Racing returns to the best track in the country, The Valley this Saturday afternoon with a quality card of nine races.
We’ve assessed every race and offer our thoughts and betting recommendations in our The Valley – Saturday, 30th July Day Preview below.
Race 1 - 12:45pm AEDT
Benchmark 100 Handicap (2040m)
D’aguilar has been a beauty for connections having won six of his 10 starts in his short racing career thus far.
After toughing out a grinding win at Caulfield two back over No Effort in a hot little race over 2000m, he was then beaten by less than a length at Flemington last start.
He won his only start at The Valley and while Billy Egan will need some luck from the outside draw, he looks well placed in a tough race to start the day.
1 Unit D’aguilar
Race 2 - 1:20pm AEDT
2YO Handicap (955m)
Alpha One has won both his starts so far this prep and he looks a very promising young colt.
He’s pinged the gates from the inside draw in both those starts which is vital over the short course at The Valley and both have been on the soft track.
The Snowden trained colt has not done everything right as he tends to lay out in the straight but Damien Lane gains the ride which is a bonus.
4 Units Alpha One
Race 3 - 1:55pm AEDT
2YO Handicap (955m)
Bistro is alreadya black type winner having taken out the Listed Cinderella Stakes at Morphettville back in March by three lengths.
She has proven a filly with plenty of early speed and Jamie Kah can steer her straight to the front here over the short course where she will be tough to run down.
2 Units Bistro
Race 4 - 2:30pm AEDT
3YO Handicap (2040m)
The Patrick Payne trained Mathew broke his maiden duck first up at Ballarat as the short priced favourite over 1600m.
On the day, the son of Tavistock beat his rivals by five lengths and he will only get better as he gets out in distance now.
While this is a considerable step up in class but he is clearly a horse of some ability.
2 Units Mathew
Race 5 - 3:10pm AEDT
Benchmark 78 Handicap (2500m)
Lord Bouzeron has been a frustrating one for punters having started right in the money in his last few and failing to get the chocolates.
He has been racing very consistently right throughout this long campaign and he backs up just seven days after running second at Morphettville last week.
In this race, he should have a fitness edge over a few of these and the distance is not an issue.
1 Unit E/W Lord Bouzeron
Race 6 - 3:50pm AEDT
Benchmark 78 Handicap (1600m)
Cyclone Sally led them a merry dance out in front at Sandown over 1400m when scoring by 4.5 lengths.
She then showed her versatility by sitting just outside the leader over 1600m at her next start, scoring by 2.5 lengths at Sandown.
In that race, she beat home a horse called It’s True, who then went on to win at Flemington at her next start and is the first emergency for this one.
Cyclone Sally battled on well at Randwick last start behind the very smart Cross Talk who brained the rest of the field.
The mare has been up for a long time this prep so fitness will not be a concern and I’m hoping Mick Bell can jump from barrier four to get to the early lead and string them out a bit before the sharp turn.
1 Unit E/W Cyclone Sally
Race 7 - 4:30pm AEDT
Open Handicap (1600m)
Jimmy The Bear looks the most obvious in the seventh race of the afternoon here at The Valley.
He is a three year old that continually rates the same whenever he steps out and he has finished inside the top two at his last three in a row now.
He meets Umgawa on similar terms when beating him last start at Flemington and with luck in running he will be tough to beat.
2 Units Jimmy The Bear
Race 8 - 5:05pm AEDT
Benchmark 100 Handicap (1600m)
The last time we saw Thought Of That at The Valley was last October on Manikato Stakes night when he brained them in an open handicap by 2.75 lengths over 2040m.
It usually takes him a few runs to get going and he’s had an unorthodox prep so far.
He was beaten under three lengths first up at Caufield in May but he had a trial over the hurdles over 2400m in between runs to sharpen him up.
I’ll be keen to see the betting before the race but he’s capable of producing a rating high enough to win this race.
Will be right on the speed from a good draw in barrier 5 and the blinkers go on.
2 Units E/W Thought Of That
Race 9 - 5:40pm AEDT
Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m)
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Invincible Jet resumes in this event and represents good each way value to my eye.
The son of I Am Invincible won his only start here at The Valley in a similar grade of race back in January.
He should make his own luck on the speed and his trial win leading into this first up assignment was excellent.
2 Units E/W Invincible Jet