Race reviews: Moonee Valley, September 9th
Race 1: Ladbrokes Odds Boost Hcp 1600m
You know what you will get with SPANISH REEF (2nd), a jump and run type that got no peace from a long way out. Looked under severe pressure but kept responding and held on to 2nd. Look for her in a similar race where the track is playing to the on-pacers, she was very well backed.
Notes: Take nothing away from SAMOVARE (1st) who absolutely brained them. She sat back at the rear, trailed 3/4 wide, look to travel well to the turn but wasn’t really picking up. Once she got balanced in the straight she ran away. She has some class. TRINITY HILL (3rd) was brave in defeat, she sat 3 wide without cover on the speed in the run and still had the audacity to be there late.
Race 2: Sweeney We Know West Hcp 1509m
ABERRO (4th) was well backed in this, the 3yo colt was second-up and having his first go at the Valley. He had a nice run in transit but never travelled when they quickened, was clearly outsprinted but once he balanced up in the straight he was finishing as good as any. Wait for him out to the mile on a bigger track.
Notes: SUNQUEST (3rd) showed a great turn of foot from last and very wide on the turn but just peaked late, unable to reel in the first two who were leader and behind leader. Will be winning soon.
Race 3: MiMatch Hcp 1509m
Notes: Not sure what to make of this race. EBEDIYIN (1st) was perfectly ridden off the pace which was strong enough, finished off well but got all the favours. COSMIC LIGHTS (2nd) had every chance, sat in the box set eased 3 wide at the turn and loomed but couldn’t match the winner. The flop was BRAHMOS (unplaced), after a perfect run, he was very flat and failed to run it out. Every possible chance. Happy to let this race go going forward.
Race 4: LF Sign Group Hcp 2040m
There is only one horse to follow out of this and that is FOUNDATION (unplaced) who was most unlucky. Any race that is being won by MAGNAPAL (1st) who looked gone before the turn is not going to stand-up, but the gelding was held-up from about the 600 all the way to the 100 where he got out and flashed home. Looks good for a lower grade Country Cup maybe?
Race 5: Mitty’s McEwen Stakes 1000m
RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (1st) was outstanding resuming. He sat outside the speedy HEATHERLY (2nd), travelled well approaching the straight and accelerated like the good horse he is to run away. The mare that ran second was again honest and had a few excuses, that is standard for her though. The resuming 3yo filly HOUTZEN (3rd) was the buzz runner of the meeting, she never travelled for Williams and actually looked like dropping out on the turn but stuck on well late. Be interesting to see how she pulls up after that hit-out.
Race 6: Mitchelton Wines Atlantic Jewel Stakes 1200m
Notes: The first four in running here ran the first four placings. Mark Zahra was the talking point aboard the undefeated SHOALS (1st). She jumped beautifully and instead of bustling her over to lead, he knew he could control the race from outside the leader. Did just that, kicked away off the bend and remained undefeated. The other on pace runners had their chance, forgive those out the back. Take a bow M Zahra.
Race 7: Strathmore Community Bendigo Bank Stakes 1200m
Notes: The return of Ex-Japanese Horse BRAVE SMASH (1st) was when everyone was talking about after his super run first-up in Oz. He was the shortest priced favourite of the day and was very workmanlike, sat 3 wide no cover hit the front in the straight and although he looked all out on the line was never in danger. All things considered it was a nice second-up run. KEEN ARRAY (unplaced) has his foot on the till, sat last and wide, circled them sharply on the turn and was very wide but just found the long sustained sprint too much. SANTA ANA LANE (4th) was the eye-catcher late after picking up in the straight, easing around them at the 100m and really flashing the last 50.
Race 8: Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes 1600m
Notes: A drama-filled Dato with favourite STAR EXHIBIT (unplaced) dislodging the rider at the start and the riderless horse causing chaos throughout. Many of the runners were impeded and the jocks were second guessing as the horse was doing its own thing. What we can take out of this, the NZ mare BONNEVAL (1st) is the real deal. She will be dominating this Spring.
Race 9: Powerflo Solutions Craig Opie Cup 1600m
Notes: Loved the win of STAMPEDE (1st) here and it appeared they all had there chance. He was first up at the mile after a couple of trials, forced to chase the solid tempo being set by the runaway leader and had to take the field up to the turn. He dashed to the front and kept going, strong through the line fresh and as usual from this yard they had him ready to fire first-up. Can’t find any excuses for the beaten brigade, the winner looks set for a nice Spring out to the 2000m?