Racing returns to Moonee Valley for the first night racing meeting of the new season.
There is a strong eight-race card with the feature race being the Group 3 Scarborough Stakes.
The track is rated as a Good 4 with the penetrometer at 4.74. The rail is out five metres for the entire circuit.
BEST BET: R6 No4 My Country.
NEXT BEST BET: R7 No7 Thunder Connection.
BEST ROUGHIE: R2 No11 Tre Dieci.
QUADDIES (Races: 5-6-7-8)
SKINNY PLAY: 3,8,11 / 2,3,4 / 7,9,12 / 1,7,8,9
WIDE PLAY: 2,3,7,8,11 / 2,3,4,5,6,11 / 1,4,7,9,11,12 / 1,2,3,4,7,9,14
R1 6.30pm RANVET HANDICAP 2500m
LORD AND MASTER will have taken benefit from his Australian debut when finishing fourth, after slipping, over 2100m at Sandown on September 7. Mark Zahra keeps the ride on the New Zealand-trained stayer, who stays on the same weight on 58kg.
AZURITE was backed from $21 into $9.50 when he had every chance but could not reel in the first two placegetters, finishing third over 2100m at Sandown on September 7. Dylan Dunn’s 2kg will see him carry 57kg again.
FIRENZE has been racing in great form on the provincial tracks and gets her chance to bring that form to the city. Latest ran a good second over 2418m at Geelong on September 4. She is tough.
DARLUX is a French stayer who has shown improvement at each of his Australian starts. Latest he gave a fair effort to finish sixth over 2100m at Sandown on September 7. Luke Currie is the new rider and respect.
SELECTIONS: No3 LORD AND MASTER, No1 Azurite, No4 Firenze, No7 Darlux.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 Darlux.
R2 7pm JOHN PARASKEVAS HANDICAP 1600m
GRAND DREAMER won here two starts ago before running a solid third over 1600m at Sandown on September 7. Melbourne’s top jockey Dwayne Dunn is the new rider and he drops 2kg to 57kg at his fourth start back this campaign. Rates highly.
CHIVADAHLII beat home Grand Dreamer at their last clash when finishing second over 1600m at Sandown on September 7. With apprentice Michael Dee’s 1.5kg claim he drops 2.5kg to 55.5kg and rates as the danger.
EXTRA CHOICE is a beautifully bred four-year-old when closed hard first-up when running third over 1400m at Pakenham on September 1. Jockey Luke Currie keeps the ride and he drops 4kg to 56.5kg.
TRE DIECI (Best Roughie) is rock solid with a win over 1600m at Pakenham before finishing third over the same distance at Pakenham at his last start on September 1. Drops 3kg to 55kg here and gets a new rider in Craig Newitt.
SELECTIONS: No4 GRAND DREAMER, No3 Chivadahlii, No6 Extra Choice, No11 Tre Dieci.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 Tre Dieci.
R3 7.30pm GROSVENOR ENGINEERING GROUP HANDICAP 1600m
DULVERTON was having her second start from a let-up when winning brilliantly here over 1600m on September 3. She faces her own sex again and goes up 1.5kg to 55.5kg, which is still a comfortable weight.
CLEMENCY has a perfect record of one start for one win at this trip. She returns to Moonee Valley after running a solid seventh over 1400m at Caulfield on September 17. She was backed from $7.50 into $6.50 last start.
EGYPT drops down in class here on her last start 10th to Don’t Doubt Mamma in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 10. Should appreciate the easier grade.
DANIELA ROSA is a lightly-raced mare, who has won four of her nine starts. She comes into this encounter with a solid seventh over 1400m at Caulfield on August 27. Weighted on 56kg she commands respect.
SELECTIONS: No3 DULVERTON, No1 Clemency, No4 Egypt, No2 Daniela Rosa.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 Daniela Rosa.
R4 8pm SIMPSON CONSTRUCTION HANDICAP 1200m
ALASKAN SUN is a well-bred filly who was an impressive 1 ½ length winner at her only start in an 1100m maiden as a two-year-old at Ballarat on February 2. Would expect natural improvement from her and she has the blinkers off.
ZUPA HERO is a young three-year-old who has plenty of scope for improvement. Was having only his second start when breaking through to win by 2 ¼ lengths in a 1200m at Pakenham on September 10. Luke Currie is the new rider.
THEODOLITE broke through for his maiden win over 1204m at Donald on August 27. He has won and been placed at four of his five starts and has senior rider Steven Arnold to help him combat his (14) alley.
BALLINACLASH has apprentice Jack Martin’s 3kg claim to reduce his impost to 59kg. He ran a solid fifth carrying 55.5kg over 1400m at Pakenham last start on September 14. Each-way.
SELECTIONS: No12 ALASKAN SUN, No13 Zupa Hero, No11 Theodolite, No1 Ballinaclash.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 Theodolite.
R5 8.30pm INGLIS 55 SECOND CHALLENGE HEAT 1 955m
LADY ESPRIT gets her chance here in a very deep race where they will fly over this dash. She won in good style over 1000m against her own sex at Sandown on August 31 and drops 3.5kg to 55kg.
RUNSON needs to overcome a wide alley in (11), but with the 3kg claim of apprentice Ben Allen will carry 55kg after winning with 59.5kg last start over 1000m at Geelong on August 26.
ABILITY won over 1000m at Geelong before finishing a close third over 1000m at Sandown on August 24. Drops 2kg on last start to 57kg and respect.
MARCADO has not raced for 930 days but showed heaps of ability at his two starts as a two-year-old for a debut win and to run third in the Group 2 VRC Sires Stakes. Watch market.
SELECTIONS: No11 LADY ESPRIT, No3 Runson, No8 Ability, No9 Marcado.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 Marcado.
R6 9pm 1PRINT SCARBOROUGH STAKES 1200m
MY COUNTRY (BEST BET) fought hard to go down in a close finish when running third down the straight 1100m at Flemington on September 10. Top Sydney hoop Blake Shinn replaces Dwayne Dunn and he has a superior draw here in eight. The co-trainers Peter and Paul Snowden are in hot form in Melbourne.
SELECTIONS: No4 MY COUNTRY, No2 Prompt Response, No3 Merriest, No11 Hear The Chant.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 Merriest.
R7 9.30pm STRATHMORE FLOWERS HANDICAP 2040m
THUNDER CONNECTION (NEXT BEST BET) is a son of leading New Zealand sire Pins, who has been given plenty of time to mature and rewarded his connections with two wins and a second at four starts. Won well first-up over 1500m at Mornington on September 8 and with apprentice Michael Dee’s claim carries 59kg.
SELECTIONS: No7 THUNDER CONNECTION, No12 Resort, No11 Knight Star, No9 Super Haze.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 Super Haze.
R8 10pm WILLIAM HILL HANDICAP 1200m
SWISS KISS has been a most reliable mare winning three and being placed three times at seven starts. She is fresh for this having not raced since running third over 1000m at Sandown on July 6. With Michael Dee’s 1.5kg claim she carries 58kg.
FOREIGN AFFAIR was having her first start here when she ran a half-length second over 1200m on August 28. With Jessica Payne’s 3kg claim will carry 59.5kg.
DIVINE CHILLS is another reliable mare with a strike rate of four starts for two wins and a second. Not raced since ran fifth over 1200m at Sandown on August 31. Carries 56kg with Beau Mertens’ claim.
MATERNAL hails from the stables of Godolphin and ran a good third under 60.5kg over 1200m at Canterbury on August 31. Damien Oliver goes on board and she drops to 58kg.
SELECTIONS: N07 SWISS KISS, No1 Foreign Affair, No8 Divine Chills, No9 Maternal.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 Maternal.