This looks a tough meeting on the tricky Moonee Valley circuit tonight. There is an old parlance in racing always looks to a stakes-winner resuming in lower grade and Seannie fits right into the category in Race Six.
Seannie was a star in Western Australia as a two-year-old before being transferred to Victoria last spring where she was given a baptism of fire in stakes races for three-year-old during the Melbourne and Sydney carnivals. She has had time to settle down in her new surroundings and is in most capable hands in Busuttin and Young. The co-trainers have booked top jockey Regan Bayliss to ride the three-year-old filly at her return and she looks well suited on 56.5kg in the 1200m dash. Expect her to be powering home over the top of her opposition.
The false rail was at the two-metre position last Friday and will be shifted out to five-metres tonight.
The afternoon and evening will be cloudy and the track is anticipated to be a Good 4.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 7,9 – 12 – 11 – 4,9
Wide Play: 2,7,9 – 5,12,16 – 2,8,11- 4,5,9,10
BEST BET: R7 – 11. DIAMOND GRACE
Next Best Bet: R6 – 12. SEANNIE
Best Roughie: R5 – 7. FILL THE FLUTE
No4 CIRCOMO was backed into a $2.20 favourite before finishing a good second over 1400m at Ballarat on January 30. That was first-up from a 14-week spell and now has the run under the belt and ready for the extra distance.
No6 HAN XIN has been gelded and has the blinkers removed. Has been prominent at two trials at Randwick over 735m and 1200m where he won and ran second. Hails from the top Sydney yard of Waterhouse and Bott and has top rider Beau Mertens.
No10 TUSKAR BROOK has been placed third five times at ten starts. Latest ran a solid third over 1600m in a fillies’ only event at Sandown on January 31. Chased hard the length of the straight and is well drawn in gate seven.
No3 BELICHICK won a trial at Cranbourne before making her debut with a solid fifth over 1400m in a maiden at Ballarat on January 24. Gets top Melbourne jockey Damian Lane as his new partner and is well drawn in four.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 BELICHICK
No8 SHALWA has been in excellent form and should be hard to beat on last-start second over 1400m at Flemington on January 13. Sat three deep and had to work hard to move forward to finish runner-up to a very smart filly.
No1 BARBEQUE gave a good impression at his Caulfield debut when running third over 1400m on January 27. He was held up at a pivotal stage and kept on working into the line. Goes up 2kg to 60kg but Damian Lane sticks.
No3 PERUGGIA was no match for the winner last start when running a solid second over 1500m at Ballarat on January 30. Has been a model of consistency and is back to his own age here tonight with Brad Rawiller the new rider.
No5 ARMED AND READY enhanced his debut third with a smart win in a 1623m maiden at Moe on January 17. He was plunged into a hot $2.10 favourite and ran home an easy 1.25 length winner. Jake Noonan keeps the ride.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 ARMED AND READY
No3 FREEZE OVER ran a top second to Booker over 1100m at Flemington at final start in May. From three starts boasts a win, a second and a fifth. Won at her debut over 1000m at Sandown last campaign and with Damian Lane to guide will have all chance.
No1 DESPATCH showed he was on song for a big first-up effort with a trial win over 1000m at Geelong on January 29. Has been gelded and will race with the blinkers off. At two starts he won fresh at Ballarat and then ran third at Doomben
No6 DOMINANT WITNESS comes here off a strong maiden win over 1000m at Mornington on January 26. Goes up a kilo in weight to 58.5kg but keeps regular rider Jake Noonan and has a good alley in gate four.
No4 STAR SEARCH has a good record fresh, resuming here from a 34-week spell. Last start ran ninth to Holy Seal over 1000m at Mornington in June. Won his maiden over 1000m at Ballarat three starts ago and has top rider Dwayne Dunn.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 STAR SEARCH
No2 HUNAMOSA was fresh from a three-week break when finished third over 1440m at Caulfield on January 27. Carried the same weight on 59.5kg but did not have the best of runs and should gain a soft transit here from five.
No5 LIGHT ‘N’ FIRE with apprentice Ethan Brown’s 2kg claim will carry 55.5kg. He ran a close fifth to Chippenham over 1440m at Caulfield on January 27. He carried 58kg that time and with the lighter weight here looks a danger.
No8 SMART STILETTO had a torrid run when eased up to run last of 12 over 1600m against her own sex at Caulfield on January 17. She had won well at her prior two country starts in similar company and is down a kilo to 55kg.
No1 GREVISTE has been given a three-week breather and will sport blinkers for the first time after running a strong fourth over 1440m at Caulfield on January 17. Top jockey Ben Melham again rides on 60kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 SMART STILETTO
No7 FILL THE FLUTE (BEST ROUGHIE) exhibited plenty of toe to skip away to a very strong win over 1000m maiden at Camperdown on January 20. Gets the chance to lead all of the way again with the hot apprentice Stephanie Thornton’s 3kg claim dropping her weight to 52kg.
No9 OSCIETRA was an outstanding maiden winner over a 1000m on the synthetic at Geelong two starts ago in August. She is fresh tonight off a 19-week break and her record first-up is top class at a win and a third at two starts.
No5 STRAVIERA is chasing a third straight win tonight after wins over 1000m at Ballarat and Bairnsdale. Was at $4.40 when posted a narrow win over 1000m at Ballarat on January 14. With the 3kg claim will carry 53kg – which is 2.5kg less.
No2 ROCKETS RED GLARE is returning from a three-week break here. Last start ran a good second over 1000m at Cranbourne on January 19. Ran a good fourth over this trip two starts back and is an each-way chance tonight.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 FILL THE FLUKE
No12 SEANNIE (NEXT BEST BET) came to Victoria from Perth with big wraps and was put to the test in stakes races over the spring where she performed well. She has now acclimatized to her new stable with the astute Busuttin and Young and gets top rider Regan Bayliss to steer at her comeback tonight. She has run behind the best like Booker and Shoals and strikes moderate opposition here fresh. Her fresh ratio is three starts for two wins.
No16 TROJAN STORM looks a promising four-year-old in the Tony McEvoy camp and would respect.
No5 KNIGHT COMMANDER is chasing a hat-trick after wins over 1130m and 1200m here. Good chance.
No11 TRIS solid effort to run fifth at Caulfield after winning at Colac over 1200m two starts ago.
VALUE RUNNER: No12 SEANNIE
No11 DIAMOND GRACE (BEST BET) was an outstanding performance to resume from a 23-week spell and fight hard to lead before finishing third over 2500m here on January 26. The five-year-old mare has won twice over 2400m so she is at her pet trip and with boom apprentice Stephanie Thornton’s 3kg claim will carry 52kg – the same weight she did last start. Mick Kent is an astute conditioner and he underlined that last start with this mare.
No10 FONTEIN LAD looks rock hard now for the increase in distance here tonight and is down 2.5kg to 55kg.
No16 BENALL ran a cracking second over 2500m at Pakenham on January 25. Gets his claims if sneaks a start.
No2 BEIJING BOARD has been very good in NSW and is on the hunt for a third straight win at Melbourne debut.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 BEJING BOARD
No9 TRUE EXCELSIOR is a three-year-old filly who underlined she was primed for a bold effort with a good win over 1000m in a trial at Geelong on January 29. She cruised to a 2.5 length win and has won and ran third at two starts fresh.
No4 AVANTI ROSE comes back to Melbourne with a clever win over 1000m at Morphettville on January 20. She worked to a .4 length win, with 2.4 lengths back to the third placed galloper. That was her second win in a row.
No3 CLUB TROPICANA should be fresh resuming off a five-week break. Makes her debut at this track but she loves the distance with two wins and a second at five starts. She is drawn to do no work in gate two and has Chris Symons riding.
No5 MISS VESPER has been given a three-week let after a flat fifth over 1100m at Caulfield on January 17. She gets senior rider Regan Bayliss replacing a 3kg apprentice and has an excellent draw in gate three. Likes this track too.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 AVANTI ROSE