Racing preview (September 9): Cox Plate start up for grabs in today’s Valley feature

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Updated: September 8, 2017

The spring racing mercury climbs another couple of notches today with black-type action the order of proceedings in Sydney and Melbourne. It’s Cox Plate Qualifier Raceday at Moonee Valley where the winner of the G2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes will claim a spot in the Australasian WFA championship race on October 28. At Rosehill Gardens, it’s Run To The Rose Day featuring the G2 Run To The Rose, G2 Kari Stan Fox Stakes and G2 Theo Marks Stakes; overall 2017-18 season record (WIN-PLACE-UNPLACED): 77-4-108, +26.3 units

 

What used to be an early spring meeting at Moonee Valley featuring the Feehan Stakes is now known by a far more grandiose title – the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Qualifier Raceday. It’s the first meeting of the spring at the Valley and includes a pair of important Group 2 races – the Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) and the $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m). A field of 10 will contest the latter feature, where He’s Our Rokkii has drawn the inside gate and will start a $3.20 favourite. Last year’s Group 1 Toorak Handicap winner, he resumed from a spell with a fourth in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at weight-for-age last month, won by Hartnell.

The Darren Weir-trained Star Exhibit is on the second line of betting at $5 ahead of New Zealand Group 1-winning mare Lizzie L’Amour (pictured below) at $6.50 and her Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Australian Oaks-winning stablemate Bonneval ($7). This is a weak edition of the race, with the lead up form of key contenders well below genuine G2 standard. We’re keen on the value offered by the Kiwi mares with slight lean to Lizzie L’Amour as she’s better suited at the distance than the 2017 ATC Oaks winner.

 

• A field of seven will contest the Mitty’s McEwan Stakes where all eyes will be on the returning Houtzen ($2.35 favourite). The filly won her first four career starts including an incredible Magic Millions 2YO Classic victory from barrier 16 before being run down on the heavy track in the Golden Slipper, finishing fifth. There’s no reason to expect she won’t be a standout as a 3yo and carries just 50kg under WFA conditions here as she treks towards The Everest but the Valley first-up can be a tricky assignment.

We’re looking elsewhere – Russian Revolution is an early flagbearer for the new Melbourne set-up of father-and-son training partners Peter and Paul Snowden who now have 30 boxes at Flemington. This race over 1000m will be Russian Revolution’s third trip to Melbourne, but his first to Moonee Valley. He won at Caulfield last year and finished fourth in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington last November. Four of the other runners in this select field – Heatherly, Supido, Missrock and Unique Lovely – have all won at the Valley previously. Heatherly is the real Valley specialist – her record is 7:3-2-2, all of them over this trip.

• The 2017 Sydney Spring Carnival kicks-off with Run To The Rose Day at Rosehill Gardens today. where this season’s best three-year-old’s will showcase their credentials. On the track, all eyes will be on the Group 2 $200,000 Run To The Rose, which has an honour roll of impressive 3yos who have gone on to greater heights both on the track and at stud. The sprint has become a vital lead-up race to the Group 1 $1 million De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (September 23) with Paratroopers (2005), Denman (2009), Hallowed Crown (2014), Exosphere (2015) and Astern (2016) all going on to win Sydney’s richest spring race for the three-year-old sprinters.

This renewal has Gerald Ryan-trained Menari as a $2.30 favourite in an open market. The son of Snitzel returned to the track in good form at Rosehill Gardens on August 12 with a 1.3 length win in The Rosebud. Pariah ($3.80) for Snowden Racing has also been entered. The colt recorded a one-length win in the San Domenico Stakes on August 26. The G2 $200,000 Kari Stan Fox Stakes is another key lead in race to the Golden Rose while the winner of the G2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes will earn a spot in the G1 $1 million TAB Epsom.

 

Today’s highlights (in running order, AET)

Rosehill Gardens R4 (2pm) G2 $200,000 Kari Stan Fox Stakes (1500m, set weights, 3yo)
Rosehill Gardens R5 (2.35pm) G2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m, quality, min. weight 53kg, 3yo+)
Moonee Valley R5 (2.50pm) G2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m, standard weight for age)
Morphettville R4 (3.01pm) Listed $100,000 Goldin Farms Morphettville Guineas (1600m, set weights, 3yo)
Rosehill Gardens R6 (3.10pm) G3 $150,000 Irresistible Pools Sheraco Stakes (1200m, set weights + penalties, 3yo+ fillies & mares)
Moonee Valley R6 (3.30pm) Listed $120,000 Mitchelton Wines Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m, set weights + penalties, 3yo fillies)
Rosehill Gardens R7 (3.50pm) G2 $200,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m, set weights + penalties, 3yo)
Moonee Valley R7 (4.10pm) Listed $120,000 Strathmore Community Bendigo Bank Stakes (1200m, handicap, min. weight 54kg)
Moonee Valley R8 (4.50pm) G2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m, standard weight for age)
Belmont R5 (5.14pm) Listed $100,000 Farnley Stakes (1400m, quality, min. weight 55kg, 3yo+)

 

Today’s racing: Rosehill Gardens (NSW – good 3), Kembla Grange (NSW – good 3), Armidale (NSW – good 3), Griffith (NSW – good 3), Collarenebri (NSW – good); Moonee Valley (Vic – good 4), bet365 Park Kilmore (Vic – soft 7); Doomben (Qld – good 4), Gold Coast (Qld – good 3), Bedourie (Qld – good), Dalby (Qld – good 3), Goondiwindi (Qld – firm 2), Ingham (Qld – good 3), McKinlay (Qld – good), Morven (Qld – good), Thangool (Qld – good 3); Morphettville (SA – soft 7); Belmont (WA – good 4); Ladbrokes Pioneer Park (NT – good). Harness racing: Ballarat (Vic), Newcastle (NSW), Albion Park (Qld), Menangle (NSW), Globe Derby (SA), Bunbury (WA). Greyhound racing: Shepparton (Vic), The Gardens (NSW), Ipswich (Qld), Bulli (NSW), The Meadows (Vic), Wentworth Park (NSW), Cannington (WA).

 

Confirmed betting (card finalised)

Moonee Valley R1 #1 Domino Vitale (place)
Moonee Valley R5 #1 Russian Revolution (win)
Moonee Valley R6 #10 Blondie (place)
Moonee Valley R7 #2 Brave Smash (win x2)
Moonee Valley R8 #10 Lizzie L’amour (E/W)
Rosehill Gardens R3 #1 Alward (win)
Rosehill Gardens R4 #3 Addictive Nature (win)
Rosehill Gardens R6 #2 Omei Sword (win)
Rosehill Gardens R7 #4 Pariah (win)
Doomben R7 #8 Madame Lily (win)
Morphettville R2 #3 Counterplay (win)
Morphettville R8 #3 Night’s Watch (win)

 

Yesterday’s results (WIN-PLACE-UNPLACED): 2-0-4, -2.0 units

Geelong R7 #3 Manuel (win) 1st ($2.10)
Geelong R8 #4 Bastille (win) LOSE (U/P)
Tuncurry R3 #1 The Spitfire (win) LOSE (U/P)
Tuncurry R5 #1 Grundalina (win) LOSE (U/P)
Beaudesert R1 #1 Brains (win) 1st ($1.90)
Beaudesert R7 #3 Mishani Phoenix (win) LOSE (2nd)

 

 

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Crownbet (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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