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Race 1: BM70 Handicap (1500m)
Having been worried out of a first-up victory at Sandown, we are hoping the Danny O’Brien-trained Farhh Flung can claim success second-up. The four-year-old gelding seemingly lacked a bit of race fitness on his rivals last time out, but with that run under his belt, he looks to have found quite the winnable race here. Barrier nine is offset by the fact he wants to settle in the second half of the field and run on late. As long as the track doesn’t favour leaders too heavily, look for Farhh Flung to blouse his rivals late on.
Having chased home subsequent Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) winner Steparty and Scentify (who finished third behind Steparty in the Guineas Prelude), Brave Mead arguably brings the best form-lines into this race. He was forced to chase a slowly run tempo first-up, but if he can show similar barrier manners to what he did when winning the Listed St Albans Stakes (1200m) at The Valley in March and lead the field up, Brave Mead will take a power of beating.
Despite a poor showing in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m), Najem Suhail looks awfully hard to beat upon his return to Moonee Valley. Prior to that run, Najem Suhail had won his first two runs of this preparation in smart fashion, with one of those successes coming at the Moonee Valley 1200m two runs back. He does need to lug 62.5kg, but with Mark Zahra on board from barrier eight, look for the pair to be leading this field up with relative ease. The drop back from Group 2 company is also a big tick.
Home Rule was a smart winner first-up at Morphettville on September 19, and with a nice pull in the weights over race favourite Unflinching, he looks a great play in the 955m scamper. The Maddie Raymond-trained sprinter tends to hold a prominent spot in his races and, from barrier three, will be able to follow the favourite where he goes. Despite wanting it a bit softer than what he will get on Friday, if Home Rule brings his best, it should be more than good enough.
Despite being the lone filly in the race, Autumn Angel looks the one to beat in the first leg of the Moonee Valley quaddie. She had her momentum stopped at a crucial point over 1500m at The Valley behind a couple of smart runners and did well to be beaten by under a length. From barrier one, this girl will need a bit of luck at a certain point, but with Billy Egan sticking on board, we’re confident he will want to right those wrongs. She has a strong turn of foot, as she showed when winning first-up at Sandown, and if she replicates that, Autumn Angel can reign supreme once again.
Amelia’s Jewel just wins the Group 2 Stocks Stakes. No matter which way you look at it, the -250 on offer with the top bookmakers is better than bank interest, and as she showed in her trackwork at Moonee Valley on Monday, she will prove to be far too good for this lot on Friday night.
Based off her win in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m), Imperatriz should just be winning this. She broke the track record for the 1000m at Moonee Valley when descending on her rivals late and disposing of Giga Kick in arrogant fashion. This race is no harder, and with the likes of Asfoora, Zoustyle, Acromantula and Rothfire set to go hell-for-leather up front, the 2023 Moir Stakes looks perfectly set up for Imperatriz to be finishing over the top of her rivals once again.
Shesallshenanigans was a dominant winner down the Flemington straight on September 16, and coming to Moonee Valley looks perfect for this girl at this stage in her career. She draws perfectly in barrier one, as she likes to jump on the lead and kick clear. Blaike McDougall sticks, and as long as the pair can hold the rail from the likes of Ulanova and Zourion, she has the speed to go on with the job. She drops 1kg from her last-start win, and with a victory to her name already over 1200m, Shesallshenanigans is going to takes some catching in the Group 3 Scarborough Stakes.