Moonee Valley review by Ray Hickson
Race 1: Quest Moonee Valley Plate (1200m)
1st Strykum – Ben Melham
2nd Just One Moment – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Sebring Sally – Damien Oliver
Catch A Fire eased from the outside gate to settle last. Strykum held them out and Young Amazon made Just One Moment do a bit of work before she let her go. Effortless Miss held the box seat. Sistine Spirit was in the clear around Sebring Sally. Strykum had them bunched right up in the middle stages and travelled easily, putting Just One Moment under a bit of pressure. Runs came from the back from Grey Street and Catch A Fire was weaving through from the back. Strykum kicked around the turn and got away from Just One Moment and Sebring Sally got into the clear to run on. Catch A Fire was still working her way through and Grey Street’s run was coming to an end. Strykum was never in danger the way the race was run and she cruised in. Just One Moment just held second with Sebring Sally and Catch A Fire hitting the line together very close up.
Follow: Catch A Fire was up against it the way the race was run but caught the eye.
Race 2: Simpson Construction Handicap (1600m)
1st Strong Hand – Craig Williams
2nd Leveraction – Jess Payne
3rd Rainbow Storm – John Allen
Leveraction wanted the lead and found it over Magnatune and Strong Hand was up there too. Ustinov’s Fury was crowded a bit on the fence inside Rainbow Storm also over racing. Scherzoso made it up to three back on the rails after a fair start with Gerontius and So Does He caught three wide. Leveraction ran along midrace and opened about three lengths on Strong Hand getting past Magnatune. So Does He couldn’t get in and kept moving forward with Rainbow Storm just ahead of him, Schersozo was shuffled back to near last at the 600m. Strong Hand was being urged along to chase Leveraction nearing the turn and was seemingly not making an impact. So Does He made it to third but hard pressed around Rainbow Storm and Magnatune, also pressured. Schersozo was second last on the fence. Strong Hand levelled up with Leveraction at the 200m and they raced right away from Rainbow Storm holding down third. Strong Hand just did enough to worry Leveraction out of it to make it four straight. Rainbow Storm ran an improved race second-up while Gerontius and Magnatune were next. Schersozo got out way too late and his run should be forgiven.
Follow: stick with Schersozo.
Race 3: SAJ Fruit Supply Handicap (2040m)
1st Shenzhou Steeds – Ben Melham
2nd Temps Voleur – Jye McNeil
3rd Prizum – Craig Williams
Count Of Limonade fired up from wide out and pushed for the lead, Temps Voleur and Vizhaka help him honest and Shenzhou Steeds landed in fourth. Honourable Aussie and Prizum were the next pair and Try Four stuck three wide. Albonetti was sent straight back to last. Count Of Limonade opened right up and led by some eight lengths down the back. Temps Voleur and Vizhaka were left to cart the field up and Shenzhou Steeds waited on the fence. Try Four was gone at the 600m and Albonetti tried to get around him and make some ground but was hard at it. Count Of Limonade was a spent force near the turn but still led by a couple, Temps Voleur was closing but ran in a little and Shenzhou Steeds was slightly hampered. Vizhaka was gone and Prizum pushed him out of the way to get clear. Albonetti was widest. Temps Voleur hit the lead past the 200m but he was also looking for the post as Shenzhou Steeds, Prizum and Albonetti ran on. In a tight finish Temps Voleur just held on over Shenzhou Steeds, but the stewards reversed the placings following a protest. A bit controversial, there wasn’t much in it and the tiring leader was a contributor. Prizum did his thing running a place and Albonetti a shade disappointing given the strong pace but still a good effort.
Follow: one more try Albonetti.
Race 4: Dr Sheahan Plate (1200m)
1st Tawteen – Stephen Baster
2nd Pilly’s Wish – Damien Oliver
3rd Catch That Cat – Damian Lane
Tawteen broke okay and was taken on for the lead by Written Dash out wide but she held her out. Cobblestones was between them and Catch That Cat took a trail. Forgeress was caught wide and hard ridden a long way from home in the second half around Pilly’s Wish and Flash Of Doubt while Precious Gem trailed them. Tawteen was able to get control as Written Dash sat up to her outside. Catch That Cat was going well behind the leader while Forgeress was going backwards before the turn. Tawteen broke away on turning and opened up a few lengths on Catch That Cat under pressure, Precious Gem tried to sweep home out wide and Pilly’s Wish was getting through on the rails. Tawteen ran to the line untroubled and was too good for them. Pilly’s Wish arrived in time to cut Catch That Cat out of second and Precious Gem was excellent first-up right alongside. Forgeress got going again in the straight in a strange run and was only beaten a few lengths. They basically handed it to the winner who was the best horse in the race.
Follow: Precious Gem a promising fresh effort.
Race 5: Benchmark 90 Handicap (1200m)
1st Churchill Dancer – Michael Walker
2nd Sardaaj – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Solsay – Jake Bayliss
A heap of early pressure with Living On A Prayer wide out and Just For Starters trying to cross Solsay, Valiant Warrior and Churchill Dancer. A couple to Mighty Like three wide around Sardaaj and Stingray improving after a slow start. Just For Starters eventually made it to the fence over Valiant Warrior, while Living On A Prayer was left stranded. Churchill Dancer had the gun run and managed to slip up on the inside of Just For Starters near the turn to take over. Solsay followed him while Sardaaj became held up between Solsay and Living On A Prayer and behind a weakening Valiant Warrior. Mighty Like didn’t help her cause slipping up wider out. Churchill Dancer bounded clear around the turn and was home and hosed 200m out. Solsay and Just For Starters were staying on while Valiant Warrior and Mighty Like battled, Sardaaj didn’t get clear until 100m out and she flashed home into second place from Solsay and Just For Starters, the latter doing not a bad job considering and Stingray close up. Forgive Mighty Like and wait for him at 1400m. Churchill Dancer very impressive on the back of a nice first-up run and he goes even better at Flemington. Sardaaj should have finished a lot closer first-up.
Follow: Sardaaj looks very handy.
Race 6: McKenzie Stakes (1200m)
1st Well Sprung – Michael Walker
2nd Danuki – Mark Zahra
3rd Odyssey Moon – Damien Oliver
Boston Light was last out then improved to about midfield on the fence. Well Sprung and Danuki crossed to lead pretty easily from Vicious around Gold Busker, who got his head up and over raced behind the speed. Odyssey Moon found himself three wide without cover and no hope of getting in. El Greco was in that bunch around Boston Light. Well Sprung had them stacked up with Danuki still on his outside while Odyssey Moon strode up to third. All the chasers were put under pressure when Well Sprung upped the tempo nearing the turn. Danuki was sticking with him while Odyssey Moon also stayed on after his wide run. Gold Busker and Vicious couldn’t pick up and El Greco peeled out to try to run on. Behind them Boston Light had nowhere to go. Well Sprung held them all at bay and was strong on the line beating Danuki. Odyssey Moon just beat El Greco for third in a good effort and Boston Light had no luck another length or so away. Don’t write off Manhattan Blues on his first-up effort, he worked home nicely when the race was all over.
Follow: could be a good form race, Odyssey Moon, Boston Light and Manhattan Blues.
Race 7: Carlyon Stakes (1000m)
1st Le Bonsir – Damien Oliver
2nd Just Magical – Michael Walker
3rd Il Cavallo – Dwayne Dunn
Our Nkwazi bombed the start. Up front there was a line of three with Sweet Emily kicking up inside Il Cavallo and She’s Ellie three out. Tansy had the box seat with Just Magical and Gregers three deep with over. Eclair Choice wasn’t the best out but made it to midfield on the fence, Le Bonsir outside him. Sweet Emily broke away 400m out but was being pushed along, Il Cavallo still travelled okay while She’s Ellie dropped off. Just Magical worked into the clear on the turn while Tansy waited and Gregers pulled out to try and make ground. Eclair Choice was held up and Le Bonsir got a dream run through behind Just Magical who hit the lead inside the 200m. Le Bonsir sprinted quickly to join Just Magical in the closing stages and finished the race off a little too well. Il Cavallo scrambled into third from the fast finishing Klishina and the luckless Eclair Choice. Gregers seemed to have her chance behind them. Fast Cash was never in the call but did pick up a bit of late ground, probably burnt off at the 1000m fresh.
Follow: Eclair Choice can be forgiven.
Race 8: Sweeney Estate Agents (1500m)
1st The United States – Damian Lane
2nd Abbasso – Damien Oliver
3rd Letmedowngently – Christine Puls
Supreme Warrior had a flying start and had the early lead until Letmedowngently headed him at the first turn. Volontiers and Upbeat let them go. Kenjorwood couldn’t get up on the speed and wast stuck three deep around Abbasso and Almoonqith about midfield. Letmedowngently took control and Kenjorwood whipped up to sit second, giving cover to Supreme Warrior around Upbeat. Somehow Volontiers ended up three wide in that shuffling and Abbasso remained held up in the middle. Kenjorwood tried to serve it up to Letmedowngently coming to the turn but the leader had a kick. Almoonqith ran up behind the leader, Abbasso worked into the clear off Kenjorwood’s heels, Supreme Warrior was just starting to paddle and down the outside came The United States. Abbasso was being hailed the winner at the 50m as he joined Letmedowngently, Kenjorwood tried to rally but The United States swamped them in the last few strides for a stunning first-up win. Just behind them Almoonqith wasn’t a bad effort either. Every chance Abbasso and Letmedowngently was game again.
Follow: The United States showed promise last year before going amiss and looks to have come back better.
Race 9: ADAPT Australia Handicap (2500m)
1st Sir Mako – Craig Newitt
2nd Kareeming – Patrick Moloney
3rd Reigning – Damien Oliver
Miss Mossman worked to the front over Westsouthwest with Reigning not far off without cover. Sir Laszlo and Kareeming were the next pair, the latter getting into a nice spot off his wide gate. Back To Abeline and You Think So followed and At First Sight was around midfield. Reigning was taken to the front about half way home over Miss Mossman with Westsouthwest getting a nice run, as was Kareeming a couple away. Not a lot of change down to the 600m though they did start to bunch a little. Reigning had the better of Miss Mossman at that point, Kareeming peeled out three wide to chase and Westsouthwest waited. Sir Laszlo and You Think So were hard at it, At First Sight tried to run on wider out and next was Sir Mako stealing runs on the rail. Kareeming got to Reigning about 100m out with Westsouthwest one paced on the rail. Sir Make got around their heels to run on clear of Sir Laszlo and At First Sight. Sir Mako finished best, in a sharp improvement on his last run in a similar race, to blouse Kareeming and Reigning with Westsouthwest close up on the fence. At First Sight didn’t back up.
Follow: hard to follow the staying form in this class.
Specials from the meeting: Catch A Fire, Sardaaj, Odyssey Moon, The United States.
Randwick Review by Todd Burmester