Almanac Racing: Sal’s preview and tips for Moonee Valley and Caulfield

Greetings All,


What a shock to hear of Dean Jones’ death.  A cricket crusader from his boyhood years.  A key member of the resurgence of Australian cricket in the famous 1989 Ashes tour scoring 157 in the 3rd test.  Then his greatest achievement with 210 in Madras as his body was failing him that helped Australia tie that test with India.  He was compelling viewing in 50 over cricket and I am sure would have loved to partake in 20/20 if it were played in his era.  His journey continued through his coaching, commentary and opinion on the game – never afraid to speak his mind and not necessarily agreed to by all he certainly made you think.  His death at 59 a reminder to us all to make the most of our time here and look after ourselves.


No footy this week as all the AFL glitterati are busy doing important work in South East Queensland!  Reckon plenty of it could be done over the phone and video but heck why not join the gravy train!  Meanwhile as Melbourne endures a wintry blast on what would have been Grand Final weekend the racing season heats up with the first Friday Night meeting at Moonee Valley followed by the Underwood Stakes meeting at Caulfield on Saturday.


Moonee Valley – Friday


Godolphin put Endanger (R1, #7) away after a solid win at his only start, comes back and look a good chance in the opener.  Tough one in the next an lumping with Kaplumpich (R2, #8)  gets some weight relief and undefeated over the journey.  Alfa Oro (R3, #4) is double booked for Saturday also – reckon that is a better trip for him but a tougher field.  Not sure 955m is ideal for him but can’t see who beats him.


Race 4 – Stutt Stakes (G2, 1600m, 3YO Set Weights)


A ripping affair for the colts and geldings, any result would not surprise.  Glenfiddich (1) ran boldly in a WFA Group 1 and was 2nd in the Champagne Stakes over this distance.  Has all the credentials to be favourite here – but wary of the 1 from 10 strike rate.  Provided they can run on reckon Cherry Tortoni (4) is the biggest threat, Lunar Fox (3) might be the value with significant weight relief from last start.  Respect for Holyfield (2) mixes his form and failed at his only start over the mile, but may have had excuses.


Selections – 1-4-3-2


Race 5 – Scarborough Stakes (G3, 1200m, Fillies Set Weights)


September Run (2) held off Swat’s That (1) with a superior steer from Craig Williams, can see that happening again with the respective barrier draws here.  GSOB places them well so Raison D’etre (7) goes in the mix, would have had Dirty Thoughts (3) at top of mind but for the poor draw.


Selections – 2-1-7-3


Race 6 – JRA Cup (G3, 2040m, HCP)


El Gelayel (5) is a Valley specialist with the scalps of Orderofthegarter and Schabau last start.  He holds his form pretty well and looks well place here.  Plein Ciel (7) also looks well in with a win in his only start here while Mantastic (8) finished off well at Flemington and appears on the improve.  Then throwing Miami Bound (6) into the mix the Makybe Diva run was hampered by the demise of Gatting.  Will be watching Royal Crown (12) for the future in some of the second tier staying contest.


Selections – 5-7-8-6


Race 7 – Moir Stakes (G1, 1000m, WFA)


Maher and Eustice have made this a wide open affair with the withdrawal of Anders and Away Game.  Final thoughts will come down to the state of the track with the call going out to Noah to start gathering.  However going with the mares to be forward in this one and Diamond Effort (8) to be able to get over the top of the flying Pippie (7).  If she doesn’t then Bella Vella (6) just might she is in great form.  Then putting in Fabergino (9) just worried how wet the track might get for her and of course of if Noah is required the bells will be ringing for Jungle Edge (3).  Could easily have missed it!


Selections – 8-7-6-9


Race 8 – Stock Stakes (G2, 1600m, Mares WFA)


A couple of these coming back from open company look well placed here.  Pike in the last has a ring to it with Perfect Jewel (3) should be able to handle any conditions, short enough in a good field.  Princess Jenni (5) gets out to a preferred distance range and is a winner here while Mystic Journey (1) finally gets back against the girls her best wins this – the jury out about if she is close to her best.  Sticking with My Gold Bracelet (10)  to fill the hole and that is provided they can all catch Greysful Glamour (6).  She will set the pace but yet to win over this distance.


Selections – 3-5-1-10




An early finish on Friday lets us revise the form and crack in for what we hope is a nicer day on Saturday.  Not as many group races but great quality with the Guineas Preludes and The Underwood featuring the boom horse Russian Camelot.  We should have a slightly clearer picture at the end of the day.


Happy to get a kickstart in the opener on How Womantic (R1, #2) the 2kg claim helps and Lachie Neindorf has won on her before.  The next is a raffle and have two in the picture, Grand De Flora (R2, #12) has a 50% strike rate and is progressive also keen on Duke of Plumpton (R2, #6) if we get to a rain affected surface.  La Baol (R3, #3) won its first start in Australia impressively – pretty short but looks like he can back up.  If Alfa Oro (R4, #7) runs here he is the pick, if not then Coruscate (R4, #4) has a handy fresh record.  Buffalo River (R5, #5) would have been well fancied in the Group One last week if he got a spot, makes him well placed in this race.


Race 6 – Caulfield Guineas Prelude (G3, 1400m, 3YO C&G SWP)


Plenty on trial for the Guineas with a few also looking further on to the Derby.  Can see this panning out similar to the Exford at Flemington where Crosshaven (3) and Bartley (6) controlled the race and finished first and second.  Hoping something puts a bit more pressure on for Flying Award (4) to reel them in and would expect Cherry Tortoni (2) to be closing hard (if he runs here).  Would have rated Prague (1) higher but for the barrier, if its wet the outside might be an advantage by now.  The undefeated Cambourne (10) has won both in the bush very well.


Selections – 4-2-3-1


Race 7 – Thousand Guineas Prelude (G2, 1400m, 3YO Fillies SWP)


A couple of boom fillies collide here with Instant Celebrity (4) joining the SA invasion after a dominant win last start and won the two before that.  The other is Night Raid (5) who was so impressive at Moonee Valley.  Both right up to this but will be with Mozzie Monster (8) backing up from last week and gets regular pilot Jamie Kah back on board.  Giving Annavisto (11) the final slot was well supported at Flemington, reckon she might appreciate going around a bend.


Selections – 8-5-4-11


Race 8 – Underwood Stakes (G1, 1800m, WFA)


Russian Camelot (10) ran four wide with no cover and only just missed in the Makybe Diva, the winner just had the softer run.  The same could happen here but happy to take the gamble that it won’t and he will have improved off that run and just win anyway.  Making the old boy Humidor (2) the main threat after a terrific performance in the Feehan.  So Si Bon (5) was third in the Makybe Diva and the prospect of a wet track only enhances his prospects and Harbour Views (8) can feature.  A couple of notable omissions in Mr Quickie (6) and Arcadia Queen (9) only on the prospect of a wet track not being to their suitability – if the rain doesn’t come the mare is the main threat.


Selections – 10-2-5-8


We close out the day where there are many chances and I am plonking for Junipal (R9, #9) to stretch his winning form.




The boys prelude is tough and we go wide, to compensate just take the top three in the girls event and trust that Russian Camelot can do the trick and have a few to come home on.


Leg 1 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10

Leg 2 – 4, 5, 8

Leg 3 – 10

Leg 4 – 6, 8, 9, 10


RIP Deano


Cheers, Sal



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