The focus in Melbourne might firmly be on the Victoria Derby meeting on Saturday, but the fields have held up well at Moonee Valley this Friday night.
Having held the Manikato Stakes and Cox Plate last week, Moonee Valley is back with another night meeting and all eight races should provide punters will good betting opportunities.
It’s a great entrée to a wonderful weekend of racing.
Moonee Valley free tips & form
Race 2. (18:30) Ranvet Handicap (1523m)
The form out of the Cranbourne rating 70 last start has held up well with Banish taking honours on Cox Plate day.
Miss Gardenia finished only a neck behind the Godolphin runner last start and that form should stack up beautifully at Moonee Valley this Friday night.
The Darren Weir-trained four-year-old is a past winner on this track and she looked good when winning fresh up at Mornington to begin this campaign.
With form behind Oregon’s Day in the Alexandra Stakes, Miss Gardenia looks a good early bet here.
Race 3. (19:00) Ellar Classic Handicap (1600m)
Ebediyin has drifted from his opening quote of $2.50, but he should gather support on race night.
The five-year-old hasn’t been seen since running a big race for third behind Sebring Dream on this track last month and prior to that he was a quality winner here.
Darren Weir trains the entire which was considered good enough to run in the Irish Derby and Irish Champions Stakes, where he finished last in both, but that form is still good for this level of racing.
He gets a valuable 3kg claimer in the saddle and that will help his turn-of-foot which is significant.
Race 4. (19:30) Nelson Alexander Handicap (2040m)
Beach Life is a talented four-year-old which ran ninth in the Victoria Derby last season.
The Aaron Purcell-trained gelding finished nine lengths behind Prized Icon on that occasion, but he has since won and placed twice.
His run for second at Geelong last start had plenty of merit and despite rising up in grade, he gets in with a luxury weight of 55.5kg.
That could make all the difference from turning consistent form into winning form and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him fighting at the finish at each way odds.
Race 5. (20:00) 55 Second Challenge (955m)
Punters might be turned off by seeing the weight of 60.5kg beside his name, but he gets 3kg off his back from apprentice Ethan brown which will make all the difference.
The five-year-old gelding was unlucky to not have won last start at Cranbourne where he led and was only tackled late by Open House, which had the much better run.
His form prior included a win at Geelong in a good time and all four of his career wins have come at this distance.
Lindsay Park is a good training outfit to follow at the moment and there’s good value with the $5.50 on offer.
Race 6. (20:30) 1Print Handicap (1200m)
My Unicorn’s odds have fluctuated a lot this week. After opening at $6, she was backed into $4.20, but she has since drifted back out to $5.
We believe the barrier draw of 10 might have had something to do with it as she will require luck, but her form has been impressive.
She ran second behind Easy Beast last start, which we consider as top form, and her win prior came by 2.5 lengths at Moe.
The Peter Gelagotis stable could be in for a big two days in Melbourne and My Unicorn could get them off to a winning start.
Race 7. (21:00) Quest Moonee Valley Handicap (2500m)
Sherlock Holmes comes into this with a quality finish for fourth under his belt at Caulfield last start.
The imported son of Galileo arrived in Australia earlier this year after spending over a year off the track following his 10th in the Petingo Handicap at Leopardstown.
His best effort was when he finished fourth at Bendigo two starts back and that came over 2400m. The rise in distance to 2500m will help his chances of running on and the swooping Moonee Valley track should assist.
He will have to lump 60.5kg on his back, but he’s the most talented runner in the field so respect his chances.
Race 8. (21:30) Synergie Handicap (1200m)
It’s unsure at this stage if Crystal Fountain will line up at Moonee Valley or Flemington on Saturday, but she’s a good chance either way.
The Anthony Freedman-trained four-year-old has won four of her five starts and her only defeat came last time out at Geelong.
Her form prior was outstanding with a 1.25-length win at Geelong and she has winning experience at The Valley when she won by just under a length here last December.
If she runs on Friday night, expect her odds to shorten up a touch.