bet365 Melbourne Mail: Moonee Valley - 29th July 2023

The Valley rejoins the racing rota for the first time since March to play host to the final Metropolitan meeting of the season.


The feature is the Travis Harrison Cup; a race always strongly contested and a race held dear by Craig Williams who has managed to win the race run in honour of his cousin multiple times, including last year aboard Lackeen. 

Williams could never be accused of not doing his homework - meticulous is about the first word that springs to mind when thinking of Williams (just ahead of attentive, good-natured and teeth) - but he was clearly a man with a plan and a man on a mission when the gates opened for the 2022 Travis Harrison Cup and nothing short of the same can be expected on Saturday as he links up with last year's beaten favourite and runner-up Chief Altony. 

Backing a horse because a jockey wants to win is fairly flimsy reasoning but it certainly doesn't hurt. It worked last year (ready yourself for some pretty grubby post-race gloating here...) when the Melbourne Mail spruiked: "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." 

The key point to focus on there (other than the fact that I am a horrible, self-promoting aftertimer...) is "he has enough horse to do it with the right run."

Once again Craig finds enough horse and that would not be by accident. Chief Altony's second in the race last year goes a long way to telling us that he is good enough to go one better and his last last returned a better rating than the one he took into the race twelve months ago. 

In fact, his last start rating is one he has only bettered once before, using Racing and Sports internal metrics, and it equates to him having a better chance than early markets afford him.

That means, bet! 

The race prior, race six, is a competitive staying handicap that doesn't lack for chances, one of which is Wuddzz, who tries his hand in something a bit tougher this time but does so at the right price to get involved.  

Wuddzz was pouring it on at the end in a Swan Hill handicap last time, posting an effort in line with a similarly dominant win at the Bool in May, and both of those wins hint at him being capable of mixing at this level.

The promise of his best still being ahead of him stands him out against most of these and makes him an appealing gamble at the prices.



Bet Of The Day: Race 7 #10 Chief Altony @ $4.20 with bet365

Each Way Play: Race 6 #12 Wuddzz @ $10.00 with bet365


*Odds correct as of 4:15pm 27/07/23

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