Moonee Valley review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Schweppes Handicap (1000m)

1st Royal Snitzel – Michael Dee
2nd Just Magical – Michael Walker
3rd Shaf – Craig Williams

Royal Snitzel was hard ridden out of the gates to try and cross but Bullpit and Swiss Rock kicked up underneath to keep her working. Stingray and Just Magical settled with good runs just off the speed. Royal Snitzel persisted and eventually worked up outside Bullpit. Coming to the turn Royal Snitzel looked to be under a heap of pressure but she responded and joined Bullpit. Just Magical had pulled out to make ground with Shaf coming four wide. Stingray was gone despite having a nice run and Swiss Rock couldn’t keep up either. Royal Snitzel took over about 150m out and forged away. Just Magical ran to second but was no match for the winner while Shaf got up for third just ahead of Bullpit. Behind them Moonlight Hussler made a bit of late ground and was probably outsprinted the way the race was run.

Follow: Royal Snitzel was a class above them and can win better races, Moonlight Hussler is worth another look in an easier event.

Race 2: TCL 4K UHD TV Handicap (1600m)

1st Marli Magic – Patrick Moloney
2nd Arena Rock – Jacob Rule
3rd Hot Ruby – Regan Bayliss

Hot Ruby landed in the lead with Chiquada sitting up outside. It’s One wasn’t the best out but improved to be in the box seat. Marli Magic had the one-one having come off the inside. Arena Rock had her back around Good Music. They didn’t look to be going all that hard and Arena Rock was flushed out three wide when Graphitic Gaga took off from the back. That got Marli Magic going as well when Hot Ruby kicked away coming to the turn. It’s One was still on the leader’s back and looking for a run which opened when Chiquada dropped off. Marli Magic reeled in the leader at the 200m and the run closed on It’s One. Arena Rock loomed to challenge and she and Marli Magic fought it out with Marli Magic just holding her off, perhaps the 6kg weight pull being the difference. Hot Ruby did a good job to hold on for third while It’s One just battled when she got clear. Good ride on the winner and that was more likely the difference.

Follow: none in particular but Arena Rock is flying and could win another one this prep.

Race 3: Chandler Macleod Handicap (2040m)

1st Norman Rules – Chris Parnham
2nd Zahspeed – Kieran Shoemark
3rd Lucques – Damian Lane

Moralto found some trouble at the start and settled last. On the other hand Zahspeed fired out and led easily. Von Classic Hero landed in second with Lucques and Norman Rules handy. Blue Jangles was stuck three wide around that pair and went forward into third place. Zahspeed led by three or four and bowled along, with Von Classic Hero doing all the chasing, and really broke the field up. Von Classic Hero was under pressure a long way out as Zahspeed put the foot down again and took off. Norman Rules still travelled fairly well while Blue Jangles was gone. Lucques took off around him and Baja Moon tried to get onto his back for a cart home. Zahspeed led by five on the turn but really started to walk in the last 100m and Norman Rules, who had an easy run, picked him up very late and went on to win by over a length. Lucques kept closing to run third while Dandy Gent got up to run fourth from Baja Moon who was a bit one paced.

Follow: none.

Race 4: 1Print Handicap (1600m)

1st Priority Road – Harry Coffey
2nd Bel Rhythm – Damien Thornton
3rd Tankster – Michael Walker

Relentless jumped well from the inside but Tankster went forward ahead of him and Leveraction crossed to lead them both. Momentary was a little awkward early on but settled well next ahead of Priority Road who was forced to be three wide around Daybreak and Hunter Island. Leveraction travelled better than Tankster coming to the turn and a run opened up for Relentless between them. Priority Road got around Momentary pretty quickly and Bel Rhythmimproved quickly to come off his back and loom as well. Relentless didn’t pick up and sprint when he got into the clear and Tankster came again to hit the lead at the 150m before Priority Road and Bel Rhythm chimed in out wider. Bel Rhythm got his head in front but he was fought off by Priority Road who deserved the win after a tough run. Tankster was a fighting third while Leveraction actually came back to finish ahead of Relentless who on face value was pretty plain. They got away from the rest who never came into the race.

Follow: none outside the winner who is going very well.

Race 5: City Jeep Handicap (2040m)

1st Gold Medals – Craig Williams
2nd Gingerboy – Jordan Childs
3rd The Ruffian – Kieran Shoemark

Scelto was first to the fence but Churchill’s Wit wanted the lead and took it up from Stringy who came across with him. Scelto had the box seat and Gingerboy landed in a perfect trail. Done Nothin’ Wrong was three wide aroundPennon and Dew. Surprisingly, Valediction was back in midfield. Done Nothin’ Wrong continued his run around them out wide to move into third and put Gingerboy in a pocket. Valediction tried to get going into the three wide line when the field bunched. Churchill’s Wit was being softened up by the roughie Stringy coming to the turn and Valediction made it around Done Nothin’ Wrong while Gingerboy waited for a run. Scelto couldn’t pick up when the sprint went on but made some ground on the fence. Gingerboy hit the lead inside the 200m and looked the winner but Gold Medals launched a big run around them from well back and he finished too well for Gingerboy. The Ruffian also came from the tail but through the field to grab third ahead of Valediction, Churchill’s Wit and Scelto.

Follow: stay with Valediction as distances increase heading towards the jumps season.

Race 6: Antler Luggage Gold Star (1500m)

1st Hong Kong Captain – Michael Walker
2nd Profit Share – Brad Rawiller
3rd Turnitaround – Dean Yendall

Turf Crusher and Dainty Miss paired off in front with Lucky Paddy jumping much better this time to be on the speed with Boart. Profit Share refused to settle in the early stages and charged around them. Mattan was three back on the fence with Safety Peg next. Profit Share kept the run going to work up outside Turf Crusher midrace and kept serving it up to the leader. Dainty Miss dropped back a couple of lengths to be outside Boart. Profit Share went for home about 400m out and was about three clear on the turn. He broke Turf Crusher’s heart and Lucky Paddy started to run on. Hong Kong Captain was back in the field early but worked through and followed Lucky Paddy to the turn before pulling out to make his run. Turnitaround tried to go with him. Hong Kong Captain got to Profit Share inside the 50m and held about a long head on the line. Turnitaround kept coming to run third ahead of Lucky Paddy and a nice run from Artie’s Shore finishing well late. Anfitriona also made some ground but wasn’t a threat. Massive run from Profit Share who clearly beat himself.

Follow: Hong Kong Captain is a progressive horse, Artie’s Shore back in class can win one.

Race 7: Australia Stakes (1200m)

1st Mourinho – Vlad Duric
2nd It Is Written – Matthew Allen
3rd Dissident – Ben Melham

It Is Written beat them out but Hard Stride pressed on outside him and Tudor kicked up underneath. Mourinho showed a lot of early pace to be right behind them and Dissident wound up three wide and had to ease. He landed midfield in the clear by the 700m or so. Hard Stride crossed to the fence and Tudor came off to sit outside, this left Mourinho in the box seat. It Is Written was next and Dissident came out three wide again but was the first under pressure. The leader left the fence and Mourinho got up on the inside to hit the lead near the turn with Tudor three deep and It Is Written coming on four wide. Mourinho was a bit wayward turning and tightened up Hard Stride but led with It Is Written trying to chase him down. Tudor couldn’t go on and Dissident and Smokin’ Joey started to wind up down the outside. Mourinho managed to hold off It Is Written for a surprise first-up win, though he has won five races now at the Valley. Dissident got going late for third ahead of Smokin’ Joey. Perhaps he didn’t like the tight track but have to say Dissident was a bit disappointing. That said he’s a 1400m horse so he could improve in the Orr next start. A protest second against first, for (indirect) interference on the turn, was rightly dismissed.

Follow: Dissident is worth another chance.

Race 8: Alternate Railway Handicap (1200m)

1st Scarlet Billows – Michelle Payne
2nd Peninsula Dane – Patrick Moloney
3rd Sumakaray – Regan Bayliss

Soosa Rama and Scarlet Billows both missed it slightly and settled at the tail. Dashing Shadow took up the running and Peninsula Dane came over to sit up second. Longchamp Belle had the box seat and Sumakaray got into a nice spot next from her awkward gate. They were a few lengths clear of Demandz and Lady Lakshmi in a strung out field. But the bunched fairly quickly inside the 600m and Sumakaray peeled out three wide to move up with Peninsula Dane to tackle the leader. Scarlet Billows made a quick dash around them when the pace slowed and she was up outside Sumakaray coming to the turn. Lady Lakshmi was under pressure and Soosa Rama got onto Scarlet Billows’s tail to try and run on. Peninsula Dane took over at the 200m and looked to be going well. Sumakaray stuck on but Scarlet Billows continued her run and she finished all over the top of Peninsula Dane to score a big win. Game effort the runner-up. Sumakaray kept third ahead of Soosa Rama who had every chance and Nadeem Lass finished off fairly on the inside.

Follow: none, winner left them with no excuses.

Race 9: Benchmark 78 Handicap (1000m)

1st O’Malley – Patrick Moloney
2nd Stravinsky Code – Vlad Duric
3rd Gallant Harmony – Tom Sadler

Override sprung out from a wide gate and came across but Fab Fevola held him out in the lead. Pink Perfection and Maasai Justice were the next pair a couple ahead of Trevinder three wide around Gallant Harmony and The Monstar. The two leaders cut at each other and Pink Perfection was first to crack as Trevinder tried to run on around her. Gallant Harmony was waiting for a run in behind them as runs were coming out wider before the turn.Stravinsky Code and O’Malley were the ones hitting the lie and just as Gallant Harmony got a split on the inside of Fab Fevola and Trevinder, O’Malley and Stravinsky Code swooped with O’Malley just a little too strong. Gallant Harmony was just in the wrong spot but ran well again. The Monstar and Trevinder were just behind the placings. Something had to run on the way the race was run up front, plus the off fence pattern.

Follow: O’Malley was the best horse in the race and should still have improvement.

Specials from the meeting: Royal Snitzel, Artie’s Shore, O’Malley.

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Randwick review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st Haptic – James McDonald
2nd Counterattack – Blake Shinn
3rd Sebring Sun – Hugh Bowman

Irvine was out best in the first. Haptic had plenty of pace and moved up along the inside to join Irvine. Sebring Sun didn’t begin brilliantly but mustered through to third on the outside of Counterattack. Into the straight, and up the rise, Haptic was being nursed and looked to still travel ok. He was asked for the effort inside the 300m mark and kicked, which let Counterattack out and it was doing the chasing. Sebring Sun was struggling to pick them up. In the run to the line, Counterattack got to within about three quarters of a length, but wasn’t ever going to pick up the leader whose win would best be described as professional which is no surprise given the yard it comes from.

Follow: None to follow

Race 2

1st Marple Miss – Brenton Avdulla
2nd Coolcraft Kerrin – McEvoy
3rd Meursalt James – McDonald

Marple Miss anticipated the start and was in front soon after, but didn’t want to be there. Coolcraft worked across to join Streefragette in front. Meursault, who was sent out at very short odds got back to last, when on paper it looked that he would settle close to the lead. The pace looked average in the middle stages, and then Streefragette quickened up a bit just before the turn and came around same with just over a length break. At the top of the rise, Streefragette was throwing out the distress signals, as Marple Miss and Coolcraft swept by. Those two had a brief tussle, but Marple Miss stretched out nicely in the run to the line and won by nearly two lengths. Meursault ground home into third, but was beaten a good distance, and has to be described as disappointing today.

Follow: Coolcraft

Race 3

1st Centre Pivot – James McDonald
2nd Sasenkile – Serg Lisnyy
3rd Proper Madam – Glyn Schofield

A few of them looked at the lead here when the gates opened in the third, but it was Marenostro that took it up, with Sense Of Occasion working around to sit in second. Sinjoren got the run of the race behind them in third with Mary Lou settling in the one out and one back trail. The short priced favourite, Centre Pivot got back to second last. Up towards the turn, Sense Of Occasion declared the race on with Marenostro in front and those two came around the bend together. Back in the field, Centre Pivot was pulled out wide, ready to strike. He took a little while to wind up, but once they topped the rise he always looked set for victory. Mary Lou was trying to fight on, and Sasenkile did a very good job to chase down the outside, but it was to no avail. Proper Madam was the potential unlucky runner here, as she came with her run together with Sasenkile but was held in a bit of a pocket by that runner, and would have finished closer if a clear run was there earlier.

Follow: Proper Madam

Race 4

1st Tahitian Black – Hugh Bowman
2nd Inside Job – Brodie Loy
3rd Plateau Gold – Kasie Stanley

Earnest Ernest was a clear last out of the gates in race four and went back to last. It was a decent charge for the lead, with Quell taking it up narrowly, but Plateau Gold had the fence. This meant Nuclear Class found itself three wide on the speed.Straturbo and Inside Job were just smoking their pipes behind the speed, and the eventual winner Tahitian Black was back behind them. In the straight, it was anyone’s race for a while, but Inside Job and Tahitian Black soon had the momentum and came away to fight it out, and it took every metre of the straight for Tahitian Black to put his head out and get the money, in what was a pretty good win, to back up his good effort last start. Nuclear Class stuck on ok after being wide early in the race.

Follow: Nuclear Class

Race 5

1st Mihiri – James McDonald
2nd Role Model – Hugh Bowman
3rd Miss Tenpins – Brodie Loy

Mihiri was sent out favourite for the fifth, and came out of the gates very quickly, but McDonald was soon after looking across to his inside where there was plenty of pace burning through. Il Mio Destino took it up from early from Role Model who soon kicked through along the inside and made the play. Miss Tenpins was restrained into third and after its quick beginning, Mihiri found a nice spot in about fifth. The two leaders had gone out quickly, but still had it up the rise, however others were looking to come into the race. Role Model got the better of Il Mio Destino, but when McDonald wound up Mihiri it had them covered easily and sprinted away in the run to the line. Role Model ran second and has to be considered the second best run in the race given it made the pace and fought on.

Follow: Mihiri, Role Model

Race 6

1st Dana’s Best – Tommy Berry
2nd Permit – Hugh Bowman
3rd Oriental Lady – Brenton Avdulla

The Australia Day Cup was next on the program over 2400m. On the way out of the straight on the first occasion, Dana’s Best ambled its way around the field and found the top. It led from Permit, who had its head on its chest, and Mutlilateralsettled third. Up the back section of the track Oriental Lady pulled its way around the outside to share second but was out three wide, until she pressed on to get outside of the leader. The field strung out in this, indicating the pace was strong enough. They packed up a bit around the turn, as the runs started to come from the back, with Ghost Protocol and Off The Rails coming widest. Around the turn, Dana’s Best wasn’t going to wait for them, and was immediately asked to extend and that is what she did. Up to the furlong pole, it had three or four lengths on them and was going further in front. Permit and Oriental Lady plugged away to take the minor placings, but were in another race as Dana’s Best gapped them. The disappointing part for connections of the winner was that post race it was found to have suffered its second bleeding attack and won’t race again in Australia.

Follow: None to follow

Race 7

1st Ninth Legion – James McDonald
2nd That’s A Good Idea – Hugh Bowman
3rd Haussmann – Sam Clipperton

Scream Machine was mucking about in the gates and missed the kick clearly. There was a decent charge for the lead initially with High Esteem poking through in the middle, but That’s A Good Idea eventually crossed it, with Spurtonic coming over with it into second. Paederos settled in a nice sport one and out one back. Around the turn, That’s A Good Idea was going ok up the rise, but soon after, the winner became evident as Ninth Legion sprinted through along the inside and had it won. That’s A Good Idea didn’t shirk the task, but was no match for the winner. Haussmann finished its race off nicely into third, and Mighty Lucky also gets a pass mark.

Follow: Ninth Legion

Race 8

1st Zin Zan Eddie – Blake Shinn
2nd Harrier Jet – Hugh Bowman
3rd Chestnut Road – Tommy Berry

And so we came to the last, where it looked a decent charge for the lead. Zin Zan Eddie was best out, but Shiraz ended up in front when they settled. Faustus was up second outside the leader and Goldstone was trapped three wide. Not too long after the start Harrier Jet found some trouble and had to check off heels. They turned and Shiraz led them up the rise, but wasn’t really getting away from them, and soon after Zin Zan Eddie was poking through along the fence to hit the front. Goldstone, despite its wide run was still there with a chance, and Harrier Jet was finishing off with it after not being clear for a run early in the straight. In the run to the line, the shortest way home proved the difference, with Zin Zan Eddie winning it from Harrier Jet and Chestnut Road who also finished off ok. Cleansing Ale was first up in this event, and was virtually never tested in the run to the line, but did make ground of its own accord, and I am recommending following it to its second up run.

Follow: Cleansing Ale

Specials from the meeting: Proper Madam, Cleansing Ale