Cox Plate day always presents punters with a great card of racing at Moonee Valley, with all races attracting quality fields.
Today we focus on two key support races, the Moonee Valley Vase and Gold Cup.
In both events each field holds plenty of intrigue and there is sure to be a number of strong betting moves between now and start time.
I expect a boom three-year-old colt to take out the Moonee Valley Vase, who was very unlucky last start and should atone here.
Whilst in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, that man Chris Waller is presenting a stable import on debut in Australia for some very high profile owners. My information is that the horse is showing them plenty at home and should be far too good.
The Moonee Valley surface is currently rated a Good 4, with the rail in the True position for the entire circuit and rain predicted for Friday and Saturday.
With the rail situated in the True position, expect the track to play fair with both on and off-speed profiles to have their chance.
However there is a chance the inside lanes could chop out, following the heavy schedule of Friday night's racing here.
As always a close watch is advised early, to determine any fast lanes or bias.
Race 6 - Moonee Valley Vase 2040m (Group 2)
A number of these three-year-old's drawn inside will be looking to roll forward here, which should ensure a fast tempo.
Expect Captain Corelli (1), Tanker (2) and Reliable Lovin' (3) to all be prominent early and possibly Sarodec (6) to carve across from wider out to lead them all.
Given a testing tempo over the Cox Plate distance (2040m), it should set this up for the run-on profiles which include Cherry Tortoni, Young Werther and Lunar Fox.
Young Werther ($2.40) is the talk of the town from a VRC Derby perspective and can stamp his dominance for that race with a solid performance here.
There is some speculation that the stable may be leaving something in the tank for Derby Day, however I disagree with this rhetoric and believe they will want a strong hit-out before tackling the testing 2500m Group 1 at his next start.
He is short enough at the current quote ($2.40). However, he showed enough talent last start with a desperately unlucky second placing at Flemington when he clearly should have won.
Best Racing Tips
1st Young Werther ($2.40)
Gets a hot speed to suit his strong run-on profile and he clearly looks the dominant three-year-old stayer this year.
I just hope the rider shows initiative to get going early and that they don't leave it all too late to reel in the leaders.
2nd Lunar Fox ($6.50)
Arrives straight out of the Caulfield Guineas, which can prove a strong form reference for this.
He raced well back on that occasion, before chasing all the way through the line.
Expect him to show his best, now out to the 2040m
3rd Cherry Tortoni ($5.00)
Has already had a strong hit-out over the 2000m at his last start, where he finished 7 of 13 in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.
The recent experience at this distance can be of significant benefit.
4th Khoekhoe ($6.00)
Must be included following the last start win at Flemington over 1800m, where he narrowly beat the favourite Young Werther.
I suspect the tables will be turned here over more ground, as he was wilting on the line last time out.
Race 8 - Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2500m (Group 2)
Expect a strong tempo here with a number of noted leaders engaged who enjoy running them along.
Trap For Fools (11) loves to roll along in front and I expect him to have enough revs up, to carve across from the wide draw and take it up.
Hush Writer (6) is another natural leader however on this occasion, is likely to be forced into the trailing position just in behind.
The run-on profiles look very well suited and the winner is likely to be charging home from a position midfield or worse.
Shared Ambition ($4.00) fell short of securing his ticket into the Melbourne Cup last start, when he could only manage a 5 of 15 finish in The Bart Cummings at Flemington.
This is harder, however he did have genuine excuses last time out after being checked and forced to come very wide in a race you could argue he may have won given a more charmed run.
He just needs to handle his first attempt at the tight turning Moonee Valley circuit and could easily bounce back to winning form.
Best Racing Tips
1st Selino ($6.50)
I'm going to gamble on the Waller importhere. My mail says he was going extremely well at home.
Waller is a master trainer of stayers and must have a high opinion to be entering in this as the debut Australian run.
Trust the gun camp.
2nd Shared Ambition ($4.00)
Has plenty of class and was a horror watch last time out, when he was given more luck in running and possibly should have won The Bart Cummings.
He gets the tempo to suit and will be storming home late.
3rd Gallic Chieftain ($15)
The old boy is always a chance to bob up and win these races at good odds.
He showed enough in the Herbert Power (4 of 9) last start to suggest he will be competitive, and the extra distance out to 2500m here suits.
4th Etah James($34)
Appears huge odds to my eye at $34, and if the rain comes she will be well suited and much shorter in the market.
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