Nathan’s Racebook: Moonee Valley tips

The races are off in Queensland, so The Courier-Mail’s racing editor Nathan Exelby has turned his attention to Moonee Valley and finding winners in the quaddie legs on Cox Plate Day.


Track: Good (4); Weather: Late shower, 19 degrees


WFA G2, 2.35pm *Qld times

In the run: Cliff’s Edge can lead from the outside draw and wouldn’t surprise if Siege Of Quebec was much closer here. Sir John Lavery handy.

Take note: Cliff’s Edge and Siege Of Quebec meet on level terms from the Toorak, where both ran well. Cliff’s was on the hot speed in a race dominated by backmarkers. Tempo should be more to his liking here and he is a proven Valley horse. Siege Of Quebec, though, has the stronger form of the two this spring and Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott are flying at the moment.

Did you know: Sir John Lavery had no luck at all in his Australian debut. Was Group 2 placed at a mile in Europe in a couple of ratings that would win this race.

Early money: Cliff’s Edge ($4.20-$3.90) is the one that has trimmed up since betting opened.


NATHAN’S DANGER: Sir John Lavery $6

Siege Og Quebec can snare another win for co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. Picture: AAPSource:AAP


SWP G2, 3.10pm

In the run: Trap For Fools looks the leader, with Sully up there for company. The Taj Mahal is capable of crossing from the wide gate if they wish to without too much other speed in the race.

Take note: Tosen Basil is proving hard to follow. Didn’t fire a shot last time, but prior to that, stretched Homesman in a performance that would win this race. Proven up to 3200m in Japan, so the trip should hold no fears.

Did you know: Lloyd Williams won this race three times in the last 12 years, the latest with The United States two years ago. The Taj Mahal backs up from a tidy effort in the Caulfield Cup last week. That’s stronger form than most of these bring.

Early money: Specking for Egg Tart ($8.50) and Ventura Storm ($16-$12) in a wide open betting race.


NATHAN’S DANGER: The Taj Mahal $5

EXPLAINER: Winx ready to make Cox Plate history1:12

Chasing an historic fourth straight Cox Plate victory, Winx will jump from barrier six in the eight-horse field with Godolphin’s Benbatl to start from three. (AAP Video)

RACE 9: COX PLATE (2040m)

WFA G1, 4pm

In the run: The imports Benbatl and Rostropovich look the likely pacemakers, but can’t see them wanting to go too hard. Benbatl’s best chance is to walk in front and hope Winx has too much work to do to catch him.

Take note: Humidor improved sharply when giving the champ a fright in this race last year. His lead-up run this year was probably better. Horses that race well in a Cox Plate have a long history of running well again the following year. Shouldn’t miss the top three.

Did you know: Winx has started shorter each year in the Cox Plate: $4.60 in 2015, $1.80 in 2016 and $1.18 last year. Early markets have that trend ending this year, with punters getting a little juicier price about the four-peat.

Early money: In Ladbrokes’ Winx out market, Benbatl ($2.60) holds the call over Humidor ($4.20), with Avilius next pick at $6.



Winx is primed to win her fourth Cox Plate. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

RACE 10: MV VASE (2040m)

3yo G2, 4.50pm

In the run: A few go forward horses, but Savoie and Cloak shape as the most likely leaders.

Take note: Dealmaker missed a lead-up to the Spring Champion Stakes and was left underdone for that. Has had three weeks since then, being scratched last week. Expecting him to be fitter today. Showed early this prep the talent is there.

Did you know: Aramayo beat home Thinkin’ Big comfortably in the Spring Champion, a race where the form is shaping up very strongly. He can take further improvement from that, provided Tye Angland gets some luck early from the draw.

Early money: The filly Verry Eleegant opened up the short priced favourite here, but is expected to come out, which will trim up all of the others.


NATHAN’S DANGER: Dealmaker $8.50

Originally published as Nathan’s Racebook: Moonee Valley tips

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