The Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes is a popular guide to the hopes of many horses being aimed at upcoming feature Spring cups including one of our biggest, the Caulfield Cup.
Saturday's edition should provide an excellent reference point on how potential cups stars are progressing and the race is stacked full of staying talent on the rise.
A number of new season 4yos add plenty of interest as they clash with the more experienced hard heads, who have impressed in previous cups campaigns.
The presence of weight-for-age conditions will add intrigue and the younger brigade could be well suited to this set-up.
Moonee Valley Race Track Traits
Mooney Valley is currently rated a Good 3, with the rail in the true position the entire circuit and fine conditions predicted for Saturday.
Last time out at The Valley, on-speed was clearly the place to be with many winners leading and kicking away in the straight.
This bias was attributed to the rail position being out 4m on that occasion and with the rail returning to the true here, we can expect a return to a more neutral pattern and less bias.
As always a close watch early is always advised.
Racing Market Movers
Favourite Night's Watch has been well backed in early betting markets, firming from $3.80 to $3.50. Hartnell has also been supported, $4.20 into $3.70, whilst Ambitious has been on the drift, out to $9.50 from $7.50 openers.
#1 Hartnell $4.20 > $3.70
Is dripping in class and made an excellent return first-up over 1400m in the PB Lawrence last start at Caulfield.
He relishes this distance (9:3-3-0) and goes well enough second-up (8:2-3-1), which will hold him in great stead for this assignment.
However, it's likely he's running on tired legs at this stage of his career and happy to mark him as on the way down from the lofty heights of earlier campaigns.
The $6.00 in early betting looks very skinny in a field bursting with new talent. One to avoid.
#2 Ambitious $7.50 > $9.50
Has sound 1600m form as a 2yo in Japan, however it would appear as though he's looking for much further now if recent runs are to be any guide.
Ran well over the Brisbane carnival where he placed in the Doomben Cup behind Comin' Through before striking an unsuitable wet track in the Brisbane Cup when he failed 4 of 8.
Very tricky to assess with this being his first go at Moonee Valley and expect the market to be our best guide late.
He is likely to have key targets over further ground later this Spring, and a win would surprise here.
#7 Night's Watch $3.80 > $3.50
Is flying after an ultra-impressive win last week at Caulfield, where he got back before weaving a passage between runners and exploding over the last 200m to put them all to the sword.
This is a huge step-up in grade, and whilst there is no doubting the talent, there is more than enough quality to keep him honest in this race.
The boom is on and he is well and truly exposed to the market following last week's effort which will have the mugs rusted on this week.
$3.50 looks far too short to find out if he can win in this grade and happy to bet around.
Can place but recommend steering well clear of the poison win price.
#9 Bonneval $7
Kiwi raider who was heavily backed ($7.00 into $4.80 late) in this race first-up last campaign and ran accordingly when coming with a sweeping run from well back to blow them all away.
All reports from across "the dutch" are that she is flying and has been trained right up to the mark for this, where typically the NZ horses do appreciate the Moonee Valley cushion.
She will race midfield, and given any tempo, will be powering home.
Worth plenty of thought, and if they jump out of trees again to back her late, it would pay to follow. Top hope.
Was a huge run battling the leader bias here first-up against the smart Theanswermyfriend, where she was scrubbed along through the mid-stages to hold a position midfield over an unsuitably short distance.
The latter stages of that race said it all when she picked up the bit over the concluding stages and charged through the line in a perfect trial for this.
Suspect she is a very special one following her brave runs at Group 1 level in Sydney as a 3yo.
Bookies are betting luxury odds in early markets and at the current $14 she must go on top. Yes.
Of The Others
Odeon maps well after drawing the rails in gate 1. He will be close to speed just in behind and is one to watch if they slacken the tempo. At $16 is worth an each-way ticket.
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