The Wolf’s runner by runner guide on the Group One Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Chasing a remarkable fourth Moir Stakes win (2012, 2014, 2015). Rob Heathcote compared the evergreen nine-year-old to Benjamin Button during the week. It was a fair shout too because his recent Doomben trial was outstanding where he went close to breaking the track record. The more he has got on in the years, the more he has become a short course specialist. The 1000m at The Valley is right up his alley nowadays. The pace will be brutal here but we know he’ll be the last man standing of the onpacers.
A world class sprinter. His get-back style would generally make him vulnerable at a tight track like Moonee Valley but he is two from two at the venue, and both wins were brilliant. With Buffering, Ball Of Muscle, Redzel, Wild Rain and Heatherly humming along he should camp off the pace before slinging off the turn like he has done in the past. Now a six-year-old, The Wolf is tipping he’s in for his best ever preparation. Scary thought.
Lucky Hussler ($8.50)
Much depends on whether he is ready to fire fresh. When Darren Weir targets him at a sprint race fresh he has the ability to beat most horses in the country. Or is this simply a pipe opener? The late betting will tell the story but The Wolf will keep him very safe. Particularly given the amount of speed in the race. Drawn 2, he’s going to need the seas to part at the right time but with an ounce of luck, he’s capable of figuring.
Ball Of Muscle ($20)
It generally takes him a run or two to find his best these days which adds even more merit to his second in The Shorts behind Takedown. He just missed in this race last year behind Buffering and there’s still a case to be made that he should have won. Joe Pride has said he is going even better this year. Expect Kerrin McEvoy to take a trial behind Redzel and Buffering, getting the perfect cart into the race. Can win.
Only knows one way and that is to run fast. He’ll be pushed out to hold the fence from barrier 1 by Mark Zahra, who rode him perfectly in The Heath at Caulfield where he held off Under The Louvre. He ticked the Melbourne box there too. He has a big role to play here as it could decide the fate of Buffering exactly how hard he goes. Will be a sitting duck late but he’ll give cheek.
Wild Rain ($19)
If she drew in tight, The Wolf would give her half a chance. Think she is an even better mare ridden with cover before letting rip with a sharp sprint. As it is though, she has drawn barrier 8. Doubt she’ll be pushed out to match motors with Redzel and Buffering so wouldn’t be surprised if they snagged her back and rode for luck.
Has developed a nasty habit of missing the start. However, it’s shown a different side to her. She settled towards the back of the field last start before quickening nicely through the line. From barrier 7, expect her to keep Chautauqua company towards the rear. Has a record of 5:3-0-2 at The Valley and although The Wolf is a fan of this mare, this doesn’t look the right race for her to pinch a Group One. Which she has the ability to do one day.
Chloe In Paris ($26)
Talented mare but she’s been off the scene for a long time. This seems like an extremely ambitious assignment to tackle first-up but what The Wolf does take out of that is how well she must be going for Maher to send her here first-up. Still think she is a deserved race outsider.
Extreme Choice ($4.60)
Produced some outstanding figures as a two-year-old, including in the Blue Diamond. This has been the first-up target for him for some time as he gets in with just 52kg. Takes on some of the country’s best and most seasoned sprinters so need every kilo of weight relief. The outside barrier makes things very difficult for him too. Mick Price has advised that Froggy Newitt will take hold of him early and ride him back in the field. There goes the tactical advantage he has over Chautauqua.
The Wolf’s Top 5
3. Ball Of Muscle
4. Lucky Hussler
Odds as of 2pm Thursday, September 29.
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