The Melbourne Mail: Moonee Valley - 3rd September 2022

Sooner or later, everything old is new again. The Feehan turn Dato Tan Chin Nam is the Feehan again and Saturday's McEwen has a familiar feel.


It was a misty day in the spring of 2017. The Richmond Tigers, widely regarded as the greatest football club on planet earth, had just won a big final, destroying a hapless Geelong in fine style. They would soon win the Premiership.

Moonee Valley, in celebration, hosted it's Feehan Stakes meeting with the Group Two McEwen Stakes sharing the top of the bill. 

There the favourite was a filly who had won the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast the previous season. She had lit up the two-year-old scene with fast times before a brave effort in testing ground in the Golden Slipper. 

Extremely heavy going had brought her undone in the Slipper but, so brave had she been in the circumstance, the market forgave her that. $2.50 the quote for her return despite stepping out against older, tougher, faster, seasoned horses. 

It's easy now of course but the 120-rated Russian Revolution was allowed to go around at bigger prices before proving too strong. He was 12 months on from his three-year-old spring where he mixed it with the best of his generation before an autumn campaign where he was exposed to competition with the top older horses - his best effort a 120 rating in the Galaxy. 

Fast forward to 2022 and the mighty Richmond Football Club are again rolling in early September. As the spring sun looks to burst through the Moonee Valley mist, the 120-rated In The Congo, who was duelling with Anamoe at this time last year before being exposed to competition with the top older horses in the autumn, fronts up for the McEwen. 

But the market again turns it back on the four-year-old bull; preferring the speedy Millions winner off a brave effort in knee-deep going in the Slipper: 5/4 Coolangatta v 4/1 In The Congo.

Perhaps Coolangatta is the one most likely but she is surely not that likely.

1000m might not be a perfect fit for In The Congo but the race looks like setting up well for him and he isn't one short of pace.

The Galaxy has a nice relationship with the McEwen. Bel Sprinter and Nature Strip have won both along with Russian Revolution - though perhaps this relationship is more one of 120-and-above rated horses and good races than the Galaxy and McEwen specifically. 

In The Congo fits that bill. A good horse, with the best established form in the race, and a scenario that can see him produce 4/1 is a bet.

The third race on the card is for the three-year-olds with betting headed by the up-and-going Shalaman and the talented Millane. 

Millane was ridden so conservatively last time it could even be described as negatively. Even poorly... He ran on well but a wide draw here could see him facing a similar task and that makes betting around him appealing despite a hunch that he is the best horse here. 

Amenable might be a match and turns up five months on from making a deep impression on debut for the Price and Kent team who must be desperate for a good three-year-old to emerge having trained just 11 individual three-year-old winners in the opening month of the season, including last weeks smart feature winner Jacquinot and a couple, Grand Impact and What You Need, who stamped themselves spring hopefuls with high-rating performances. 

There was heat in the late splits from Amenable at Sandown that marks him down as a potentially smart one and a step forward here - easily expected - can make life tough for horses that, Millane aside, have done no more than him. $9.00 sells his combination of performance and potential short. 



Bet Of The Day: Race 5 #2 In The Congo @ $5.00

Each Way Play: Race 3 #8 Amenable @ $9.00

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