The $400k Mornington Cup is the feature race on today's card.
The card is a feature country fixture with the Hareeba Stakes (1200m) representing the sprinting feature race on the big 10-race card. Showers are forecast for the meeting but the early track rating is for a Good 4 with the rail at the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 7: 1, 2, 6, 7, 13
Race 8: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10
Race 9: 1, 3, 4
Race 10: 1, 2, 4, 6, 10
Race 7: 2, 6
Race 8: 3, 5
Race 9: 4
Race 10: 2, 4
R1 12.00pm Window Warehouse Marathon Series heat - 3400m
Sly Romance’s previous form has seen him as most consistent over 3000m at Moonee Valley. The four-year-old is lightly raced and he is a son of leading New Zealand staying sire Pentire. With apprentice Michael Dee’s 1.5kg claim, he will carry only 52.5kg.
Real Jazz beat Sly Romance over 3000m at Moonee Valley three starts ago and is rock solid for this race. Experienced rider Stephen Baster replaces Pat Moloney.
Celtic Prince is a most seasoned stayer who rarely wins but he commands respect in this field. He ran third to Dane Hussler over 3600m at Oakbank last weekend so he is rock hard but he does rise 4kg on last week’s effort.
SELECTIONS: No2 Deliberate, No7 Sly Romance, No4 Real Jazz, No1 Celtic Prince.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 Real Jazz.
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R2 12.30pm No Fuss Event Hire Handicap - 1200m
Mefnooda hails out of the in-form Mick Price stable and is a promising mare with three wins and a third at her seven starts. She won three of her previous four starts before being elevated in class into the Group 3 Summoned Stakes (1400m) at Sandon on November 14. The four-year-old was impressive in a recent jump-out.
Andrioli had a nice hit-out in a 1000m trial at Moe in preparation. The three-year-old filly has a lightweight with the 3kg claim of apprentice Jake Bayliss reducing her weight to 53kg. She carried 55kg to win over 1400m two starts ago and is drawn well in gate 3.
Our Harmony has been most honest with five wins and five placings at 16 starts. She is unbeaten here and rates highly.
SELECTIONS: No3 A Lotta Love, No6 Mefnooda, No8 Andrioli, No2 Our Harmony.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 Shacarde.
R3 1.00pm Martin Collins Fibretrack Mornington Sires - 1500m
Pop broke through for her maiden win on her last start. She is re-matched with Smartson, who she beat by a length over 1400m at Pakenham. She should get a soft run from her draw in six.
Resort is a Domesday gelding hailing from the stables of Godolphin. He was making plenty of headway when finishing fourth to arch-rival Pop over 1400m at Pakenham last start on March 17. In-form jockey Ben Melham gets the task to steer.
Smartson must overcome the widest alley in 10 but he does come out of Melbourne’s premier juvenile stable. He fought on well enough to run second to Pop over 1400m at Pakenham last start to deserve attention in this race.
SELECTIONS: No1 Mr Markou, No8 Pop, No6 Resort, No3 Smartson.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 Smartson.
R4 1.35pm Mitavite Challenge Final - 1600m
Honourable Tycoon has been as consistent as clockwork and looms as one of the main chances of finishing inside the money at his past five starts. Stephen Baster gets the ride on the gelding, who gets a big decrease in weight down to 54.5kg.
Native Land narrowly beat Honourable Tycoon in a close tussle over 1600m at Sandown last start on March 16. Luke Nolen replaces Mark Zahra with the mare gaining a three kilo drop in weight down to 54kg. She can be hard to catch but is racing at her pet distance.
Eljetem has only won twice at 20 starts but he has won and finished second and fourth on his past four starts in this preparation. The son of Jet Spur is better drawn in five in his rematch against Native Land and Honourable Tycoon when compared to his last start fourth to the pair over 1600m at Sandown on March 16. He also drops 4kg down to 56kg.
SELECTIONS: No1 Beau Brommell, No9 Honourable Tycoon, No8 Native Land, No7 Eljetem.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 Eljetem.
R5 2.10pm Land Egineering Handicap - 2000m
Loving Home was locked in a close three-way tussle when third behind Tucano and Rich River over 2040m at Moonee Valley on March 18. The five-year-old is out of the leading stables of Sydney trainer Chris Waller and he won over 1900m at Canterbury three starts ago.
Nisos had his winning streak broken last start when running a close fourth over 2400m at Morphettville on March 12. He chased hard that day under the big anchor of 61.5kg. he drops to 55kg here.
Master Zephyr is the stable-mate to Master Of Arts. He looks like he is close to his best form with two runs over 1400m and 1800m now under his belt. Stable jockey Brad Rawiller rides here and he is carrying a kilo less on 57kg than at his previous start.
SELECTIONS: No10 Master Of Arts, No8 Loving Home, No6 Nisos, No5 Master Zephyr.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 Master Zephyr.
R6 2.50pm Cleanaway Handicap - 1200m
Prussian Vixen has finished inside the money at five of her past six starts. The filly won at her two country starts before going down narrowly to French Emotion against her own sex over 1200m at Moonee Valley. Dylan Dunn reduces her impost to 56.5kg at $6 and this represents each-way value to combat her wide draw (13).
Purrpussful has been attracting attention from punters who are specking the filly from $31 into $26 early. It would pay to draw a line through her last start when she was caught three deep in last Saturday week’s Bendigo Guineas (1400m). She is back to her home track and the 1200m will suit.
Rezak finished inside the money at his last five starts at his previous campaign from 1200m to 1600m. He has a good barrier in seven and at $17 is value first up.
SELECTIONS: No2 Just Got Lucky, No4 Prussian Vixen, No9 Purrpussful, No6 Rezak.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 Purrpussful
R7 3.30pm Bayside Auto Group Mornington Guineas - 1500m
Unbreakable showed he was on the right track with a strong first up win over 1400m at Pakenham for the Godolphin stable on March 10. He drops 1.5kg to 56kg under the set weight and penalty conditions here and has an ideal draw on the rail. He is a stable-mate of the top weight Tarquin, who is the query runner with two poor, recent runs.
Gold Fields has been on a rich vein after winning two of his past three starts. He caused a big boilover when thrashed by 3 ½ lengths over 1600m at Sandown on March 16. He is not as much value here as the $4.60 second favourite and rates as one of the top chances.
But It’s True made an audacious debut when romping home by six lengths over 1300m in a maiden at Warrnambool on March 8. He is from the astute stables of Mike Moroney and would not be here if they did not think he was a chance. Kept safe at $8 in an open market.
SELECTIONS: No2 Amadeus, No6 Unbreakable, No7 Gold Fields, No13 But It’s True.
VALUE RUNNER: No13 But It’s True.
R8 4.10pm Ladbrokes Hareeba Stakes - 1200m
Rough Justice has been racing well and was specked early by punters with his price firming from $9 into $8.50. The four-year-old wound up late to nail Kirani over 1300m last start. He drops 5kg to the limit on 54 for his rise in class.
Fast Cash can make it a hat-trick if he obtains a clear run from mid-field. The son of Charge Forward has been flying over the short courses and he gets a 3kg weight relief down to 54kg for his rise in class. He has drawn well in seven and is each-way value at $7.50.
It Is Written should relish his drop in class on his last start when he ran 10th to Flamberge in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 24. he was caught four deep and battled on well. He rarely puts in a bad run and will appreciate the lesser class here.
SELECTIONS: No5 Dan Zephyr, No10 Rough Justice, No15 Fast Cash, No3 It Is Written.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 It Is Written.
R9 4.50pm Mornington BMW Cup - 2400m
Observational is another import who signalled he was close to a win when running a cracking short-head second to Leebaz in last Saturday’s Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield. The Great Britain-bred stayer comes out of the stables of Robert Hickmott and will relish the extra 400m.
Puccini gave his backers a good sight when he chased hard down the straight to finish a close fourth to Leebaz in last week’s Easter Cup (2000m). He was the $4.40 favourite last Saturday and carried 57.5kg. He only goes up a half kilo here and is each-way value at $8.
Dandy Gent will be running home strong, but will need an ounce of luck from a wide alley (17). He won over 2400m at Bendigo and experienced jockey Dale Smith keeps the ride on the four-year-old, who looks value at $16 after they bet $5 about him last start.
SELECTIONS: No4 Tom Melbourne, No3 Observational, No1 Puccini, No13 Dandy Gent.
VALUE RUNNER: No13 Dandy Gent.
R10 5.30pm Building Brands Handicap 1000m
Squeaky Squirrel chased like a tiger first up despite hanging a bit down the home stretch to run third to Society Man over 1100m at Bendigo on March 19. Dylan Dunn’s 2kg claim will see him carry 56.5kg and he is each-way value at $18.
Corsica Lad is top weight and punters have gone for him to stretch his winning form when backed from $8 into $7.50 early. The six-year-old won on a heavy track last start, but he is most honest on all types of ground.
Face Forward has shown her best form down the straight at Flemington but she does race well when fresh. She has not run since finishing seventh over 1200m at Flemington last July. The stable did reserve some of its stock for easier options after the Melbourne autumn carnival and she rates well here.
SELECTIONS: No2 Solar Duchess, No4 Squeaky Squirrel, No1 Corsica Lad, No6 Face Forward.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 Squeaky Squirrel.