racing…baton change

It’s the “Interstate Interchange”. Moonee Valley farewells Friday Nights with this week’s cracker William Reid Stakes meeting and then Rosehill picks up the baton on Saturday as Sydney’s Carnival formally begins with a challenging Coolmore Classic card.
As is so often the case, weather will impact strongly on crowds and formlines. Valley Nights work with good weather and good horses – though last week was a real disappointment – and the fickle forecast is not too kindly as I cast ahead to the end of Melbourne’s working week. Randwick’s races last weekend were impacted by a deteriorating surface (not anticipated in my preview) and it is to be hoped a more consistent rating can be attained so the jigsaw can start to be pieced for the exciting weeks of clockwise gallops ahead.
Diarise to have a look at the Sydney fields and, if possible, the replays. It’s a star-studded card. I reckon the “A-graders” are stepping out in the 2yr old races, the 1200m Todman Stakes for the boys and the Riesling for the girls. Gai and Nash are bullish for their colt, Pierro, whilst the Blue Diamond champ, Samaready faces Snitzerland in a cracking fillies confrontation. Slipper markets will be subject to acute scrutiny, though it is timely to remember that Sepoy got beaten at this meeting last year.
Sydney’s favourite horse, More Joyous, returns in the Canterbury Stakes (SR5, G2,1300m). Her right-handed record is extraordinary and Gai looks after her very well. This is a really good field – Love Conquers All, Sincero etc – but she is top shelf.
The WFA contenders step out in the Ranvet Stakes (SR6, G1,2000m). Shoot Out and Manighar will likely press for favouritism, but there are others to throw in the Quaddy, including Southern Speed and, my “watch”, Scarlett Lady. 14 from 4.
The Coolmore Classic (SR7, G1,1500m) is the nominal feature. Again, it is a really open field. Streama will start clear popular elect but I’ll be backing King’s Rose each way. Include toppy Secret Admirer in multis as the Steward’s Report implies “he might not have been seen to advantage” last start! Of the bolters, don’t ignore Bliss Street, a highly talented filly capable of the blow-out.
The last two races are not so enticing. Nash will cuddle Manawanui’s controversial conqueror Wild And Proud (3) whilst Vic raider That’s The One (2) will be charging home. Don’t like the race (SR8).
The last is a conundrum. I’m happy to give Karuta Queen one last chance as she is definitely the class mare…but this is her litmus test. They’ll fly in this so, if you have the time, look for a sit/sprinter at value to save your day.
My racecourse working duties begin around peak hour on Friday. I’m disappointed that the Valley Nights season wraps up this week. It’s a good gig for me; just down the road and only 30 minutes between races. From the MVRC’s perspective, the season has been passable, but not outstanding. Bad weather impacts strongly. Drawcards like Black Caviar will not be around to bolster numbers every year. Apparently the dining facilities have profited. The betting ring has at times been depressing. It is time for racing to decide what their target is. A scattergun approach will ultimately fail. Do they want crowds there to enjoy a night out? Are they after the party dollar, punting dollars or family acceptance? Is it just a stage for off-course turnover? An honest pathway is required.
There is some great racing in store for the season’s finale.
Each meeting we’ve had a 955m dash and this is the last chance for a time to be posted which can claim a new Mazda. They fly in these and often swoop over the top. Topweight is the roughy.
The Quaddy kicks off with a G2 fillies mile (MR5, 8:45pm) in which I expect Empress Rock (1) to be strongly supported and win. 8 and 6 have claims.
Hay List will start blood-red in the William Reid Stakes (MR6, G1, 1200m). Rumours of a hoof problem are worrying, but he is a handicapping certainty. Good field. He is better.
The mares’ race (Sunline Stakes, MR7, 1600m, G2) is a beauty, lead out by perennial Valley charmer Lady Lynette. She’s the measuring stick here again. A BIG watch on Moody’s No11. Excellent race.
Forget the last. If you are in the Quaddy, whack in 4,5,6. Otherwise keep your powder dry.
It’s a good weekend of racing and I am hoping to do some form tomorrow, looking to build a bank for the Sydney riches that need to be plundered over the next month.
For those committed to a Melbourne multi – and without any real study – early ideas for Caulfield on Saturday are 5,6,8,10/11,1,4/raffle/8,9.

I’ll be on the bag at the Valley and The Heath for any Knackers heading on course….and, of course, looking for a coat tugger to set me right for a profitable weekend!
Good Luck.


  1. Comments on night racing well made.Racing clubs need “a point of difference” to get crowds in and too often officials dont recognise this or act on it.
    What do you think of Durics return? He seems to be picking up some reasonable mounts.

  2. Melbourne racing is lucky to have Callow and Duric back in town after very successful overseas stints.
    I understand tonight is Lady Lynette’s last race so I am hoping she goes out a winner. She looks well weighted in this and back on her favourite track will be a strong each way bet.

  3. Sorry Budge forgot about Callow. His father was a terrific jockey in SA and Noel is no slouch either

  4. Ripsnorter says

    Centennial Park may be one to throw in the multiples for Sydney, loves the track and never got a chance to warm up in the Blamey.
    In Perth watch for Megems Boy ( 13-1 ) race 5 gets in well after the claim and loves the 1000m.
    Happy Punting.

  5. Just defrosting from tonight’s Valley meeting.
    From the moment i arrived on course there was a knock on Hay List. When he was $1.60 there was a whiff of “off” – on handicaps etc he was 5/2 on. There’s a time when “overs” equals problems. Even the steward’s reported he was “about 90 per cent right” on Thursday! Some say it was closer to 80%. The winner was crunched via Betfair and the fav just couldn’t “kick” off the bend. You only have to be a couple of percent off.
    Lady Lynette lost a controversial protest in her swansong. Look at Terry Bailey’s judgement. Does he infer that the amount of ground lost at any stage of the run = the amount of margin to be deducted? Interesting call, though the decision itself could be justified tonight.
    For those evaluating the results from tonight, on pacers had a massive advantage again.

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