Moonee Valley Race 7 | Manikato Stakes | 1200m G1 WFA | 9.30pm

The Track

The track is currently a Good 3 (rail true), with 26c forecast on Friday (mostly sunny).

Expect the track to be in terrific condition and race evenly, with the pace of each race far more influential than the track.

Speed and Tactics

Expect Vega Magic (3) to be ridden with intent (unlike The Everest) with Hey Doc (9) and possibly Super Cash (8) pressing forward from out wide. Malaguerra (11) may try similar, but there’s some query about whether he still has the early pace and the prospect of doing too much early work may put Oliver off.

Even with a couple of wider drawn runners going forward, they don’t look particularly fast early, so the pace seems likely to be even at best.

Early Pace Rating: Below average to average

Late Pace Rating: Average to above average

Best Suited: Lead to 3L off lead.

WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

Based on lead up form, a rating of at least 104 and perhaps as high as 106 will be needed to win. A number of the runners in this race have yet to reach that level at any stage in their career.

Race Assessment

2. Vega Magic: Forecast 105 - 107. Assessed $1.90

Ridden terribly in The Everest (back, wide, over-racing, then running on in the worse part of the track) he did an amazing job to finish second beaten just 0.8L. That run showed he’s right up to his earlier wins in the Spring which rated in the 106.5-107 range, which is comfortably clear of the others in this race. From Barrier 3 I’d expect Craig Williams to ride him like the best horse and either lead or at the very worst end up 1 x 1 outside In Her Time. He’s impossible to fault in this race and rightfully a dominant top choice.

9. In Her Time: Forecast 103.5 - 104.5. Assessed $7.00

She returned with a new career peak first up and then backed it up against last start. Those two x 104.5 ratings are clearly the next best form in this race and from Barrier 2 she should only be one pair back from the lead. If Vega Magic leads she’ll get the chance to follow and peel off his back. If a horse like Super Cash or Hey Doc crosses to lead then she may need some luck and could potentially be held up.

1. Chautauqua: Forecast 101 - 104 Assessed $11.00

He’s racing OK, but some stiffer competition this prep, travelling at a slower early speed than usual and perhaps the effects of age has meant that he’s not been as effective. He’s impossible to like here, but has been finishing off his races well so he’s still certainly some threat.

8. English: Forecast 98 - 104. Assessed $17.00

She was great behind In Her Time two starts ago but then plain in the Everest. The talent is there to be super competitive, but consistency is not her strong suit.

10. Viddora: Forecast 100 - 102.5. Assessed $21.00

She’s a very consistent Mare, but looks a level below needed to win this race.

6. Voodoo Lad: Forecast 97 - 101 Assessed $34.00

He was solid enough in the Moir Stakes, but 100-101 is around his performance range and that’s well short of the standard needed here. Barrier 1 does him no favours either.

4. Hey Doc: Forecast 96 - 101. Assessed $34.00

Freshened back from the 1600m Makybe Diva Stakes. He’s maxed out at a 101 rating though and this doesn’t look the scenario he could explode to a new peak.

11. Super Cash: Forecast 98.5-100. Assessed $34.00

She has a one-off spike of 104, but the rest of her form is well below that level and her first up win only hit 98.5. Hard to like.

5. Rock Magic: 97- 100. Assessed $51.00

He’s racing very well, but is another that is yet to get anywhere close to the rating level that will be needed to win this. It’s hard to see an 8YO with 41 starts suddenly hitting a big new peak.

7. Spieth: Forecast 96 - 100. Assessed $51.00

He may have been unlucky in the past not to win 2 x G1 races, but that form lacks depth so his best career runs are still short of the level needed in this and he was plain first up.

3. Malaguerra: Forecast 96 - 100 Assessed $101.00

He was sound in the G1 Moir beaten 2 lengths but this race is an entirely different level to that and he looks poorly suited on the map from a wide draw.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Vega Magic at >$1.90 – Stake 2.1% of your total bank.

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