1. Buffering: Had to be pushed along to sit outside lead in the Moir but was never a threat approaching the turn, beaten 3.2L. That performance was 5L below his win in the 2015 edition of that race so early indications are that he’s not come back 100% from his overseas mission.
2. Chautauqua: Like Buffering, Chautauqua’s first up performance rated between 4 – 5L down on previous first up efforts. He had the winners back (Extreme Choice) approaching the turn and was simply outsprinted by the 3YO. Perhaps the worrying part of the run was that he was only able to get past a tiring Buffering, Ball of Muscle and Redzel in the final 20m. He looks like he really needs the 1200m now and the inside draw looks very tricky for a horse we’re asked to take around the $3 projected BSP.
3. Under The Louvre: Although defeated in all three runs this prep, it may surprise the reader to learn that all three runs this time in have rated 3L above what Buffering and Chautauqua did first up. I prefer Under The Louvre going ‘around a bend’ and his four starts at the Valley have returned two wins and a placing. Knockout runner.
6. The Quarterback: He’s been jumping much better recently for jockey Matthew Allen. He’s a knockout chance if run-on conditions suit and was really impressive in the Gilgai.
8. Fell Swoop: A pleasing return in the Schillaci when third to Star Turn over 1100m. The step up to 1200m suits and is one from one at the track. He has the class, referencing the Group 1 TJ Smith formline when second to Chautauqua. He’s drawn well and is a good chance to turn the tables on Chautauqua who might not be going as well this time in. The predicted rain suits him more than any other.
9. Holler: Not seen since contesting the Diamond Jubilee in England. He’ll be up on speed in what looks just an average leading early pace. Beaten a nostril by Flamberge at this track and distance two starts back so must rate well.
10. English: Running well in Sydney but not winning. Tries Moonee Valley for the first time and will have to sit wide (could be an advantage) to win this race. This has been her target race all preparation so expect a big spike in rating.
11. Capitalist: Although defeated twice this prep, he was first up on a slow track when carrying 60kg against Star Turn and was only beaten 3.2L. At his next start he was right on the heels on Astern in the Roman Consul at Randwick. This 3YO crop looks special and Extreme Choice has shown us that they can measure up at WFA with no problems at all. I’d be very confident if it wasn’t for the wet weather which connections say he’s not as effective on. However, the ratings say his first up effort with the 60kg on the soft was his career peak!