The Melbourne Mail: Moonee Valley and Mornington - 25th March 2022

The Valley's night racing season comes to a close with the William Reid on Friday before the Mornington Cup meeting on Saturday.


The two Group races on Friday feature odds-on favourites; Flying Mascot expected to win her third on the bounce in the Sunline and the unbeaten Marabi shoots for eight in the William Reid. 

The William Reid looks a weak race for the grade and a repeat of her Australia Stakes (at the course and distance) and/or Oakleigh Plate form probably goes a long way towards Marabi winning again; but prices around the $1.70 mark are tempting to oppose. 

Jonker was at the opposite end of the field in the Oakleigh Plate but pulled up with an excuse there and did the same thing fresh in the spring before quickly getting back on track with a luckless Premiere sixth and a Manikato win around the Valley. This has no doubt been a target since then and 20/1 is of interest. 

The Astrologist and September Run filled the placings in a funky but fast Newmarket and must have a shot on the back of that. September Run has now arrested her slide with good runs either side of a spell. They have both been at Flemington where all her best form has come but the latest was in a Valley-shaped race and a solid fourth in this race last year offers some hope that she can produce her best around the tighter circuit. 

She couldn't in the Moir though where the Inferno and Trekking ran places behind Wild Ruler and that is the race that grabs our attention most.

Trekking followed that Moir third with a big run in the Everest - The Inferno never involved there - that showed his best form is still within range. 

Trekking isn't good enough to win an Everest but he has now run big there the past two years and wins in the Goodwood and Stradbroke further highlight him as a horse best suited to high-pressure tests. 

Pressure is what the Valley throws hence three Group One placings (a couple without much luck) at the course and with this light-on for topline performers he appeals as a good each way gamble at prices around 25/1 despite doing very little in his prep run. 

That sort of pressure is hardly assured in the Cup at Mornington the following day but despite a field light on numbers the talent is there at the top with three last-start winners headed by a couple who look well up to Mornington Cup-winning standard. 

The pick of them on peak rating is Pondus who was back to something like that peak last week but Crystal Pegasus looks like taking another step forward after putting five on the Adelaide Cup 1-2 at his first go beyond 1 1⁄4 m in Australia. 

Crystal Pegasus is from one of the great mile-and-a-half families so it was a surprise that it took so long to see him over longer trips and no surprise to see it draw out a career-best effort. Not only did he beat them by five but he did it full of running. 

He is likely to need some (or all) of that running to take down a much stiffer opponent in Pondus but we're happy to back him to do just that. 



Bet Of The Day: Mornington Race 6 #4 Crystal Pegasus @ $2.80

Each Way Play: Moonee Valley Race 7 #1 Trekking @ $26.00

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