Albury Race 3 No.5 Avroson – $3.40
This race has had Avroson’s name written all over it for a few weeks now. The former Victorian galloper has been racing in sensational heart for his new stable – he hardly got out of second gear when winning three stats back over a mile before comfortably defeating a small field over the 2000m. He was then dropped back to the 1400m, most likely to just keep fitness levels up before this start, when running a handy third to the capable Imperious. Now gets up to the distance he’s been looking for all along, a mile and a half, which will be right up his alley and comes up against a field that for the most part don’t seem to be in the same vein of form as him. Just needs the right run in transit from the wide draw.
Albury Race 5 No.6 Municipality – $3.20
Very good edition of the Albury Guineas with several promising types engaged, none more so than the Tony McEvoy trained gelding Municipality. The son of former star American juvenile Henny Hughes comes out of a quality midweek three year old event where he ran a close up fourth behind talented pair Daniela Rosa and Data Point. That was now a month ago, so in between McEvoy sent Municipality to Warwick Farm for a trial and to get some experience the clockwise way of going – he was under little pressure when a closing fourth and probably could have won if allowed to do so. Not only did he handle the reverse way, it would have kept his fitness levels up to their peak for this. Can’t see him getting anything other than a perfect run here behind the speed and he’ll every opportunity to grab his second victory..
Albury Race 6 No.5 Tom Melbourne – $2.10
It was a blistering speed set up by Nevis which was always going to help out stablemate Divan in the last at Flemington a fortnight ago. But what didn’t go to plan was the result. Although the suicidal pace allowed Divan, a stayer on the way up, race to his best, it also provided the exact same scenario for another lightly raced staying commodity to perform at his premium – the Freedman brothers trained Tom Melbourne relished the test and basically out-stayed Divan in the closing stages of the contest. It was a dominant win in the end as the Irish import took control of the race from the top of the long Flemington straight and just simply kept going. He now gets the chance to win a black type event with a small field engaged for the Albury Cup – he’ll have to overcome some well performed middle distance types like Hippopus and Tashbeeh, but his ceiling is much higher than both of those and he really wouldn’t have to improve a great deal on his last start effort to claim this.
Tamworth Race 8 No.2 Desert Marshal – $4.40
It took a few starts for Desert Marshall to hit his straps before putting together back to back wins at the end of his previous campaign. In his three runs this time in he’s yet to win, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that all three efforts have been rock solid and now up to the 1200m, back down in grade and with extra fitness, the speedy three year old will take a power of beating. Forget about the wide draw, he’s got plenty of early pace to overcome that, certainly much more than anything else lining up here and expect him to dominate from the front. He hasn’t been able to get much of a mid-race breather in any of those last three runs, but at the six furlongs, and without any other obvious leaders, that should come naturally in this. Be pretty disappointed if he couldn’t go close.
Moonee Valley Race 5 No.12 Very Choosy – $3.20
Absolutely love what we’ve seen thus far from the Robert Smerdon trained filly Very Choosy – she’s a winner of two from three, both quite easy in their manner, and sandwiched in between was a solid fifth to flying machine Petite’s Reward where she raced with little luck. Her trial at Cranbourne ten days ago to get her ready for this prep was excellent – she could have won if Mark Zahra had allowed her to and she just did all the right things you want to see from a nice sprinter in the making – she jumped brilliantly, was doing it easy in front, and stayed on the bit the whole way. Now she has to take on the older horses here in a race packed with speed, but drawing the middle of the field might be the key for her, if she jumps well Zahra can see what those on his inside are doing and either push the button and attempt to lead, or just sit off them with clear galloping room to his outside. Either way she has the ability to win this and find black type shortly.
Moonee Valley Race 7 No.7 Afleet Esprit – $16
A very good and very deep sprint race this, couldn’t blame anyone for whatever they were keen on. Going with some value in Afleet Esprit – her from is well exposed now and this is just about her right level. Her two runs this time in are certainly no turn off for would be backers – first up she was excellent behind the speedy Estaminet, then second up she wanted to over-race and hang a little and couldn’t go with the leader under her big weight. Not surprised they’ve come here with significant gear changes as she gets the blinkers for the first time whilst they take the winkers off her which she’s always raced in. She’ll need to be at her best to win what is a quality sprint affair, but she ticks a few boxes as far as weight/run/level of performance go and at attractive odds she’s worth a flier.