No time for backslapping or fluffy intros this week as I dive straight into Rosehill, Moonee Valley and the ballot exempt Caulfield Cup golden ticket event at Mornington on Saturday…

Moonee Valley Race 5 | Alexandria Stakes | 1600m | 8:30pm

Ellicazoom heads up the betting at $3.80 early. Vince Accardi’s Race Speed Profiles have her as the highest rated runner coming into the Group Two over 1600m. She had conditions to suit last time, but profiles very well according to Punting Form, with a solid overall Benchmark figure from the Kewney Stakes. She maps to perfection and will be rock solid in betting.

The unlucky runner from the Kewney was Oregon’s Day; she blew the start but made up significant ground against the pattern of the day. Despite failing at ‘The Valley’ at her only attempt, she can be in the finish, suited by the rise in trip but needing some luck and a weaving run from barrier two. Fragonard looks the value runner for Craig Williams. Expect him to hold the lead and ‘anchor drop’ mid race.

The Analysts have rated South Australian raider Peninsula Links $3.50 favourite. While I concede she has a good record and will map well in running she needs too many lengths above her current PB Benchmark figures to get close to what is required to win here.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (WIN) Ellicazoom

Moonee Valley Race 6 | Sunline Stakes | 1600m | 9:00pm

A very even contest looking at benchmark figures with the Punting Form profiles suggesting that 1600m at Flemington is the traditional lead up race. Circular fits that profile, but from barrier 10 looks to be a risk and is a likely drifter from $6.00.

I Am A Star is flying this time in. Her figures are quite strong in every section according to Vince’s RSP’s. She maps well, if she can get across from barrier nine, but how much energy will she have to exert to get there? At close to evens I’m inclined to risk.

First Seal appears to be the value runner. She gave I Am A Star 8kg in the Myer Classic and now meets her 5kg better off. John Thompson is chasing firm ground and her run in the Coolmore Classic; she can find the back of Rising Romance and be the strongest late for Blake Shinn. The RSPs indicate she has the strongest closing speed at this distance. If you’re still not convinced look at her record second up..

Ray Swannie from the Bookies’ Bag is with me laying I Am A Star “Although she’s a G1 winner at the mile in spring I’m not convinced she’s as suited here now with a smaller spread at the weights and drawn wide, being ‘the hunted’. $2.10 is rock bottom and she has to drift.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (WIN) First Seal

 LAY (WIN) I Am A Star

Moonee Valley Race 7 | William Reid Stakes | 1200m | 9:30pm

The Newmarket Handicap provided more questions than answers in one of the slowest run renewals in recent time. The one runner I think doesn’t run a strong 1200m at this stage of his career is Star Turn. He was fully wound up for the Lightning Stakes and like Bowman on Spieth, Dwayne Dunn also butchered Star Turn. He’s the first runner to lay in a weak renewal of the William Reid. The RSPs agree, suggesting he has very weak mid and closing sections.

Finding the winner appears more difficult. The Punting Form race profile favours horses specifically set for the race first or second up. Previous winners have come from range of positions in run but usually off an even tempo.

The RSPs indicate that Rock Magic, Kaepernick, Illustrious Lad and Hellbent rate amongst the best chances.

The market seems to have under-valued Kaepernick for mine. He was strong through the line in the Oakleigh Plate after negative tactics from barrier 16 and his best performances are off ‘even tempo’ races, which I expect to be the case here. At $21, he presents a great each-way play despite appearing unsuited at Weight-For-Age conditions.

Insider Suggests

 LAY (WIN) Star Turn

 BACK (E/W) Kaepernick

Rosehill Race 4 | Doncaster Prelude | 1500m | 2:15pm

Looks a really cut-and-dried race here. New Tipperary was solid second up and looks primed to win close to the minimum. He maps perfectly, and will be strong late on a suitable wet track. Of the backmarkers, Spectroscope could not have been more impressive first up. He ranked first or second fastest for every 200m section on the day, 1000m to the finishing line. My only query is that he is rising 1350m to 1500m and may be looking for further.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (WIN) New Tipperary

 BACK (WIN) Strectoscope

Rosehill Race 5 | Tulloch Stakes | 2000m | 2:50pm

The Rating Bureau has maximum confidence here with Jon Snow rated $2.50. With only Rising Red scratched (minimal deductions), this runner has been smashed with the corporates in early betting ($5.50 into $3.40) and with Daniel O’Sullivan leading the charge, I expect it to start very hard in the market.

Daniel says “What we like most of all is that he brings those strong NZ staying credentials into a race which is likely to be a real staying test in the conditions. In a survival of the toughest and fittest, he profiles better than any of them to be the last one standing. That combined with a query over his main market challenger in Prized Icon presents Jon Snow as an appealing betting prospect.”

The RSPs suggested Jon Snow has very strong mid and closing sections which is another solid push for the kiwi raider with the ‘Gingernuts’ form.

Prized Icon rates a $6.00 chance, and despite his class must be a massive query on the likely Heavy track.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (WIN) Jon Snow

Rosehill Race 6 | The BMW | 1500m | 3:30pm

Very even contest here with Melbourne Form ‘MF’ and Sydney Form ‘SF’, colliding. The easiest position to take is trying to find the weakest credentialed runner at 2400m. The rise from 2000m to 2400m is stark and there is no room for pretenders here, endurance horses only!

Jameka, Tavago, Our Ivanhowe and Exospheric all possess Group 1 talent at this distance. The risk (especially at the price) is Humidor. I’m confident the analysts at Punting Form have nailed this profile. They’ve rated Jameka and Tavgo on top, with the best lays Our Ivanhowe and Humidor.

I’m wary that Our Ivanhowe is an excellent wet tracker so that leaves me with Humidor to lay. Punting Form comment: ‘We also want to oppose Humidor. He is fifth up from a spell and quite obviously his ‘Grand Final’ was last week, and he’s also failed at his only attempt beyond 2000m’. He is a different horse since that flop in the G1 NZ Derby, but my biggest concern is that he has little to no improvement left for this event.

Insider Suggests

 LAY (WIN) Humidor

Rosehill Race 7 | Vinery Stud Stakes | 2000m | 4:10pm

There has to be a big query on the favourite Foxplay on a heavy rated surface as too Dawn Wall. Both are capable on soft going but as we saw last week, the difference when stretched to heavy is remarkable. I can’t remember a meeting where I saw so many horses change legs or struggle with the going than last Saturday.

Punting Form have settled on Harlow Gold as the horse to beat which I tend to agree with. Her effort behind Lasqueti Spirit in the Oaks was enormous. The Hayes/Dabernig yard have been quite vocal that she’s been set for the oaks, with that in mind her performances at 1400m and 1600m have been nothing short of breathtaking. Watch her Guineas replay here.

Barry Cook from the Bookies’ Bag is against Foxplay stating; “Horse will start Unders after its impressive win last time overcoming interference. That win was against the ‘B’ graders so we’re happy to the punters on at the shorts and pray for a result.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (E/W) Harlow Gold

Mornington Race 7 | Mornington Cup | 1500m | 4:30pm

The Mornington Cup looks an interesting content on paper. Goldstream fits the profile strongest of the locals and the race has lost a bright spark in Assign who will take place in the Neville Sellwood at Rosehill.

The X-factor is import The Gold Trail from the all-conquering Charlie Appleby yard. He dominated the ‘B Grade’ spring staying events and this horse comes here from a win in Dubai over 2400m. The market has him around the $2.50 quote and if he’s as good as the spring brigade can win this.

Hard to bet with confidence but if Goldstream can hold his last start rating out to 2400m he appears as a good value place bet at $3.80.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (PLACE) Goldstream

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