A huge weekend of racing and sport kicks off on Friday night, with Chautauqua returning to the track in the Group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley. Our Melbourne racing analyst Trevor Lawson takes a good look at the field.
Moonee Valley Race 7: Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000 metres)
Group 1 Standard Weight for Age, three-year-olds and upward
The lay of the land
A little difficult to know exactly how the track plays at this stage with uncertainty over the rain. They seem to have cut down the forecast back, so I’ve assumed a fairly good surface.
The speed story
The speed is good here. Redzel and Ball of Muscle will push forward from the inside, whilst Buffering will cross and probably lead. Chloe in Paris and Wild Rain should be next, and I originally thought Extreme Choice would go forward, but I heard Mick Price say they’re going to take a sit – it’ll be three-wide with cover.
The other one with good speed is Heatherly, if it jumps well.
In the mix
Chautauqua (Hawkes / Dunn) is the obvious place to start. I haven’t got it ridiculously short, but clearly it’s the horse to beat. It’s been to the Valley twice and the track suits it – if they’re able to run on he’ll get around them and round them up.
Buffering (Heathcote / Browne) is a great horse, and has certainly been a great horse for me, but at this stage I’m happy to risk him. He’s nine-years-old now and I think probably not quite up to this. He’s unders for mine.
Extreme Choice (Price / Newitt) is first up, but the projected figures are very good. It’s only defeat was in the Slipper when it got knocked over at the start, but you’re just not sure at this stage if it was a big two-year-old who hasn’t grown, or if he’ll continue to really kick on.
Heatherly (Ellerton & Zahra / Lane) won first up over this course last month and then had no luck last start. It’ll strip fitter for this and offers a good bit of value I think. It does need to jump well
Put a line through…
There’s a good few runners here that don’t have much of a hope. I’ve got Lucky Hussler (Weir / Rawiller) back and on the fence, and I think the 1000 metres is too short for him. He’ll need a hell of a lot of luck.
Ball of Muscle (Pride / McEvoy) ran second in this race last year but the bookies probably have him about right this year. Redzel (Snowden / Zahra) and Wild Rain (Kavanagh / Baster) don’t have the class to beat this field.
Chloe in Paris (Maher / Oliver) is a six-year-old mare and first-up for eighteen months. I’d say all they’d be trying to do here is get a bit of luck and snatch a place.
Like most people, I don’t think anything can get past Chautauqua. Extreme Choice is probably the only one that can get close if at its best.
The only one I really have overs at the moment is Heatherly – as I said, if it jumps well it can run a really good race.
Trevor Lawson is a full-time professional punter with a highly successful record over the past fifteen years. Our Melbourne Ratings package gives you access to his assessed prices, speed map comments and betting strategies for all metro Melbourne meetings.