Spring is finally here and Moonee Valley is the place to be to kick it off with a big and exciting card ahead.
QUADDIES Races: 6-7-8-9
SKINNY PLAY: 1,2,9,10,14 / 1,3,4 / 1,2,8,10,12,14 / 2,4,8,10
WIDE PLAY: 1,2,3,4,8,9,10,16 / 1,3,4,14 / 1,2,4,7,8,10,12,14 / 2,4,6,8,10,13
BEST BET: R3 No12 Rocketeer
NEXT BEST BET: R5 No8 Heatherly
BEST ROUGHIE: R9 No8 Hans Holbein
R1 12.25pm William Hill Handicap 1600m
CHOICE will be fitter now for running over the metric mile second-up when finishing seventh to Kaniana at Caulfield on August 13. Michael Walker keeps the ride on the New Zealand mare and she goes up only half a kilo to 55.5kg.
DULVERTON made a frantic finish but just missed when running second over 1600m at Sandown on August 24. Craig Williams rides and she plummets from 59kg to 54kg against her own sex here. Good chance.
CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL was second-up when posting a good win over 1400m at Sandown over 1400m last start on August 23. Chris Symons is the new jockey and she drops 4.5kg to 54kg for her rise in class. Will be fitter again.
SELECTIONS: No3 KANIANA, No5 Choice, No7 Dulverton, No8 Champagne Cocktail
VALUE RUNNER: No8 Champagne Cocktail
R2 1pm 1Print Craig Opie Cup 1600m
MIHANY was racing off a break when finishing second over 1300m at Morphettville on August 13. Apprentice Regan Bayliss’ 1.5kg claim will see him carry only 52.5kg. Light-weight chance.
MASTER ZEPHYR gives trainer Darren Weir a big hand here. He resumed off a break to work home strong and claim third place over 1500m here on August 20. Top jockey Craig Williams is the new rider and he will carry only 54kg.
OBSERVATIONAL is a European import who pulled up lame when running last in the Mornington Cup (2400m) at his last start on April 2. Fresh now and meets only a small field and must rate as a chance.
SELECTIONS: No5 RAW IMPULSE, No8 Mihany, No7 Master Zephyr, No2 Observational
VALUE RUNNER: No2 Observational
R3 1.35pm Quest Moonee Valley Handicap 1514m
TARA ITI made an auspicious debut to fly home into third place over 1400m at Sandown over 1400m in a maiden on August 10. Pat Maloney is the new rider and looms as a stayer in the making.
ONTOFF OF THE WORLD improved on his debut effort to score a narrow win as a $3.40 favourite over 1412m at Echuca on August 22. Ben Melham is the new rider and can’t fault his form with a second and a win at two starts.
HAVILDAR won impressively before running fourth over 1300m at Sandown at $7 last start on August 24. In-form comeback jockey Luke Nolen replaces apprentice Ben Thompson and he drops two kilos to 56kg here.
SELECTIONS: No12 ROCKETEER, No13 Tara Iti, No11 Ontoff Of The World, No2 Havildar
VALUE RUNNER: N13 Tara Iti
R4 2.15pm United Refrigeration Handicap 1514m
LIVING LARGE has been racing in good stead. Senior jockey Luke Currie replaces apprentice Michael Dee who rode him to a good win as a $2.70 favourite at Cranbourne last start on August 11. Drawn the rail and will be prominent.
MR INDIVIDUAL is flying with a win and a second at his past two starts. Apprentice Ben Thompson’s 2kg claim will see him carry 58.5kg and he can go close here despite having an awkward draw in (13).
ZAHSPEED won three straight before finishing third over 2000m at Caulfield at his last start on April 30 as a $3.10 favourite. Resuming here and will be up on the speed. Keep safe.
NEW YORK won two in a row before only plugged to the line when finishing eighth over 1200m at sale on August 18. Top jockey Michael walker is the new rider and from barrier (8) should get a cosy run.
SELECTIONS: No6 MOSS ‘N’ DALE, No2 Mr Individual, No1 Zahspeed, No7 New York
VALUE RUNNER: No1 Zahspeed
R5 2.50pm Mitty’s Racing Colours McEwen Stakes 1000m
RELDAS loves this track with a record of ten starts for five wins and three placings. Has a new rider in Chris Parnham and will carry a kilo less on 58.5kg on last start third down the straight 1200m at Flemington on July 9.
SHEIDEL is a speedy mare who underlined she was ready for a big return to blow away her opposition by three lengths in a 1000m trial at Tatura on August 16. Senior rider Luke Nolen will steer and expect her to be bursting home.
WILD RAIN bolted in the Group 3 Monash Stakes at Caulfield on July 16. Stephen Baster replaces Damien Oliver and she carries the same weight on 56.5kg as she did last start. Will go well fresh.
SELECTIONS: No8 HEATHERLY, No3 Reldas, No5 Sheidel, No6 Wild Rain
VALUE RUNNER: No5 Sheidel
R6 3.30pm Mitchelton Wines Atlantic Jewel Stakes 1200m
I AM A STAR has won at three of her four starts. She resumed with a blazing win in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 13. Bound to be in the firing line.
SEBRING DREAM looms as a potential star with a win and a second at her two starts. Bowed out a winner over 1400m at Flemington on May 21. Stable jockey Michael Walker rides and she will let them know she is here.
GRETNA hails from the Sydney yard of leading trainer Chris Waller. Made a stellar comeback to easily win over 1200m as a $2.80 favourite at Canterbury on August 17. Tackles a strong bunch of three-year-old fillies here but in the play.
SELECTIONS: No1 WHISPERING BROOK, No2 I Am A Star, No9 Sebring Dream, No10 Gretna
VALUE RUNNER: No1 Whispering Brook
R7 4.10pm SAJ Fruit Supply Stakes 1200m
KEEN ARRAY was a last-start scratching and is now primed to go first-up. He has top jockey Dwayne Dunn as his new rider and has an excellent record of two starts for a win and a third at this track. Strong showing.
FAST ‘N’ ROCKING was no match for Voodoo Lad last start when running third in the Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield on August 13. Stable-mate to Keen Array and stable jockey Michael Walker rides. He has a sound record here of a win and a third at two starts.
SEBRING SUN has no weight on his back on 54kg and has premier jockey Craig Williams as his new rider. Fought hard to the wire when running third over 1200m here last start on August 20 and expect a forward showing.
SELECTIONS: No3 VOODOO LAD, No4 Keen Array, No1 Fast ‘N’ Rocking, No14 Sebring Sun
VALUE RUNNER: No14 Sebring Sun
R8 4.50pm Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes 1600m
MISS ROSE DE LAGO made an epic return to past with a strong win in the Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 13. She has race fitness on her side and Damien Oliver will pilot again. Gate (15) will make it harder in a tough race.
MAHUTA has race fitness on his side. Classy type who backs up here after finishing strongly to run third to Black Heart Bart in last Saturday’s Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield. Has no favours though drawn (14).
THE UNITED STATES is a Group 1 winner returning. He ran second in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick at his last start on April 9. He does have a creditable first-up record and will finish powerfully.
SELECTIONS: No14 JAMEKA, No12 Miss Rose De Lago, 8 Mahuta, No2 The United States
VALUE RUNNER: No10 Suavito
R5 2.50pm Mitty’s Racing Colours McEwen Stakes 1000m
HANS HOLBEIN (Best Roughie) is a stable-mate to Aloft and also very classy. Ran eighth at his Australian debut over 1700m at Flemington on April 25. A son of staying sensation Montjeu would expect him to be well forward and respect.
KILLARNEY KID has been the punters’ pal over the middle distances and is winning well. Last start he won over 2000m at Flemington on August 6. John Allen takes the reins from Brad Rawiller and will be strong.
BOLD SNIPER is owned by the Queen and he scored a very good win in her colours over 2040m here at his last start on August 20. Apprentice Dylan Dunn’s 2kg claim will reduce his impost to 56kg and rates here.
SELECTIONS: No10 ALOFT, No8 Hans Holbein, No2 Killarney Kid, No4 Bold Sniper
VALUE RUNNER: No8 Hans Holbein