U S Navy Flag

A big weekend of racing at Moonee Valley kicks off this Friday night with the Manikato Stakes meeting - a wonderful entree leading into Cox Plate day on Saturday.

Once again SportChamps are leading the way, putting on a guaranteed $15,000 prizepool across the 8 race Moonee Valley card. For those who prefer betting north of the border, they are also offering up a minimum of $10,000 in prizemoney across the Canterbury night meeting that runs parallel. Combine these with the regular Friday contests and the usual offerings on TopBetta and MoneyBall and you have plenty of action on what promises to be a big night of racing.

We stay at Moonee Valley this week with our preview as we try to build a bank to take into Saturday’s Cox Plate meeting.

The dogs are barking in race 1 at 6:30pm for the Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra trained Propelle who resumes from a spell here. Two starts ago she bolted in at Sale before starting favourite against her own age at Flemington but she disappointed after over racing and was found to be lame post-race. But it was her jump-out at Flemington over 800m that has tongues wagging as she won by a massive margin and ran the quickest time of the morning. She holds plenty of appeal to start your night off the right way and is currently available at $3.10 with Sportsbet.

For those who like to play multiple runners, which can be an especially valuable strategy in tournaments, the Tony McEvoy trained Sacred Sword presents as a nice back-up option. He has been well supported in early betting, firming from double figure odds with some operators to a best price of $7.00 with Neds. His trainer gave him an especially strong push when interviewed about his chances on the weekend so he might be a horse racing near the lead that you want on your side.

Neds It's Time To Bet

Betting up on two standout favourites is a popular strategy with tournament players and race 3 at 7:30pm provides such opportunity. Iconoclasm was impressive when winning on Caulfield Guineas day and Sircconi came out of that race to win last week. At $2.25 with BetEasy she can be played with the second favourite Widgee Turf, who was scratched from the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes a few weeks ago and hasn’t raced since placings in the Group 2 Sir J Monash P Lawrence Stakes and Listed Penny Edition in Adelaide. This is a drop in class so at a best price of $3.00 with Neds she can combine with the favourite to give your betting bank a mid-meeting boost.

Written Choice was an impressive winner last time out over 955m so he may well be able to repeat the dose in race 5 at 8:30pm. While he has drawn wide he has a ton of speed and this doesn’t project to be as mad a dash as these short course races can be. With the favourite Esperance maybe preferring softer ground, Written Choice may provide some value on a tough night at a best price of $4.80 on Sportsbet.  

The main race of the night is race 7 at 9:30pm, the Group 1 Manikato Stakes and it is an absolute ripper of a race. Finding the winner here will be incredibly difficult which means tournament specialists may search for better opportunities but if you can find one at a big price it might be the break you need to finish among the big money. For those looking a bit outside the market, Voodoo Lad can be forgiven for his Caulfield run providing horses can make ground earlier in the night and is offered up at $15 over on Pointsbet. International galloper U S Navy Flag floundered on wet going in the Everest but under drier conditions he can improve sharply and has been well supported from double figure odds. Given the fanfare around this horse as he arrived in Australia, he might be the top pick in the race at a reasonable price of $6.50 on Sportsbet.

Good luck to everyone on Friday night, especially in the big $15,000 tournament on SportChamps, and we will be back with another preview for Cox Plate day on Saturday.


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