin’ Romans in the Listed Pakenham Cup two starts back over 2500m and will be rock hard fit for this event.
The son of So You Think is out of the classy mare Faint Perfume and will drop two kilos on his last start fourth at Flemington over 2800m at Listed level.
This looks an easier task for him and he will get a nice run in transit from barrier five.
1 Unit Good Idea
Race 4 - 2:25pm
Benchmark 70 Handicap (2500m)
Thomas Stockdale put in an absolute peach of a front running ride on six year old gelding Saving last start at this track to boot his mount home by 1.25 lengths.
He simply out stayed his rivals over the 3000m on that occasion and he is a horse racing in great form at the minute.
His last start at this track and distance saw him win by six lengths and I’m struggling to find a reason why he won’t be winning again.
2 Units Saving
Race 5 - 3:00pm
Benchmark 78 Handicap (1000m)
Yulong Command is a horse racing consistently at the moment and has managed to be placed in his last four in a row including a win over the 955m here at The Valley three back.
He ran into a smart one in Scorched Earth last start at headquarters when carrying the big weight but this looks a much easier task for him.
He’ll be ready to peak at this stage in his prep and is one of the better bets on the entire card.
4 Units Yulong Command
Race 6 - 3:40pm
Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m)
Marimenko started his racing career over in Sha Tin with just the one run before making his way to Australia where he is yet to miss a place in three runs.
The lightly raced five year old won by five lengths in his Australian debut and closed out his last campaign with a dominant win at Ballarat as the short priced favourite by over two lengths.
This is his toughest test so far in his short career and while I do think he’ll improve on whatever he produces first up, he is still a winning chance.
2 Units Marimenko
Race 7 - 4:20pm
Benchmark 84 Handicap (1500m)
The seventh race of the afternoon is a very open one and I’d suggest going wide in your quaddie!
Not everything has gone right for six year old gelding Le Baol in the past 18 months but his most recent jump out was enough to suggest he is going well enough to be competitive at a big price in this event.
Muswellbrook is another that appeals at big each way odds after he had no luck at a vital stage when resuming at Caulfield two weeks ago.
When he found clear running I thought he ran well through the line and will only take benefit out of that run and stepping out in distance.
1/4 Unit E/W Le Boal
1/2 Unit E/W Muswellbrook
Race 8 - 5:00pm
Benchmark 84 Handicap (1200m)
This is the easiest race that Curran has contested in some time having been consistent in black type races at his last four in a row dating back to the spring.
In fact the last time he raced at this level was at The Valley over 955m where he beat home Yulong Command who I think is one of the better bets of the afternoon earlier in the program.
The apprentice will give some weight relief and he will need luck from the awkward draw, but he represents good value at his current price.
1 Unit E/W Curran
Race 9 - 5:40pm
Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m)
Mariamia couldn’t have been much more impressive when scoring by seven lengths at this track and distance back in November and she was not far away in her two subsequent runs since.
I love the fact that they have given her over a month in between runs after a long campaign and if she holds her form she can win the last.
1 Unit E/W Mariamia