The Melbourne Mail: Moonee Valley - 30th July 2022

Moonee Valley returns to the roster for the last Saturday of the season.


The feature for Saturday's return to the Valley is the Travis Harrison Cup; a terrific betting puzzle for punters and well worth our time to try and solve it. 

Chief Altony has been one of the stars of the winter and has been good enough to have taken home more than just the Sandown handicap that he has bagged. He ran terrific splits winning that race, and then again behind Visinari, before being a tragedy beaten at Caulfield. He was good again in Sydney last time but there might have been a hint at him running out of puff after a busy period and his early price here is no spoil. 

No spoil but it must leave an opportunity elsewhere. 

Seven of the fifteen Harrison Cup runners come from behind a brilliant Brett Prebble ride aboard Edison at Caulfield two weeks back. Zoltan finished best of them having found himself in a good spot but he started 25-1 which makes passing on $7.50 now easy enough. Tavidance, Lackeen and Justacanta were all about as good behind him. 

I can't pass on Lackeen under Craig Williams who is in hot form and holds this race dear. He will no doubt have poured himself into a gameplan to get Lackeen home and he has enough horse to do it with the right run. 

Lackeen seemed to earn himself a reputation as a non-winner after a string of seconds in his first Australian prep but, as it so often does, that was quickly proven an absolute nonsense and he knocked in two wins in as many good track runs in his latest campaign. 

Winning started when he got back on top of the ground and he ran every bit as well in a couple of runs around those wins on ground that was on the good side of soft. Moonee Valley should offer him the sort of surface that he wants on Saturday and at the right time in his campaign with two rust removers under the belt. 

Tavidance must have a similar sort of chance at the same point in his preparation but he comes up shorter in the early betting and the phrase 'Slowly Away' has now featured in the steward's report in five of his past six. A slow start here could leave him awkwardly placed and we will be hoping that Lackeen and an inspired Craig Williams will be out taking every little advantage available to them. 

The two-turn-three-year-olds are going to be an interesting conundrum this spring and it could pay to take a chance on some improving sharply away from the heavy tracks that many faced in the autumn. 

With that in mind, Winnertakesitall looks one worth chancing as she comes down to Melbourne for the Snowdens who are looking very dangerous as they set their sights on Melbourne's firmer footing of late. 

Winnertakesitall showed good pace on debut, quickly leading and tiring only late at Canberra behind a more streetwise winner. The time, on a slowing track, looked fine and the winner went on to run a well-fancied second in the Pago Pago.

Winnertakesitall went to the same card and again showed good speed in the Magic Night, leading and briefly looking to hold a chance before getting tired in the heavy going. 

Those sort of 'stuck in the mud' runs are worth looking for. Written Swoosh was about as good as any - colt or filly - in the Diamond Previews and this seems a nice place to start for her but there surely isn't a lot of juice in prices sub 2-1 whereas Winnertakesitall is thrown up at 8-1, having been much the same price in a key Slipper trial last time.  



Bet Of The Day: Race 8 #13 Lackeen @ $9.00

Each Way Play: Race 3 #7 Winnertakesitall @ $9.00

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