Moonee Valley review compiled by Rick Williams Race 2. 1000M City Jeep Handicap HORSE Rider Fin SP FREERETURN KERRIN MCEVOY 1st $8 I GET AROUND CRAIG WILLIAMS 2nd $2.45F GALBRAITH PETER MERTENS 3rd $26
The hot favourite I Get Around got an OK run sitting outside the leader Galbraith, but then didn’t handle the corner at all. Freereturn was well back at the turn and had the last shot at them to win despite laying in. He’s a hard tough gelding with a good record at Moonee Valley (4 wins and a minor placing from 5 starts). Kulgrinda always looked likely to struggle with the big weight and then had a tough run three-wide as well.
Bigelow was well backed and hit the line hard in his debut for Shea Eaden who can improve a horse. Worth noting: Not overly excited about the form that will come out of this race other than I Get Around. Race 3. 2040M Drummond Golf Handicap HORSE Rider Fin SP MOURINHO HUGH BOWMAN 1st $8 MIDNIGHT MARTINI MICHAEL RODD 2nd $2.45F DESTINY’S KISS DWAYNE DUNN 3rd $4.40
There looked to be a few realistic chances in this but Midnight Martini was sent out a short-priced favourite after an excellent win in the Cranbourne Cup. Extra Zero missed the start and Mourinho took up the running. He was able to conserve a lot of energy in the run thanks to a very smart ride from Bowman. Midnight Martini got the perfect run, loomed up on the turn to hit the front but she was simply outstayed by Mourinho. Destiny’s Kiss also enjoyed a cosy run until the turn, but then took a while to get clear galloping room. Third the fence can be either the best or worst spot in a race. Destiny’s Kiss didn’t make up much ground when he did get clear though so you can’t take anything away from the winner.
Worth noting: Great to see the emotion of the Gelagotis family for the second straight Saturday. Race 4. 1200M Telstra PhoneWords Stakes HORSE Rider Fin SP HIDDEN WARRIOR NASH RAWILLER 1st $8 HAUSSMANN KERRIN MCEVOY 2nd $17 CHOSEN MOMENT CRAIG WILLIAMS 3rd $6
Nash Rawiller emulated his Sydney counterpart Hugh Bowman from the previous race by finding the front onHidden Warrior and controlling the race. Despite racing greenly and rolling out right the way down the straight he was good enough to hold on. The Snowden runner Haussman was a big price first up and finished strongly for 2nd. Chosen Moment missed the kick but got home well for 3rd. Essay Raider had run good time in South Australia but didn’t begin all that well here, raced wide, hung out and looked gone at the turn but actually finished off OK.
Worth noting: Don’t write off Essay Raider just yet. Race 5. 2040M Mitchelton Wines Vase HORSE Rider Fin SP SUPER COOL MICHAEL RODD 1st $9 IT’S A DUNDEEL(NZ) JAMES MCDONALD 2nd $1.30F VIKING STAR CLARE LINDOP 3rd $14
It’s A Dundeel dominated the betting but not the race. McDonald made poor decisions here and that’s become an unfortunate habit for him in recent times. The much hyped hoop may have been a star in NZ but he’s yet to show anything like that form here in Australia. Super Cool got a nice run and showed a good turn of foot to outstay them and vindicate the big wraps Kavanagh has had on him for a while. The 200/1 shot Bullion Express held on for 4th mainly because the tempo was so slow.
Worth noting: It’s A Dundeel is added to the list of Pierro, Proisir and Fat Al who have all been beaten at $1.30 or less in recent weeks.
Race 6. 2500M Drake International Cup HORSE Rider Fin SP VATUVEI LUKE NOLEN 1st $13 REUBEN PERCIVAL(NZ) NASH RAWILLER 2nd $9.50 IRONSTEIN BRENTON AVDULLA 3rd $5
Looked a fairly open race amongst the local chances and then we had the Cumani horse Ibicenco making his Australian debut. Vatuvei enjoyed the strong pace and a very good ride from Nolen. Precedence is racing well but McDonald went far too early and wide here, showing he’d yet to come to grips with what’s required to win at Moonee Valley. Ironstein didn’t really get a good crack at them and wanted to lay in. Midas Touch pushed forward but had a torrid run. Shenzou Steeds has been fairly disappointing so far this campaign.
Worth noting: No Melbourne Cup winners here. Race 7. 1600M Schweppes Crystal Mile HORSE Rider Fin SP SILENT ACHIEVER(NZ) JAMES MCDONALD 1st $6 RANGIRANGDOO(NZ) HUGH BOWMAN 2nd $3.10F SOLZHENITSYN(NZ) COREY BROWN 3rd $5.50
A small field for the Crystal Mile but there looked to be four genuine winning chances. The outsider Illo set the pace with Rangirangdoo up on the speed. Silent Achiever was giving away race fitness to the rest of the field, is better over longer, was racing at the Valley for the first time and got back to last so the win had plenty of merit. She now goes to the Matriarch which is shaping up to be a fantastic race. Rangirangdoo was left in front a long way out and lost no admirers here. Solzhenitsyn got shuffled back a bit before the turn and stepping up from a handicap to WFA he performed well.
Worth noting: Credit where it’s due – James McDonald bounced back here. Race 8. 2040M Sportingbet Cox Plate (return to top) HORSE Rider Fin SP OCEAN PARK(NZ) GLEN BOSS 1st $6 ALL TOO HARD CHRIS MUNCE 2nd $9 PIERRO COREY BROWN 3rd $5.50
A strong early pace and they were 5 and 6 deep at the first turn so the much publicised barrier choice for More Joyous backfired instantly. Few predicted Ethiopia to push up early. Ocean Park had three Group 1 wins from three starts this campaign and made it 4/4 here in an epic race. Yet another big race win for Glen Boss who timed his run to perfection. Awesome performance from All Too Hard and he is a serious racehorse. Pierro ran well. Ethiopia held on for 4th after his uncharacteristic on-pace effort. Shoot Out was honest as always. Green Moon was a bit dour. They are wasting Sincero at middle distances.
Worth noting: Silent Achiever, then Ocean Park meant the Kiwis were having a day out. Race 9. 1600M Trojan Hand Tools Stakes HORSE Rider Fin SP STAR OF GISELLE KERRIN MCEVOY 1st $5 TAVARNELLE DWAYNE DUNN 2nd $21 SPIRIT SONG BRAD RAWILLER 3rd $3.30F
Star Of Giselle set an OK tempo and was able to lead all the way for her third straight win. We listed Tavernelleas excellent value at the $51 available on Friday and she ran very well for 2nd with a big break to 3rd. Under-rated horse. Spirit Song had to give the winner 4.5kgs and wasn’t too bad.