The Melbourne Mail: Moonee Valley - 12th August 2023

Once the Valley of dreams, now the Valley of nightmares. How will punters clear their minds of the events of two weeks ago as we return to Moonee Valley?


There is little doubt that the Valley track played against those who played stalk-and-pounce two weeks back. The track was two-paced. Races beyond a mile returned good times, the sprints returned slow times, and the mile races in the middle. 

The greater the percentage of the race that was spent down the side, the slower the race. The side, down by the school, where the stalkers look to pounce. Trying to make a move in that much more testing part of the race blew horses up and quickly. 

And so what to do with this theory? And what can be expected on Saturday as the rail returns to the true? 


1) Be kind to those who played the course the hard way last time. 

2) We can look back to the corresponding meeting last year, run on heavy ground - our fellow forecasters at the BOM are hinting that something similar could be in the offing on Saturday. Last year the play was the typical Valley rail true play - up and off.

The horse hinted at here: Pereille. Is it a trap? Maybe. But aren't they all...

Pereille has been turned over at short odds a few times and but that only matters if you are taking short odds. He hasn't missed the frame in nine and the only way to think that he turned it up last time is to think that he is fully aware of where the line This claim gets made as a throwaway line in commentary but, stripped back, it's a fairly extraordinary claim to suggest that a horse is cognisant of the rules of a race. 

Pereille is running better ratings now than he has in the past. There is some case to be made that he is still making chunks of improvement and the rain won't worry him as he ran what was at the time the best rating of his career when faced with heavy(ish) going at Warwick Farm last preparation. Heavy ground at the same track in the campaign prior saw another strong rating (and another loss at the front of betting mind!)

Interesting each-way angles aren't exactly leaping off the page but one that looks worth chancing comes up in race six in the form of Duke Of Hastings

This is an ordinary affair with the expected winning level a low bar - one that Duke Of Hastings is well up to leaping on his day. 

The downside is that he has beaten one home in each of two starts this time around. The upside is that his form has taken a turn in the right direction at this point of his last two campaigns and that those ratings make him a much better chance than early markets do with $21 and upwards available and the potential for much better to be bet.

One of the best performers against the market in Victoria, Harry Coffey, takes the reigns and that ain't bad for his chances. 



Bet Of The Day: Race 10 #11 Pereille @ $3.60

Each Way Play: Race 6 #9 Duke Of Hastings @ $21.00

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