Big day of group level action comes to us this Saturday punters, and there is a number of high quality gallopers going around for us to have a speck at. A ticket to the Cox Plate awaits for whoever can take out the G2 Feehan Stakes at The Valley, and the winner of the G2 Mcewen Stakes over 1000m earlier in the card will likely begin to shape the market for the G1 Moir. Racing returns to Randwick, with the Chelmsford Stakes being the feature, but the highlight is going to be the Nature Strip vs ‘the rest’ in Concorde Stakes. Doomben, Morphettville and Belmont are the other metro meetings, so let’s take a look at PlayUp form analyst Lewis Willoughby’s top five picks of the day.
Moonee Valley R1 #3 How Womantic $2.60 at PlayUp – Comes here first up off two sound jump out efforts, in the most recent one finishing behind Diamond Effort and Dr Drill. That form has since been franked with both those horses running exceptionally well in their first up assignments. How Romantic is a group level horse kicking off in a low quality benchmark race, and is very well suited by leading over this 1200m journey. Most of the other horses are looking for further, so I’m tipping How Womantic will be too good. Selections: 3-8-10-7
Moonee Valley R2 #6 Sovereign Award $5.00 at PlayUp – Keen to have a play on this D O’Brien horse who I think has gone up over the odds here in the second race. Has been running very well this prep, including two straight wins before not being suited by the slow tempo last start yet still fighting on very bravely. Comes back down in grade here, drops in weight, and coming back to 1600m are all huge positives. Will be peak fit now fourth up and should enjoy a very good run in transit from barrier four. Keen to play. Selections: 6-14-2-4
Moonee Valley R4 #7 The King $16.00 at PlayUp – Going to be having something each way on this Lindsay Smith trained horse who arrives here at The Valley first up. Straight to 1600m may seem crazy, but he has been primed with three strong jump outs over longer distances, with a 1400m piece of work at Coleraine recently. He has only had one Australian run, and that was over 1700m last prep finishing behind Starcaster in a race that rated really well! The track pattern could be against him here, but I think he will be fit and forward to give a big showing, and I’ll be backing him on an each way basis. Selections: 7-6-3-4
Randwick R5 #13 Kinane $4.60 at PlayUp – Second up here for the Waller gelding, and comes off a fresh run that I thought was very admirable coming from off the speed and attacking the line strongly. Steps out to the 1500m distance, which will help, and his only other career second up run was a strong win last prep before going on to win at Group level. James McDonald has gotten himself down to 54.5kg to ride this horse (rare!), and I expect him to be savaging the line out wide off an expected strong tempo. Should go close here! Selections: 13-8-9-14
Randwick R9 #12 Icebath $2.90 at PlayUp – With some key scratchings in this race, most notably Masked Crusader, i’m happy to take the price about the consistent Icebath. Her first up effort behind Zakat last start over 1200m was very strong, and now meets that horse much better at the weights. From barrier 2 she should have a very comfortable run in transit, and sticking to the 1200m here second up is no issue, as this looks her pet distance. With fitness and improvement on her side now, she can reverse the result and rejoin the winners list. Selections: 12-3-6-10