Moonee Valley Review by Michael Mitchell

 Race 1: Sportingbet 2YO Handicap – 1000m

 1st Miss Steele – Luke Nolan
2nd Magnaro – Ben Melham
3rd Romancingthestone – Chris Symons

 It was small field to start the day and they got away really well with Denpasar going to the early lead from Romancingthestone and Miss Steele, showing some early pace.

 The three leaders held up throughout, with Magnaro just off the speed and was the first to be asked to go at the 500m.

 As they turned for home Denpasar was the first beaten and dropped right out, while Magnaro came 3 wide and looked a winning chance. Miss Steele was boxed in and when Denpasar dropped out, it got some daylight and started to build momentum.

 Romancingthestone was going well, but as soon as Miss Steele got the split and momentum, it was all over. Miss Steele went on to win by a length to Magnaro. Romancingthestone was third.

Romancingthestone pulled up with a quartered heal and also lost a plate.

Follow: Miss Steele and Magnaro

Race 2: Aquanas Foods 3YO Handicap – 1000m

 1st Impulse Buy – Jason Maskiel
2nd Day Procedure – Chad Schofield
3rd Elite Elle – Craig Newitt

Practicality missed the start by 2-3 lengths as Day Procedure pinged out of the gates. Agulhas showed some early speed, while Elite Elle was doing a lot of work early to find its customary front running position. It’s Poets Day ended up in the box seat, with Impulse Buy, Prelusive Strike and Hard Romp the next group back, but within striking distance.

After showing early speed, Agulhas dropped back in an effort to get some cover in the middle stages, but couldn’t get a sit and ended up 3 wide for the trip.

As they started to turn for home, Elite Elle was in the lead and looking quite comfortable as Chad Schofield started to ask Day Procedure for an effort. Hard Romp started to peal out 4 wide, as Impulse Buy was biding its time behind the leaders.

 The field split open in the straight and it looked like the 60kgs was taking its toll on Elite Elle. Day Procedure then came to even terms with Elite Elle. Maskiel then found a split for Impulse Buy between the leaders and started powering home. Day Procedure finished off well, but Impulse Buy (the $1,000 filly) was going too well. Elite Elle was gallant for third and Hard Romp was too far back to have a real crack at them and didn’t come home well enough.

 Follow: None

Race 3: Simpson Construction 3YO Handicap – 1200m

 1st She Can Skate – Reece Wheeler
2nd Octavia – Tom Sadler
3rd Nadeem Lass – Nick Hall

 There was some strong early speed by Octavia, Kolonga and She Can Skate, while City Hall’s bad habit of starting slowly continued. May Rain and Vicario were just behind the speed, with Nadeem Lass and La Tikka Rosa nearer to the rear.

 As they settled, She Can Skate took up the lead and slowed the pace right down. The field was very bunched with about 4 lengths covering them, as Kolonga and Nella Fantasia had to sit 3 wide throughout.

 When they hit they hit the straight Nella Fantasia made a line of four with Octavia narrowly putting its head in front of She Can Skate and Kolonga. The concluding stages were very hard fought, with She Can Skate and Octavia (who was tending to lay in) having a fight for the line. Nadeem Lass was flying home and Vicario was pushing up on the inside. She Can Skate finally won out over Octavia by the narrowest of margins, with Vicario (who lost a plate) running an impressive third, from Nadeem Lass fourth. Nella Fantasia certainly wasn’t disgraced, half a length back.

 Reece Wheeler is riding favourites like favourites. He is in top form…

 Follow: Octavia.

Race 4: Travis Harrison F&M Cup – 1600m

 1st Dayita – Jake Duffy
2nd Imoto – Patrick Moloney
3rd Rock Princess – Ben Knobel

Imoto missed the start considerably and was then heavily ridden to make up the ground. Pipette jumped well to take up the lead with Spin The Bottle and Dayita. Imoto powered around the feild early to take up the front running position, while Exceptionally and Danish Whisky were ridden quietly at the rear of the field.

Imoto was humming along in the middle stages taking a 3 length lead at the 800m. It was going to be a survival of the fittest with Imoto trying to run them raggered.

Spin The Bottle was the first beaten as they turned for home, as Dayita was drawing closer to Imoto. Rock Princess was starting its run 4 wide, while Rememba Howe was saving ground on the fence. Dayita got the better of Imoto at the 150m and was strong to the line, but Imoto certainly didn’t give up for second. Rock Princess ran well to make up ground wide for third.

Follow: Imoto. It missed the start and did a lot of work early and still ran home well.

Race 5: Dominant Handicap – 2040m

1st De Fine Lago – Jack Hill
2nd Oregon Spirit – Luke Nolen
3rd Upbeat – Nick Hall

It was an even dispatch with all runners breaking in a nice line. It was evident in the early stages that the plan was not to let the overwhelming favourite, Mr O’Ceirin, get to its customary front running position with ease. Upbeat, Constant Force and Kuitpo Lad were flying in the early part of the race to take up the speed, with Mr O’Ceirin and De Fine Lago sitting behind the front group.

As they got into rhythm, Constant Force took the lead and Yendall had it bolting along. The speed was blistering as Mr O’Ceirin tried to keep up with Constant Force in the middle stages.

Constant Force did not let up and by the 600m most of the field were under pressure. Inevitably Constant Force and Mr O’Ceirin were the first beaten as they dropped off at the 300m. Upbeat and Oregon Spirit then went past seamlessly, while Friday Hussy and De Fine Lago were starting to make their moves wide. Oregon Spirit hit the clear lead as the line was drawing closer, but it may have lacked the experience , but it masy have lacked the experience over the 2040m as it started to get tired. The proven stayer in the field, De Fine Lago, along with Upbeat then battled it out to the line. De Fine Lago just beat Upbeat, who had its best run this prep. Oregon Spirit crossed the line third, but placed an objection against Upbeat for laying out and inconveniencing it on the straight. It was in turn upheld, giving Oregon Spirit second place.

Follow: De Fine Lago is now ready for more ground.

Race 6: Alternate Railway Handicap – 1600m

1st Blackie – Chris Symons
2nd Spacecraft – Kayla Nisbet
3rd Storm Burst – Luke Nolan

It was a good start to the 6th with Spacecraft going straight to the lead. Blackie didn’t miss the start for a change and Under the Eiffel was showing early speed from the inside gate. It’s Prince, Hawks Bay and Storm Burst were the others on the speed in the early stages.

Spacecraft wasn’t getting it as easy this time as It’s Prince was tagging on in the middle stages.

As they hit the 500m, Spacecraft sneaked of to a 3 length lead as the pressure was starting to be applied to the rest of the field.

It’s Prince was the first beaten as they turned for home, while Under the Eiffel, Hawks Bay, Blackie and Storm Burst all commenced their runs to try and catch Spacecraft.

Blackie came home the strongest to run down a gallant Spacecraft, who proved that its last start wasn’t a fluke. Storm Burst was strong for third, and Under The Eiffel did well with the 60kgs to finish fourth.

Follow: Sea Galleon was a bit off them, but came home really well and will now start to look for its favoured, longer distances.

Race 7: Program Properties Mares Handicap – 1200m

1st Black N Tough – Craig Newitt
2nd Serene Star – Jackie Beriman
3rd Counted – Vlad Duric

The theme of the day seemed to be the fast speed and that didn’t change in the 7th. Two Hills flew out and took up the early lead from Black n Tough, Counted and Caprossa. In the early stages Gig (5 lengths), Draw Forward (6 lengths) and Serene Star (9 lengths) were all a long way off the speed.

This looked as it may be a messy finish with all horses being under the whip at the 500m. Two Hills the first beaten, as Black n Tough glided past it as they hit the Straight.

Black n Tough got a break on the field in the last 200m, with Serene Star giving chase, breaking through the field ready to mount an attack. It was a two horse race in the end with Black n Tough keeping it’s impeccable record going, in front of a fast finishing Serene Star. Counted ran better than its price would have suggested for third. Rustana and Gig both came home reasonable well and were not disgraced. Two Hills also looked well beaten as they turned, but battle on quite well.

Follow: Black n Tough

Race 8: The Peak 0-89 Handicap

1st Flyingconi – Vlad Duric
2nd Hotham Heights – Jye McNeil
3rd Henwood – Tom Sadler

Borsay was the first out in the last, as Tackleberry was a little bit slow from its outside barrier. Smoken Cash did some early work to take up the lead. Tackleberry also did a ton of work early to come around the field and sit just of the lead. Alpha Proxima, Regalmania and Henwood were just behind the leaders, while Hotham Heights, Flyingconi and Corvidae were closer to the rear.

As per the pattern of the day, the speed was on again throughout, with the some jocks electing for the whips at the 500m mark.

As they swung for home, Smoken Cash was still the clear leader, with Sir Fernando the first to apply pressure. Flyingconi started to make its run wide with Hotham Heights, as Tackleberry was still a battling hope a length away.

Smoken Cash was slowing as the wide runners, Flyingconi and Hotham Heights started to build momentum. It was well battled out in the late stages, with Flyingconi putting its nose out when it counted. Hotham Heights was super impressive carrying 60kgs for second and Henwood, who was blocked for clear running in the straight, came home well for third. Smoken Cash was gutsy to finish fourth.

Tackleberry missed the start from a wide gate and did a lot of work early, to only finish a length away. A really gallant effort.

Follow: Hotham Heights and Tackleberry

Specials: Octavia and Black n Tough