R7: Australia Stakes – 1200m G2 WFA

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 (Friday morning) with fine weather forecast for the remainder of the day / evening. We expect the track will race as a Good 3 with the inside section likely to be a marginal disadvantage.

Speed and Tactics

There’s good speed and pressure in this race courtesy of Sirbible (4) and Chetwood (8) who are both naturally fast front running types. J Doyle’s decision about whether he attempts to cross Sirbible will have a key influence on the eventual race pace.

Malaguerra (9) is drawn awkwardly, but has the early speed to trail Chetwood across and potentially find a good position one out and one back.

Early Pace Rating: Above Average to Solid

Late Pace Rating: Average to Below Average

Best Suited: 1.5 to 3.5 lengths off the lead

WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Looking at the lead up form into this race, we expect the winner will need to run to at least a 101 WFA Performance Rating and potentially in the 102 – 104 range if Black Heart Bart runs somewhere near his expected level.

Another key aspect of this race is the expected pace, which will ensure the winner needs to run a strong overall time rating. That is also an important factor is assessing the chances.

Race Assessment

1. Black Heart Bart: Forecast: 102-104, Assessed $2.20

He’s the standout in this race with a nice edge in overall performance ratings (even at this distance) and just as importantly, he’s proven many times that he can run the overall time rating needed to win this race (or faster.) The map also looks to pan out well for him; he should be no further back than fifth / sixth in the run, which will be ideal with good speed up front. Rawiller will just need to ensure he doesn’t get locked away on the fence.

3. Malaguerra: Forecast 100-101. Assessed $5

He’s been remarkably consistent throughout his career and any of his three runs from last preparation are right in the mix here. The wide draw seems awkward, but there’s a better than even chance that he just trails Chetwood across and settles one out / one back with a perfect run.

7. Chetwood: Forecast 99-101. Assessed $5

He won four in a row last preparation with ratings that make him competitive, but there’s no doubt he’ll need a new career peak to win. If he can avoid an early speed battle with Sirbible then there’s a good chance he’ll put in a peak and be somewhere in the finish.

2. Turn Me Loose: Forecast 96-98. Assessed $26

He looks to get an ideal run just off the lead here, but his two runs last prep were poor, so it’s impossible to be optimistic about him returning to somewhere near his peak over a distance that is short of his best.

5. Palentino: Forecast 96-98. Assessed $26

He has the quality to win this race, but the only two ratings that get him close were at Flemington over 1600m. That’s a different world to 1200m at Moonee Valley so we have to risk him.

4. Mourhino: Forecast 95-96. Assessed $41

He has the talent to be thereabouts, but he’s now a 9YO gelding first up after close to a year off.

8. Sirbible: Forecast 95-96. Assessed $41

He has one run from Jan 2016 at this track and distance that could be competitive, but his 10 runs since are well and truly below the standard that will be needed to trouble these.

10. Peacock: Forecast 94-95. Assessed $61

His ratings are significantly below the standard to need to win this and he’s yet to run in a race with the level of early pressure he’ll experience here.

Betting Strategy

Black Heart Bart is the clear standout in this and we are happy to bet accordingly.

 BACK (WIN) – Black Heart Bart at $2.20+ Stake 2% of your total bank

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