Sal’s Valley View


It is on to the races.  The season is in full swing and after a terrific couple of meetings at Caulfield the circus heads to Moonee Valley for the Friday Night and Saturday afternoon extravaganza.  But first a quick look back at Caulfield last week and a dominant performance by Admire Rakti to win the Caulfield Cup, wasn’t in my top four but it did get a mention.  Interesting the immediate squeals about the prospect of a penalty for the Melbourne Cup.  The win was dominant to which I would have thought the full 1kg would be a fair penalty, but subject to pressure the penalty was only half of that.  Many comparisons were made about weight carrying records of the past, but there was no mention of what the minimum weights were in those days.  Minimum weights are generally higher now, so an impost of 58+ kg for the toppy should not be seen as too severe if there is a 52kg minimum.


But how did I go!  Well I did swap for the cup winner when Bande was scratched which in fact provided the First Four – but alas not being a First Four punter I had to settle for a little piece of the trifecta.  In the other races a couple of winners were scattered amongst the top fours and one outright winner (or dead heater) in Miracles of Life.


But we look forward to Moonee Valley now and the self-proclaimed WFA Championship of Australasia, I suspect the Japan Cup might challenge that but nevertheless the Cox Plate provides great drama and theatre for the sport.  The entree on Friday Night features the Manikato Stakes (G1, 1200m, WFA) and most of the A-Grade sprinters are out to play.  Lankan Rupee (2) has been rated as the best sprinter in the world but has been knocked over in his two starts this campaign and his conquerors from both of those races appear here in Buffering (1) and Angelic Light (12)Buffering (1) is as tough as they come and hard to get past, but I will give Lankan Rupee (2) one more to say that he can do it.  There is quality right through the field so he will have to be “on”.  Terravista (7) is the spruik from Sydney and an 8 from 11 record speaks for itself, however first time at the valley and yet to win a Group 1.  Not saying he can’t win, but certainly happy to risk at the short quote.  Of the mares Platelet (10) and Bounding (11) appeal but are poorly drawn, Angelic Light (12) is drawn well and has a 50% strike rate here so looks a better prospect for this race.  But a high quality event with all runners having a case!


Selections Friday Night Race 7 – 2-1-7-12


On Saturday we have a raft of Group Racing to plough through.  Of interest in the first we have a 2yo first starter named after a lad who will be near the top of draft list in Petracca.


Drummond Golf Fillies Classic (G2, 1600m, 3yo Filles SW)


The group racing opens with the fillies where a number of them will be looking toward the Oaks.  But there are no last start winners in the field and couple of disappointments at that.  None more so than Lumosty (1) who was favourite for the Thousand Guineas, however if we ignore that run previous form was good and should be right in this.  Tahni Dancer (3) ran well in the Thousand Guineas and must rate a chance, Berimbau (4) can improve from last week and Little Hottie (6) is probably aiming for a couple of Thursdays away but could be ready.


Selections Race 3 – 1-3-4-6


Telstra Phonewords Stakes (G3, 1200m, 3yo SWP)


They are coming from everywhere in this race which makes them very difficult to line up.  One from the McEvoy stable is Risen from Doubt (3) who ran in the best of company in the Autumn came back with a slashing run in Adelaide carrying a big weight and is worth consideration.  Pressing (1) is undefeated over this distance and a first up winner, Shaf (8) and Galaxy Pegasus (10) for the Hayes clan both bring good country form and have senior hoops engaged.  A couple others of note are Law (2) and Greco (6).


Selections Race 4 – 3-1-10-8


Moonee Valley Gold Cup (G2, 2500m, SWP)


One for the stayers to further their claims for the Melbourne Cup and a pretty light field line up for the event this year.  Opinion (7) ran second to Junoob in the Metropolitan who ran well in the Caulfield Cup, that  form looks OK for this.  Of course though Bart and the Grandson’s Precedence (1) is back on his favourite track – if you like him don’t back him each way.  5 from 10 at the Valley but no placings.  Le Roi (5) and Prince of Penzance (6) are coming off good runs in the Cranbourne and Moe Cups.  Then we have obligatory unsighted international in Au Revoir (4), form doesn’t look that great but he could just be better than this lot and bid his monicker to the rest of the field and run away with it.  Not sure why but putting Precedence (1) in for second!


Selections Race 5 – 7-1-5-4


Schweppes Crystal Mile (G2, 1600m, WFA)


Speediness (1) was fantastic running second to Trust in a Gust (5) in the Toorak and meets him back at the scale so should have this in his favour.  The concern being that he has not one around this circuit.  At the scale he is the only one that meets Trust in a Gust (5) on better terms, so Trust in a Gust (5) must again rate a huge chance and he is a winner.  Favouring Speediness (1), but a pretty good quinella for mine.  Hooked (6) coming off a third in the Epsom is good form, but a hefty weight rise and Havana Rey (2) was a last start winner here but in inferior company.


Selections Race 6 – 1-5-6-2


The Vase (G2, 2040m, 3yo SW)


The Derby aspirants line up in the Vase as memories of Elvstroem and Kempinsky slugging it out come to the fore.  Another race with a variety of form lines and my selection comes from what is theoretically the best race in the Caulfield Guineas where Chivalry (2) put in a great performance and has won at this track.  Duccio (6) ran second to the current Derby elect last start and beat the 2nd placegetter in the Geelong classic the start before.  Godolphin’s Gouldian (8) beat the winner of the Geelong Classic last start so also comes into calculations and Bondeiger (5) won well last start.  The best of Go Indy Go (13) beats them but still waiting to see it again, also respect for Zululand (1) and Royal Standing (7).


Selections Race 7 –  2-6-8-5


W.S. Cox Plate (G1, 2040m, WFA)


Controversy during the week with the well-performed Mourinho left out in favour of an average performing 3yo in Wandjina (14) – but we thought the same of the maiden 3yo Shamus Award last year who won the event.  Not sure if that said more about Shamus or last year’s field.  The scale for three year olds has been in their favour of late with their advanced development compared to days of yore.  With the crowd favourite The Cleaner (6) in the field we can be pretty certain this will be a truly run race and with that in mind it puts Fawkner (2) right in this, not that he is the only big closer but if this is his target as the Caulfield Cup was last year Lloyd will have him cherry ripe.  Sacred Falls (1) and Criterion (8) should also be at their peak after chasing home Fawkner (2) in the Caulfield Stakes.  Then there is Adelaide (11) from the Aidan O’Brien yard, yet to miss a place and couple of G1 wins in the US – again could just be a whole lot better than our lot.  Of the local three year olds, I am favouring Almalad (12) with his experience at the track to be the best of them, despite Wandjina’s (14) terrific third in the Guineas.  Lots of questions, lots of Group 1 winners, looking forward to 5:40 on Saturday afternoon or for 2:40 in the west.


Selections Race 8 – 2-11-12-8-1


Eliza Park International Stakes


The mares close out the day in another tough affair.  Jessy Belle (7) has the stats to win this 2 from 2 over the journey and 3 from 5 at the Valley looks OK in this field.  Suavito (4) has the class to win this, Tango’s Daughter (2) will be fitter third up and Gypsy Diamond (1) has been competing in the deep end and has won here.


Selections Race 9 – 7-4-2-1




Another tripod last week, but at least the first three so the interest stayed all the way through.  This week I am narrowing down the first leg and to even save money or bump the dividend you could just 2-11 in the big one.  I will go a bit wider.


Leg 1 – 1-5

Leg 2 – 2-5-6-8

Leg 3 – 1-2-8-11-12

Leg 4 – 1-2-4-7


This is 160 combinations so a $30 investment will return 18.75% of the dividend.


Have a great weekend all and not far to Derby Day!


Cheers, Sal

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