Money Value Carnival Preview – And so the end is near!

Greetings All,


After an incredible amount of time the AFL trade period finally draws to a close!  Surely all this dancing could be done in a shorter amount of time.  Prior to free agency, we only had one week for trading and there was a push to reduce that to three days.  Even with the advent of free agency I see no reason why they cannot arrange “speed dating” sessions for all clubs and get it done in three days.  The length of the trade period is part of Vlad’s plan to keep the AFL at the forefront of the media, but in reality it has diluted the news for much of the time and demoting trade news to mainly bylines with a couple of exceptions.  Of course there is nothing like a story about footy players behaving badly and the current crop representing Australia have done a fine job!


But the elephant in the room has exposed itself.  In Sydney early in the week I was bemused by Soccer being the lead sports story and having a two page spread in the sports pages, alas I return to Melbourne and see the same coverage.  The change in a national coach usually only gets that kind of airplay for cricket or union, it has a long way to go but the world game is becoming an Australian game faster than I expected.  As for the appointment of Ange Postecoglou, great to have an Australian in charge who will play with a positive attitude.  I don’t have any issue with the process, Ange was their man all the time why bother about the rest of the charade.  Looking forward to see his impact on the national team.


Racing Review

What a great renewal we saw of the Caulfield Cup with a couple of brilliant rides from young jockeys in Nick Hall (Fawkner) and James McDonald (Dear Demi).  The race has usually been the best form reference for the Melbourne Cup and there were plenty of good trials but none better than Hawkspur.  As for this pontificator’s performance no outright winners, 4 mentioned in the top 4 selections, a couple of quinellas and a mention to the first four in the cup.  Nailed the Quaddie, but could not get the split for a big dividend.  For what looked like a tough one to nail it turned out pretty easy.


Cox Plate Day Preview


The great race lost a bit of its lustre with the career ending injury to Atlantic Jewel, but as a result plenty of others are in with a chance.  The runners can be categorised into three categories.  For some it is their Grand Final, another set are looking forward to theirs in two Tuesdays and for the three year olds it is Mad Monday!  With that in mind I am focussed on those specifically targeted at the Cox Plate (G1, 2040m, WFA).  Track conditions helped It’s a Dundeel to get away from the field with his win in the Underwood, but he and Atlantic Jewel did put a fair gap on them.  The elder of the Fabulous Baker Boys is an astute trainer and would not be risking him if he were not over the injury.  It is not a done deal, but he is my top selection.  Three year olds running in the Cox Plate is often an afterthought and to a certain extent it is for Long John, but Peter Snowden is a master at placing his horses and the colts have a fantastic recent record in the event.  It’s not the Grand Final for Puissance de Lune and losing G Boss from the saddle is of some concern, but this was always on his agenda to lead into the cup.  I suspect he would be favourite with G Boss in the saddle.  Foreteller is prepared by one of the most prolific trainers in the country but keeps running around at long odds.  Keeps performing, not sure he can win but will thereabouts.  Plenty of other hopes, Fiorente not in my top four only because of the barrier which is my knock on Super Cool who has a defeat of the favourite over this journey.  Green Moon has been targeted here, Happy Trails keeps on winning “out of turn”.  The internationals command respect, but happy to wait till one wins before I closely consider them.

Selections Race 10 – 11-14-8-4-3-1-12-2


The group racing kicks off with the colts travelling over the Cox Plate journey in the Mitchelton Wines Vase (G2, 2040m, 3yo Set Weights) on their way to the VRC Derby.  We are confronted with a small field but only 3 of them in the top 10 chances for the Derby.  Savvy Nature has started favourite but chased Complacent home in his last two starts, no Complacent here and suspect Sydney Group 1 form will stand up to the locals.  Of the locals the magnificently monickered Tips and Beers for David Hayes has won his last three including a very impressive last to first win last start, he might be the best of the locals and possible more than that.  PG Moody has taken Storm Approach far and wide and defeated Gamblin’ Guru last start, the Guru franked the form with a win in the Geelong Derby Trial on Wednesday.  I have followed Drago for the Derby since the Autumn carnival, he still looks on track to run 2500m but the others were too smart for him over 2000m suspect that will be the same again.

Selections Race 5 – 1-3-4-2


Form lines and experience vary in the Telstra Phonewords Stakes (G3, 1200m, 3yo SWP) which makes it a very difficult race to make selections in.  Going with the undefeated brigade in this, but there are many chances.  Not Listenin’tome is two from two all be it in the bush, but they have been very good wins, the Hayes trained Selectify is at long odds but was a last to first winner and Schalot is also one from one.  Of the beaten brigade, they all have more experience and of those Diamond Oasis appeals most.  Very happy this is not a Quaddie leg!

Selections Race 6 – 8-10-11-3


The Quaddie does not kick off too easily with the Drake International Cup (G2, 2500m, 4yo+ SWP).  A traditional lead up race for the Melbourne Cup, but usually replete with the second stringers.  This renewal is no exception.  Kingston Rule was the last MV Cup winner to double up for the Melbourne Cup in 1990, although Brew chased Yippyio home in 2000 and then reversed the result 10 days later.  Sneak a Peak was gallant in the G1 Metropolitan, which is a better standard than most of these have been competing in.  Bart’s old boy Precedence has a great Moonee Valley record including winning this race in 2010 and looks in good knick, Shoreham is travelling well and Mourinho is also going well and has a 50% strike rate here.

Selections Race 7 – 2-5-11-6


The Schweppes Chrystal Mile (G2, 1600, WFA) is a collision of Sydney and Melbourne form.  Toydini was fantastic in the Epsom as was Speediness in the Toorak, they head my selections.  Gai is a great trainer of milers and Rain Drum comes into this with a 6 from 11 record, toughest test so far but will need to be run down.  Blackie finished in front of Speediness in the Toorak but is worse off at the weights.

Selections Race 8 – 10-3-8-6


The mares once again provide a challenging race in the Eliza Park International Stakes (G3, 1600m, Mares) and even more so with the scratching of Zonza.  Lake Sententia finished the Mares race at Flemington extremely well, provided they can run on she is my top selection. Lucky Lago brings good form from Sydney, Two Sugars will need to be caught, Cameo has good form over the journey and Catkins would be my top pick but worried about the weight.

Selections Race 9 – 2-10-8-7


Saturday Quaddie

Not quite the field sizes of last week but plenty of chances in each race.  Happy to skinny down the Cox Plate just to try and maximise the return.

Leg 1 – 2-5-6-9-11

Leg 2 – 10-3-8-6

Leg 3 – 1-2-7-8-10

Leg 4 – 8-11-14

This has 300 combinations so a $30 investment will return 10% of the dividend.


The Marathon Begins


It all kicks off with the Manikato Stakes meeting on Friday Night.  Only two group races beginning with the Fillies Classic (G2, 1600m, 3yo Fillies SW)Scratchy Bottom looked very good here a couple of weeks ago, she will have to be to hold out the very professional Gregers.  Fantome Gris back to 1600m should be better and PGMs Lady Tatia won comfortably at Cranbourne.  Have to be wary of interstate form and Gypsy Diamond looks the best of them.

Selections Race 3 – 1-6-4-2


The night closes with the Manikato Stakes (G1, 1200m, WFA).  Question marks hung over Samaready, but she has returned winning three on the trot including a dominant performance in the Moir.  Whoever beats her will have to run very well, but the field is super talented so I am wary of a very short price.  The Darley owned Sessions might represent better value, they often target these MV night sprints and his form has been terrific.  Lucky Nine carries plenty of weight but is a couple of stones lighter since his win in Singapore, perhaps he is “Notso” Lucky Nine.  But he has a great international record and needs respect.  Arinosa has been building an imposing record and finished top 2 in 11 of 13 starts.  But a tough race with a quality field in which they all have a chance.

Selections Race 8 – 8-10-1-12


As for a quaddie pretty tough but again skinny the last leg if you like the favourite.

Leg 1 – 7-8-10-14

Leg 2 – 2-3-4-9

Leg 3 – 2-5-7-10-15

Leg 4 – 8-10

169 Combinations, $30 Investment, 18.75% of dividend


One week to go for the Flemington Carnival and one day to go for the AFL draft!


Best of luck to all,

Cheers, Sal

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