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Almanac Racing – Eagle Farm’s qualms and the return of the Valley

Winter racing begins this Saturday, with Moonee Valley hosting its first meeting since March and Doomben inheriting Eagle Farm’s feature Queensland Oaks meeting.


Shambolic scenes played out at Eagle Farm last Saturday, as concerns expressed widely in the lead-up to the group-class meeting regarding the questionable state of the track proved accurate. For trainers and jockeys the situation was clearly far worse than they had envisaged. A barrage of complaints to the stewards coupled with a general feeling of outrage expressed by punters forced Racing Queensland to announce the transfer of this weekend’s Oaks meeting and the following Saturday’s Stradbroke meeting to Doomben. The ramifications of the change will induce a seismic headache for Racing Queensland, however from a punter’s perspective the only other major change will be some race distances.


Fair conditions are expected for Saturday’s nine-race card at Moonee Valley. No games at the MCG and a bye for the Dogs in both the AFL and VFL means I am a good chance to take the tram to the MP Junction and watch a few races.


The first temptation to bet is in race two, a strong mares handicap over 1200 metres. Among the outside chances is Hell Or Highwater ($16), resuming for the Hayes yard. I found it at $30 the last time it ran at MV when it led at every post. It strikes a tough field here, with the likes of Whistle Baby and Grey Street in the middle of very good campaigns, but I will find it tough to pass up $4 or more the place.


Miss Vista will have to overcome a tricky draw (14) to win the third, but should still have plenty of support in the market.


The fourth race is without a clear favourite and presents as another opportunity to find some value. I’m with the Robbie Laing runner Jaws Of Steel ($15), which won last start when dropping down to benchmark-70 grade after contesting a series of high-class features. The top weight, Vienna Miss, won the Adelaide Guineas a few weeks ago at 80-1 and is a big chance to win again.


I will be staying out of the fifth race and looking towards the first leg of the quaddie, a benchmark-84 for fillies and mares. Have Another Glass carries good enough form for such a race, has drawn an advantageous barrier and will likely start favourite.


In race seven, another bm-84, I like the look of This Kid Rocks, the pin-up horse for Mount Gambier trainer Belinda O’Loughlin’s stable. This Kid Rocks is one from one at the Valley, and has never missed a place over the 1200 metres. It’s in terrific form, coming off three placings in good-calibre races since the February win under lights at MV, and at $8 looks decent value.


I found it difficult to like anything in the eighth outside of the most fancied runner, Overberg. This will be his first start at the Valley, but it will be facing an array of battlers. Cinnamon Carter might be enormous overs at 100-1.


The last, at 1725, is probably going to be conducted under with the assistance of artificial lights, however it will be worth sticking around for. This field has an abundance of good, competitive three year-olds, several of which will be continuing preparations that included the Adelaide carnival. My instinct tells me that Katsuro will win, but there’s no way it will be that simple. Ken’s Dream has been in super form, and Benz beat Derryn as recently as February.


Share your best of the weekend below.


About Tom Riordan

Tom Riordan is in his second year of a Bachelor of Journalism at Swinburne University. He loves all sports, and plays for Brunswick Cricket Club. He supports the Western Bulldogs and can be found on weekends among half a dozen others in Q38 on the top level of the MCC.


  1. Tom – midday VFL @WindyHill and short tram to Money Valley in plenty of time for the Quaddy!
    I’m wary of Miss Vista from the gate. Fearsome pace in the race so looking for one camped behind the speed.

  2. theJudge says

    Highlight for me this week is the Belmont Sprint in WA – Scales of Justice f/up Vs Rock Magic

    My best bet this wknd is take the L’brokes boost to even money for Rhododendron in the Epsom Oaks tonight.

  3. Tom,

    Good read mate. Great term “Shambolic” I need to use it on a regular basis. It works.

    Queensland Oaks. Dawn Wall, by Fastnet Rock out out a daughter of Arc winner and Zabeel relation Detroit just wins, and wins easily..

    The Valley, and I like Swiss kiss in the 2nd to get a quid for the exotics later in the day.

  4. Elvis, saver on Telopea in race 2, soft ride in Adelaide and may be ready to go. Get on Attention in Brissy race 6

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