Moonee Valley Race 4 | Australia Stakes  | 1200m G2 WFA  | 8.00pm AEDT

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail in the True Position. With the forecast for a mostly sunny Friday (29c), the meeting should be run on a genuine Good 4 surface.

Expect the track to race very evenly and give all horses a chance especially in this small field.

Speed and Tactics

Not a great deal of pace in this field. I would think they would pair off quite quickly with Thronum leading inside Flippant, then Stellar Collision & Brave Smash & then Mr Sneaky & Kens Dream behind them.

If that occurs they should race in that formation for the first 600 metres, as most of them would be happy enough in their spots, & then rev it up from the 600 metres.

Early Pace Rating: Moderate

Late Pace Rating: Solid to fast

Best Suited: All runners to have their chance

Race Assessment

1. Brave Smash: Forecast 100 - 102. Assessed $1.80

Brave Smash resumes here after a 104 day spell. He was in great form last preparation, his first in Australia, with a win and three placings from four starts. He was never beaten further than a length and rated three times over 100 including a peak of 102.6 in The Everest behind Redzel. First up last time in he rated 100.9 and I’d expect him to be in that sort of form. From the inside barrier he needs to hold his spot in the pair behind the leaders & if he does he should be too classy for them.

4. Mr Sneaky: Forecast 97 - 99. Assessed $6.00

He also resumes from a 104 day spell with his last run being a luckless 12th in the Toorak Handicap behind Tosen Stardom. He is two starts for two wins First-Up and these runs include his career high rating of 101.6 last preparation. I’d be surprised if he can rate to that figure in this race, as I expect him to go back to last in the small field with a moderate pace up front. Apart from his 101.6 his next best rating is 97.1 so It’s hard to be on him at the $4.

6. Flippant: Forecast 96-98. Assessed $9.00

Flippant resumed at Flemington on 1/1 with a narrow second to Lord Of The Sky. She rated 96.8 there and I’d expect a small improvement into this race. She should go forward & sit outside the leader and has some chance if they can get away with some cheap sectionals up front.

5. Thronum: Forecast 95-97. Assessed $13.00

Thronum had two starts back in November after being off the scene for a long time. He rated similar numbers in those races of 95.6 and 96 and I’d expect him to be near that level. He should lead this race and will look to control the speed. I’m just not sure he will be able to match them when the pressure comes on from the 600 metres.

2. Kens Dream: Forecast 93-96. Assessed $21.00

He went well when an easy winner down the Flemington straight on the 13/1 but needs to step up in ratings to be competitive here. He will probably go back at the start and isn’t well suited under the WFA conditions.

3. Stellar Collision: 94-96.5. Assessed $21.00

He improved greatly from his First-Up failure, with a tough win at big odds at Caulfield on Boxing Day. He’ll find a nice spot from an inside gate but still needs a rating spike to be in the finish.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Brave Smash at >$1.80. Stake 2.2% of your total bank.

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