Racing: Preview for Moonee Valley, Rosehill and Launceston on 12 and 13 September

Chris Riordan writes:

Makybe, Let’s move on from this afternoon’s distractions and enjoy the racing while it is still with us. Here are some preliminary observations for your consideration please.

Perhaps, because of my bookie background, I look too hard for value. Whatever the reason, I struggle at the Valley and have little confidence punting there. This is not a view greatly shared by favourite punters who’ve had a solid run there of late.

My first inklings are to avoid the first two races and the stayer’s plod (R4).
In the third Bubble Below looks hard to beat, and in the fifth, Arch Symbol looks “overs” pre-post.

Now for the Quaddie legs.

They’ll absolutely fly in the McEwen but I expect Secret Flyer to swamp them late. Crack field of course specialists.

In the Dato Tan Chin Nam, I believe Whobegotyou is the one to beat, but I’ve vowed to stay away until he salutes again. At this course and distance, this should be the time although the bombproof Mic Mac is hard to make a case against.

I’ll probably fall in to Sea Battle unless it shortens up. This may be the horse that I fruitlessly follow all Spring, but my hat is in the ring. Second up, MV and the mile are all perfect and if, like me, you think this could be a Group 1  horse, you’d better have him in your multis.

Another to which I may end up being attached is the perenially unlucky and appropriately named With Apologies. Hope she sits up on the pace and can get a clear run in the Stocks Stakes.

Assuming I’ll by now be looking for a value escape, my early best bet is in the last: Silent Sophia.

So, no matter how much I change my mind, be sure I take 5, 5, 9, 11 in my quadrella!

Mark Freeman writes:

Plenty more pieces of the puzzle will plop into place at the Valley on Saturday punters. It’s Feehan Stakes day ‘in the old’ – or Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes in the new. Whatever, it’s a great Cox Plate lead-up because anyone who is serious about the Plate fronts up for the Feehan in the lead-up.

And it features ’07 plate winner El Segundo, already short-priced heir apparent Whobegotyou, new-kid on the block Mic Mac and left-fielder, last start Singapore Derby winner, Jolie’s Shinju.

It’s time for Whobe to stand up and salute the judge. He’s at the crossroads, not having won since the AAMI Vase over the 2040m on last year’s Cox Plate card. His recent final sectionals show he’s ready to win though, and he’s a short quote to do so Saturday. Big El should have some say in it, although they say that the Ayr has gone out of the StrathAyr track and it’s no longer the cushioned surface it once was. With warm weather predicted, if it ends up a hard track, he won’t like it.

Jolie’s Shinju should lead from accounts, but has the visitor’s marble (the outside gate) and who knows what happens when the pressure goes on. Little Mic Mac continues his winning ways, is now 8 from 9, but the mile may prove to be as far as he likes it. He may be able to possie up behind the Singaporean and be in the right spot on the turn. If everybody continues to load up on Whobe, the Mac may prove to be the value in the race for Daff’s cash.

Melb R7 No. 11 Mic Mac $50 win

Stacks of interest in the rest of the card. In-form Eagle Falls lines up against one our favourites, Arch Symbol, resuming after both Craig and I enjoyed his narrow but tough Wangoom win. He’s 5 from 5 over 1200m and 2 from 2 first up, so some cash goes there:

Melb R5 Quin No. 5&6 (Arch Symbol and Eagle Falls) $20

The McEwen features some flyers and a couple of Secrets – Lucky and Flyer. Secret Flyer is one of our favourites but he gets back and he may cop some big trouble from the inside marble. Nicconi’s won his only two starts over the five furlongs, including here at the Valley. Shell it out, Daff:

Melb R6 No. 3 Nicconi $20 win.

The last $10 spot can go on a running double Nicconi into Mic Mac:

Melb R6 running double 3 into 11 for $10.

In Sydney, my favourite mare Hot Danish goes around with 61kg first up, but she’s such a champ she’s likely to make light of that just as she did in the autumn.

But that’s nothing compared with what Tasmania’s best galloper Conquering has to cart around in Launceston on Sunday. In fact, if big Jon Brown is looking for a laugh on Sunday with his season over, he could fly down and hop in the saddle. Conquering has to lump 68kgs in the Open Handicap.

Good luck, punters.


  1. Crio,

    Firstly, congrats on picking the D Dunn piloted winner last week. Magnificent work.

    I’m with you on Bubble Below and Arch Symbol. The former is talented and performed well first up but the query might be the Valley (perhaps a longer straight needed). The latter I backed in the Wangoom earlier this year, has an excellent first up record and loves the trip.

    As to the McEwen, whilst I respect Secret Flyer, I can’t tip against Lucky Secret, who should box seat and, hopefully, hold the Flyer off. The fact that he’s won 7 or 8 at the Valley is something I can’t go past.

    As to the Feehan (tradition again), I’m hoping that my Cox Plate doubles leg, big El, salutes for L Nolen and C Little. As you know, he loves the Valley and, as I understand it, gave a rousing gallop there during the week. Interestingly, recent history has suggested that, if you don’t draw a barrier inside 6, you won’t win. (So, for Betfair purposes, I’m considering a lay on Mic Mac).

    Good punting.


    PS As for the “whips” debacle, my preliminary view is that jockeys should be able to use the whip as much as they like within the last 100 (or perhaps even 150/200m) or they should be removed altogether. Any other arrangement is destined for farce (and litigation).

  2. If the jocks can’t use them, punters might!
    That reminds me of a Dr Turf story I once heard where he saw a punter admonishing a “Trackside” (cartoon races in TABs) jockey for his poor ride that lacked vigor!

  3. Makybe or other Divas,
    I notice that Sea Battle is scratched tomorrow. He’s my plonk for Caulfield ( with an aside in the Cox Plate)! Any info please?

  4. Mark Freeman says

    Crio no news on Sea Battle, but the shades going on Whobe is big news – Kavanagh clearly laying it on the line with him tomorrow.

    The ARB are clearly a bunch of muppets, it’s bloody outrageous that they’re insisting on that ridiculous last 200 crap, I’d be very happy to see the little guys stick it to em and strike until theír amendment is accepted.

    Bossy, Damo, there is power in a union.

    Craig the Wilde stable are being coy about the chances of Arch tomorrow – must be getting set to load up.
    They also say they are very happy with Sid and will run in the Naturalism next week.

  5. I’m sworn off the marathons at MV, but good mail on Courtney.

  6. Mark Freeman says

    Thanks Crio, keep em coming. Still can’t find anything on Sea Battle, will report in if I hear.

  7. After the first 2 races, looks like you don’t want to be on the leaders today. The strong wind is taking its toll. Look for those getting back with cover to come over the top all day.
    El Segundo and Nicconi look to fit this pattern and are my best for the day.

  8. Punters,

    I see that the “real” Whobegotyou turned up at the Valley today. Looked a terrific win. As for Big El, it looked to me as though he hit another flat spot mid race and, by the time he got wound up (I haven’t seen the sectionals but I reckon he must have run close to the fastest final 200), there was too much ground to make up. Whilst Kav’s fella looked great, I’m sticking with El Segundo as we head towards the Cox.

    The only decent Betfair collect today came from backing Zarita (a fave of some of our columnists) in the mares race but I gave most of it back when I was stupid enough not to listen to some Kav dousing on Shocking in the last. I backed it at $3 (it was offering TAB $1.90 five mins pre race) and I’m still looking for my strides.

    Nicconi looked terrific in saluting in Lucky Secret-less McEwen: he must now be a massive chance in the upcoming Manikato. Eagle Falls was also very impressive in the 1200 handicap. Hayes looks like he’s putting together a very effective short-distance team (at least) for the spring.

    A genuine Caulfield Guineas contender might have emerged from Sydney today in G Ryan’s Rothesay. Looked very impressive.

    Mark, thanks for the word on the Wilde camp and the Sid. Good to see that they believe he’s still on track. Looking forward to watching him in the Naturalism.

    Finally, mail of the day has to go to Greg Miles on 927 this morning who managed, after form study of race 4, to find Pergola (who was apparently paying $35 earlier this week) to beat the better than odds-on Pass Me By. Even D Lester would have been impressed by that.

    Until next week, punters.


  9. Good track and the good horses stood up.

    Eagle Falls very impressive and will win better races than that.

    Nicconi was dominant and shapes as the sprint star of the spring.

    Whobegotyou did what he needed to do to maintain Cox Plate favouritism and Mic Mac lost no admirers, though I suspect he won’t be going on to the Plate but reserved for shorter events. Even the Singapore horse was OK.

    But watch the replay of El Segundo’s last 200m. He’s right on target for another Cox Plate on that run. Got left flat-footed when the pace quickened up by the school but once he wound up hit the line better than anything.

    Great win by Zarita after running into difficulties. Also love Cats Whiskers who makes her own luck and defies others to run her down. Still can’t believe Zarita got her!

    The punters at the Valley were all on Hot Danish and cheered her home. She certainly is a winner though Mamzelle Pedrille was very stiff. Racing to Win got the blows in the market but was another quality winner.

    Bring on the rest of the carnival!

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