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Moonee Valley Tips February 22 – Expert best bets for The Valley on Friday

Jackson Oldham in Free Tips 22 Feb 2019
  • Expert tips for the weekend best bets for Moonee Valley.
  • Suggested Stake: Ben Hercules 3 units to win - Ayers Rock 2 units to win 
Moonee Valley Racecourse

Looking for expert tips and best bets for Saturday racing at Moonee Valley? Our form analysts pick out their best chances for racing at The Valley. 

Moonee Valley is widely-recognised for its short home-straight of only 173m, making it the shortest of any course in Australia. The Valley track stages around 27 race meetings a year and we pick out the best chances to be backing.

See our free weekly The Valley tips below and past results of our best bets:

The Valley Tips - February 22

Race 1 - 6:30pm The Drain Man Handicap (1000m)
I thought the best bet for the night came up in the first race, with the Lindsay Park galloper BEN HERCULES. He won impressively first-up at Bendigo last preparation before winning again at Sandown and going to Sydney for a run in the Rosebud Prelude. I thought his fourth (beaten 2.2 lengths) behind Plague Stone and Witherspoon was full of merit, as he ran 9.1 lengths above benchmark which is the best figure in the race. The main danger looks to be the stablemate Thine Is The Power but surely Mark Zahra had his choice of the two, with Fred Kersley on board Thine Is The Power. I really liked his recent trial at Tatura. Mark Zahra rode him in the trial and couldn’t hold him slow enough, as he was eating into the margin of the leader Galaxy Force over the final 150m. From a map perpesctive, Rock Hard should lead with Ben Hercules on his outside and Thine is the Power back behind the leader. Zahra is the best rider in the race and can just own this race from outside the leader, with the jockeys around him likely to be Joe Bowditch, Chelsea Hall, Fred Kersley and Liam Riordan. I’m happy to make Ben Hercules my best bet of the night. 

Race 6 - 9:00pm PKF Summer Stayers Series Heat 5 (2040m)
The horse I thought was slightly over the odds was AYERS ROCK. I think this race sets up well for Ayers Rock, who should sit outside the likely leader Cleo’s Poet. Although he goes from D.Dunn to E.Brown which could be seen as a negative jockey change by some, I believe this is a huge positive. This horse needs a rolling tempo as he doesn’t have a terrific turn of foot and D.Dunn usually goes slower than necessary on front runners.The perfect example of this was last start in a Benchmark 84 race at Flemington, Dunn went 4.6 lengths slower than benchmark to the 600m, the start before over this track and distance at The Valley, he sat second and went four lengths quicker than benchmark to the 600m and finished less than a length behind Mosh Music who has won again. Ethan Brown is an elite judge of tempo and I love him on this horse. Although the favourite Crimson Tears is probably the most likely winner of the race, I couldn’t get him anywhere near his current price of $2.40. I thought his last start run was ok but this is slightly weaker. My main concern was M.Poy from barrier nine, he will have to make decisions early and if he gets too far back, it could be game over. At the price I thought Ayers Rock represented the best value.

Previous Moonee Valley Tips:

February 15

Race 1 - 6:30pm Dominant Hygiene Systems Plate (1000m)
The James Cummings-trained VIVARO was super impressive at the jumpouts and warranted the market support on debut over this track and distance a fortnight ago. He showed terrific early speed, running 5.2 lengths above benchmark to the 600m but just hasn’t learnt how to harness his early speed. Some of these jump and run two-year-olds can be ‘squiby’ meaning they are speed horses who don’t have much substance to them. I don’t believe this is the case for Vivaro, as he showed terrific fight in the straight considering how hard he went over the first half of the race. From the trials, the two dangers appear to be the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Isa Rocket, who won a trial impressively at Cranbourne, beating Charvet. The other danger could be Beauty Supreme for Grahame Begg and Jamie Kah. I blackbooked him from the Cranbourne trials and I’m confident he can run a nice race at double figure odds. 
Result (unplaced)

Race 2 - 7:00pm Dominant Hand Hygiene Handicap (1200m)
The Lindsay Park runner KHULAASA has never been one of my horses but she looks a bet here at upwards of that $5.50 quote. She third (beaten 0.3 lengths) behind Ranier and Wild Planet reads terrifically for a race of this quality. Her last start over this track and distance, she was beaten only three-lengths behind the likes of Thrillster and Humma Humma. I have been impressed with her two jumpouts at Werribee and Flemington. She sat wide at Werribee and just cruised into the jumpout at Werribee under no riding. She went to Flemington a week later and looked to take plenty of improvement from her first jumpout, leading and travelling well, defeating stablemate Qafila under no riding. She looks to have returned in very good order and I’m expecting a big first-up performance. From barrier three, I’d love to see Jordan Childs be positive on her out of the gates and either lead or sit close to the leader.
Result (1st - $7.50)

Race 4 - 8:00pm Dominant Australia Stayers Series (2040m)
The best bet of the night looks to be the Archie Alexander-trained MOSH MUSIC. She put the writing on the wall two starts ago at Sandown, as the leaders ran walked early, running 11.7 lengths below benchmark to the 600m, she flew home, running the quickest last 200m, 400m, 600m and 800m of the race, running the final 600m in 8.3 lengths above benchmark. She went to The Valley last start and Jordan Childs rode her like the best horse in the race and she proved that. She was forced to make a sustained run from the 800m and covered more ground than any other horse, despite that she was still far too good for her rivals, running the fastest last 400m, 600m and 800m of the race, running 6.4 lengths above benchmark. She has had that run at 2040m and should be reaching peak fitness fourth-up. She maps nicely from barrier four with Jordan Childs and as long as the track allows good horses to make ground, she should be winning.
Result (1st - $2)

February 8

Race 2 - 7:00pm Otis Foundation Sprint Series Heat 4 (1200m)
This is a Group horse in the making, the Hawkes-trained GREYWORM. It took Al Passem to beat him in his first preparation and returned on Australia Stakes night at Moonee Valley. He was $2.50 into $1.55 in betting and the result was never in doubt, Ethan Brown positioned him outside the leader, he wobbled slightly around the home turn but put the race to bed very quickly. His figures from that race were huge, he ran 9.3 lengths above benchmark, only runners from the Group 2 Australia Stakes rated higher on the night. He ran better figures than the likes of Fifty Stars and Manuel who are both lining up in the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes on Saturday. This looks a handy race with the likes of Rox The Castle but Greyworm should be too good from a perfect gate.
Result (2nd)

Race 4 - 8:00pm Alinta Energy Sprint (1000m)
I’m the number one ticket holder of the Bleu Roche fan club but I’m siding with HUMMA HUMMA in this race. She trialled at Cranbourne on Monday Morning and it an extremely impressive piece of work. She was alongside the likes of My Pendent at the top of the straight and seemingly just strolled away from her rivals, winning the trial by six-lengths without Jamie Mott moving a muscle. Admittedly, she has never been a horse I’ve followed but that trial made me sit up and take notice. First-up last preparation she was a winner over 1000m and has that form around Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Sunlight. 
Result (1st - $2.60)

February 1

Race 4 - 8:00pm Sandwich Chefs Handicap (1600m)
Mick Price has two good chances in this race and It’s the outsider of the two, SILVERHAWK who I’m putting on top. The four-year-old looks a progressive type, winning first-up in a Class 1 at Werribee before winning again, defeating Diplomac Jack in BM64 grade at his next start. He went to Flemington last start and was just too keen in the run, the jockey also reported that the ground was too firm and he will enjoy a little more juice in the track. He sat outside the leader and failed badly behind Diplomac Jack who beat Laure Me In. If you can forgive that last start effort then I’d make a strong case that he should be favourite here and $6.50 looks over the odds. 
Result (unplaced)

Race 5 - 8:30pm Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge Heat 11 (955m)
On a tricky card at Moonee Valley, the Henry Dwyer-trained CROWN WITNESS does look the best bet of the night. The daughter of Star Witness has returned well, defeating Nature Strip in a recent Camperdown jumpout. Dwyer has intentionally avoided Nature Strip and Written By in the W.J. Adams Stakes at Caulfield and has instead opted for the easier race, on route to the Oakleigh Plate second-up. The Henry Dwyer stable is low flying to start 2019, with eight winners from 40 runners in January, with an average winning price of $7.76 and an ROI of 55%. The favourite Condor Heroes looks under the odds for mine. He does have a strong SP profile, starting $14 against genuine Group One horses Le Romain and Siege Of Quebec last start. He hasn’t been seen since August 18 and is now in the Lindsay Park stable who isn’t exactly flying at the present time. 
Result (2nd)

January 25

Race 3 - 7:30pm Crown Resorts VOBIS Gold Carat (1200m)
I’m happy to stick with the Nick Ryan-trained COLUMBUS CIRCLE. He was backed as if unbeatable on debut at Caulfield and especially was. He was bolting for a run at the top of the straight and when James Winks finally got clear air, he strode away for an effortless victory. The race rated well and I’m confident he can go on with it here. The danger on paper Hawkshot finally showed his ability last start at Sandown, after pulling early he still had the superior turn of foot to pick up his rivals late. In saying that, Barrier 1 at Moonee Valley is the complete worst case scenario for a horse who has never seen a tight track and still does plenty wrong. The logical danger is Beerz With Clint, who sat on-speed this track and distance two starts ago and took care of a moderate field. He went to Flemington last start over 1100m and flew home along inside, which was the worst part of the track. Back up to 1200m and Oliver sticks but he might just be an inferior racehorse. 
Result: 3rd

Race 6 - 9:00pm Chandler Macleod Martin Ralston Cup (1600m)
The market suggests this is an open race and it does appear that way. The horse that looks over the odds is WETAKEMANHATTAN. I really like his platform into this race, he went forward first-up at Warrnambool over 1300m and was clearly underdone, sticking on for fifth behind Vellastar and Indian Thunder who has won impressively since. Second-up he went to Flemington over 1600m. He was on-speed in a swoopers race and again battled on for fifth behind Laure Me In who has also won since. I like the fact he has had that 1600m and looks ready to peak third-up, his last victory was third-up over a mile. He should roll forward with his fitness base and Ben Melham on is a tick. Happy to play on an each-way basis at double figure odds. 
Result: 2nd

Race 7 - 9:30pm Mortimer Petroleum Australia Stakes (1200m)
As a rule, I don’t usually like playing these small field, sprint races at The Valley but this is a major exception. The Darren Weir-trained WHISPERING BROOK looks extremely well-placed in a classy field. I’m definitely not suggesting she is the best horse in this race but instead the fact that she gets the perfect setup. She defied a stinky Weir drift first-up ($4.40 out to $11 on betfair) and won, that’s the sign of a very good horse. Second-up in the Standish, she exploded through a gap and looked like she was going to win by three-lengths. She looked gassed at the 50m but had the race won, indicating to me that she will take further improvement third-up. Barrier two for Mark Zahra, she can either lead or get the perfect trail in behind Runson. At around that $3.60 mark, I’m keen to bet. 
Result: Won ($3.40)


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Moonee Valley Tips February 22 – Expert best bets for The Valley on Friday

Jackson Oldham previews racing at Moonee Valley on Friday night and gives his best bets for the meeting.

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