The spring racing will continue at Mooney Valley on Friday night and Rosehill on Saturday. At acceptance time, Mooney Valley was rated Dead 4 and Rosehill was rated Good 3. Both meetings have plenty of short priced favourites so the punters looking for value could find it difficult this weekend.
In the Champagne Stakes (Melbourne Race 4, 1200m), the odds on favourite Snitzerland looks the good. She has been unbeaten this preparation winning the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes and the Group 2 Danehill Stakes. She was flying at the Mooney Valley trackwork on Tuesday and her trainer Gerald Ryan was very happy with the way she handled the tight turning track. Snitzerland finished off her gallop coming home in 22.94 seconds for the last 400m. Ready to win again.
The Bill Stutt Stakes (Melbourne Race 7, 1600m) has the raging favourite Pierro at $1.22. Gai Waterhouse wants to use this race to give Pierro some racing experience at Mooney Valley before his Cox Plate mission. The 1600m would not present any problem to Pierro as he had won over this distance in the Champagne Stakes back in the autumn. And looking at his pedigree, I believe he would be even better at 2000m. At set weight, I cannot see anything beaten him in the Bill Stutt Stakes.
In Sydney, Gai has a stranglehold on the Rosehill meeting, providing 6 favourites out the 8 races. In the Golden Pendant (Sydney Race 3, 1400m), More Joyous looks set to win her 20th stakes race and could become the shortest price winner (currently at $1.05) at a Sydney race track for the past 50 years. She is classes above these lot and I reckon it’s just a matter of how far she won by.
In the Colin Stephen Quality (Sydney Race 6, 2400m), I like another Gai Waterhouse trained favourite No.6 Strawberry Boy. I know Gai has been aiming Strawberry Boy at the Caulfield Cup. Currently Strawberry Boy is way down the balloting order and Gai tries to win this race and get a weight penalty to move the horse up the order of entry for the Cup. And Gai has engaged Jim Cassidy to ride Strawberry Boy as Cassidy has been on fire riding a number of winners on front runners in the past 2 weeks. According to my speed map, there is not much pace in the race with Strawberry Boy leading and possibly No.5 Kelinni sitting outside him. Cassidy should be able to dictate speed to suit himself and left the others in his wake in the straight.
Owens Wong, Editor