“Girl Power” could be the play of the day when Secret Agenda, She Will Reign, Fuhryk and Catchy try to keep their male rivals at bay in the Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night. Secret Agenda heads betting on The Valley’s premier sprint race on the strength of her slashing first-up win with 60kg in the Listed Bob Hoysted Stakes at Flemington last start. The reigning Golden Slipper champion, She Will Reign, showed her liking for the tight Moonee Valley circuit at her only run there when she came from last on the turn to beat the class mare Viddora in the Group 1 Moir Stakes. And Fuhryk – who had no luck when beaten by Viddora in the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth last December – has won her only two starts at The Valley and represents a bit of value in the race.
Fronting the male contingent will be Hellbent, who was beaten a nose by another mare, Silent Sedition, in last year’s William Reid. He showed that he was ready to go one better when a closing photo-finish third to Russian Revolution and Snitty Kitty in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield last start. And veteran Perth sprinter Rock Magic certainly deserves a change of luck after finishing just behind Redkirk Warrior and company in the Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap after striking the lead inside the final 200m.
With mostly sunny conditions prevailing in Melbourne through the end of this week, the Moonee Valley track is expected to play as a Good4 surface. The rail will be in the True position for the entire circuit.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 2,3 – 2,3 – 2,6,7,9, – 2,10
Wide Play: 1,2,3,4 – 2,3,4,5, – 1,2,6,7,9 – 1,2,5,7,8,9,10
BEST BET: R5 – 3. PALAZZO VECCHIO
Next Best Bet: R4 – 3. SUPER TOO
Best Roughie: R7 – 7. FUHRYK
No1 CHESS STAR Getting near money and could break through here. Solid neck second to subsequent Adelaide Millions winner Zizzis on debut 1000m Bendigo 58kg Feb. 28 then worked home solidly for 0.6-length third Yulong Monoceros, Divine Mr Tycoon 1000m this track last Friday. On the up and extra distance will suit.
No2 FRAZIER Had no luck on debut when fast-finishing 0.8-length second Heart Conquered 1000m Morphettville Mar. 10. Facing tougher opposition here but will be improved.
No6 QUADRIGA Unraced Sebring colt out of the former handy mare Sayahailmary who won at Caulfield and Wodonga from 13 starts and finished second to Pinker Pinker in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes. Dam was an early-comer so it would pay to keep this bloke very safe on debut.
No7 OF IMPORTANCE No speed early then over-raced on debut when 8.8-length sixth Ennis Hill 1000m Chairman’s Stakes Caulfield Feb. 3 then covered extra ground and dug deep to overhaul Ray’s Dream 1100m Ballarat 2Yr Fillies Maiden 57kg Good4 Mar. 7. Should continue to improve and has to be respected.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 QUADRIGA
No8 DIVINE COMMAND Had a win at Ararat 1600m and four placings from five starts before sharing lead and putting on pressure from 700m when gritty neck winner over Three Strykes, Rock Away 52kg this circuit last Friday. Going from strength to strength and looks the one to beat again even with extra 3.5kg.
No9 ROCK AWAY Was having third run from a spell when coming from last for eye-catching length third Divine Command 53kg this trip last Friday. Meets Divine Command only 0.5kg better but will strip at peak fitness and has Craig Williams on board.
No5 CALENDAR LAD Stewards queried run and rider explained the horse dropped the bit near 400m before motoring home for 2.6-length third Moghul Empire 1600m BM64 here last Friday. Caulfield 1600m winner three runs earlier who should appreciate the extra distance of this.
No7 ROKDA KASBA Sandown 2100m winner BM64 57kg two starts before game 0.7-length third Pedro Ximenez, Poppiholla 2430m Caulfield BM70 58kg Feb. 21 and plodding 8.7-len 10th Big Sur 2000m Flemington BM70 Mar. 3. Has claims.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 CALENDAR LAD
No4 PRINCETON SPIRIT Promising type who is unbeaten in three runs last campaign and has changed stable during break. Race wide without cover but still too good for Palam Merenti 1200m Pakenham Synthetic BM64 58kg Sept. 21 then sat outside leader before pouncing on straightening and safely holding Little Bita Spunk 1200m Moonee Valley BM64 58.5kg Oct. 6. Finished alongside classy Missrock in recent barrier trial to fit him for this. Hard to beat.
No9 BOLEK Won successive races Mornington 1200m Maiden 57kg Good3 Dec. 27 and Ballarat 1200m Class1 57kg Dec. 30 – beating Indernile – then led and kicked clear 200m but over-run 2-length by Port Vale 1100m Morphettville 3Yr BM70 Mar. 3. Taking on older horses here but looks the danger to the favourite from barrier 3.
No8 MAXIMUS Model of consistency with two wins and four placings from only seven starts. At first start for powerful Snowden stable started $1.60 and gave them 5-length start turning but beat Riverdance Lad by 1.8-length first-up 1100m Werribee Class1 60kg Feb. 16 then came from 9th at 800m for 1.1-length third Brahmos 58kg 1200m Pakenham BM70 Good3 Mar. 8. Fitter now and will go back from outside draw. Big show.
No7 WHAT A SHOCK Can be tardy out of the gates but blinkers go on first time here. Started $3.10 when 1.2-length third Domino Vitale 1600m Balarat BM78 Jan. 14 then $2.80 and slowly away when 4.8-length seventh Imperator Augustus 1850m Kyneton BM70 Feb. 3. Freshened for this and will be running on.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 MAXIMUS
No3 SUPER TOO (NEXT BEST BET) Absolute flying machine who scorched around this circuit four runs back to beat Rock ‘N’ Gold by 2-length 57kg Good3 Sept. 29. Was second-up when she led clearly before fading final 100m when 2.8-length third Redzel, Jungle Edge 1000m Randwick Challenge Stakes 56.5kg Mar. 10. Will be hard to catch.
No1 THERMAL CURRENT Honest sprinter who has a win and a third from three starts this track. Battled away gamely for 2.8-length sixth Secret Agenda 1000m Flemiington 55.5kg Mar. 3. Placed at three of previous six starts and drops in class here.
No2 BEAU RADA Slick sprinter who won successive starts over the 955m here this time last year before a year-long spell. Resumed with 8.6-length last of 9 Demonstrate over Flemington Straight 1000m Mar. 10. Fitter now and could pay to overlook first-up run.
No6 DANCE WITH FONTEIN Tough little sprinter who rarely runs a bad race and loves this course. Finished over the top of Clipper and Holy Seal this trip Feb. 16 then game 3.2-length fifth Demonstrate 56.5kg Flemington Straight 1000m Mar. 10. Will give a good sight.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 THERMAL CURRENT
No3 PALAZZO VECCHIO (BEST BET) Has been desperately unlucky at two runs from a spell and only needs a clear run to break back into the winners’ list here. Held up between 350m and 150m when neck second Summer Sham 1400m Group 2 Armanasco Stakes Caulfield 55kg Feb. 24 then never got clear when length third Bella Martini, Shokora 55.5kg Group 2 Kewney Stakes Flemington Mar. 10. Extra distance definitely in her favour.
No2 SHOKORA Racing in great heart with two wins, two placings and a fourth from five runs this campaign. Came from 9th on turn when neck third Rimraam, Bring Me Roses 1400m Vanity Flemingtoin Feb. 17 then chased hard for 0.8-length third Bella Martini 1400m Kewney Stakes there Mar. 10. One of the main chances.
No1 SEANNIE Gets back but will be finishing on and the 1600m in her favour. Followed barnstorming first-up win 1200m BM70 here Feb. 9 with game 2-length third Tuliip 1200m Typhoon Tracey Stakes same trip Feb. 23 then doing best work late when 5-length sixth Bella Martini 55.5kg 1400m Flemington Mar. 10. Respect.
No4 THINK BLEUE Racing well in easier grade and not the roughest here. Won successive races Ballarat 1400m Feb. 6 and Caulfield BM64 Feb. 21 before working home steadily for 2.2-length second Leicester 1600m Sandown Mar. 14.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 SEANNIE
No3 SAMOVARE Improved by two runs from a spell and will be at her peak for this. Forced to go early when 2.2-length second Silent Sedition 1400m Mannerism Stakes Caulfield 55kg Feb. 24 then chopped out at 200m and got home strongly for 0.8-length second Spanish Reef 1600m Matron Stakes Flemington Mar. 10. Beat Spanish Reef only start this course and distance last September and looks the one to beat.
No2 ABBEY MARIE Quality mare but can find trouble in her races. Trapped in a pocket all the way down the running when unlucky 0.8-length sixth Hartnell in a race of excuses 1400m Group 1 WFA Orr Stakes Caulfield Feb, 10 then stood flatfooted at start when 7.8-length fifth Gailo Chop 1800m G2 Peter Young Stakes there Feb. 24. Interestingly, Craig Williams goes on first time since her Maiden victory almost 2years ago. Has to be taken on trust.
No4 SPANISH REEF Has returned in cracking form with a win over Miss Adequate 1400m Flemington BM84 Feb. 18 before sprinting clear at 200m and holding off Samovare 1600m Matron Stakes Flemington Mar. 10. Two runs this track resulted in a second to Samovare and a fourth in the open company JRA Cup. Rates highly.
No5 LIFE ON THE WIRE Tough front-running Tasmanian who has won last five starts, including two over 1400m at Sandown BM70 and BM84. Too good for Step The Pedal first-up 1400m Vamos Stakes Launceston Feb. 25. This is much tougher but will give a good sight.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 ABBEY MARIE
No7 FUHRYK (BEST ROUGHIE) She’s a super mare when right and with plenty of pace in this she should be able to get a trail wide on the track to bring her into the straight. Missed the jump and gave away too much start when gallant 1.5-length second Vidora Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes Ascot Dec. 2 then race run to suit leaders when 3-length 11th Russian Revolution 1100m Oakleigh Plate Caulfield Feb. 24. Won her only two starts this track and distance and won two of three second-up. Could cause an upset.
No9 SHE WILL REIGN Golden Slipper winner who, at her only start this track flashed home from last to beat Viddora, Sheidel 1000m Moir Stakes four runs back Sept. 29. Resumed with comfortable length win over Acqume 1100m Warwick Farm 3Yr-old Sprint Feb. 10 then jumped awkwardly and deep when 2.55-length 10th Russian Revolution 53.kg G1 Oakleigh Plate Caulfield Feb. 24. Inside draw is a worry but capable of bouncing back to her best here.
No6 SECRET AGENDA Cracking mare who also has form around Vidorra, having beaten her convincingly at level weights three runs back 1200m Morphettville Group 1 Classic May 6. Finished brilliantly for last-stride win over I’m Wesley first-up 1000m Flemington with 60kg Mar. 3. Fitter now and has a win and two seconds this track. Hard to beat again with significant weight drop.
No2 HELLBENT Beaten a nose by Silent Sedition this race last year and form suggests he’s ready to figure in the finish again. Struck trouble early when first-up 1.6-length fifth Super Cash 1100m Caulfield Group 2 Rubiton Stakes Feb. 10 then held up at top of straight but hit line hard for photo-finish third Russian Revolution, Snitty Kitty 1100m G1 Oakleigh Plate Caulfield Feb. 24.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 HELLBENT
No10 TRUE EXCELSIOR Improved by three runs from a spell and will appreciate dropping back to 1200m and inside barrier here. Led and kicked for home when game length second Tulip 1200m G3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes here Feb. 23 then caught wide at front of pack and faded to 7.65-length 11th Bella Martini 1400m Group 2 Kewney Stakes Flemington Mar. 10. Has been racing in Group and Listed grade so look for improvement here.
No2 EASY BEAST Resumed with solid 2.6-length fourth Demerara, Holy Blade, Freeze Over 1000m 3Yr BM78 here Feb. 23 then nearly fell at start but recovered to easily beat Over Exposure 1200m Morphettville 58.5kg Mar. 12. Had two wins and three placings from previous six outing and should add to that impressive tally here.
No1 CAO CAO Not disgraced in two runs against the best 3Yr-olds Flemington 1400m CS Hayes Stakes, won by Grunt Feb. 17 and Super Vobis won by Scarecrow Mar. 3 with 58.5kg. Should race handily from barrier 5 and rates highly.
No8 DEPRIVE Drawn wide at first start here but has won only two starts Warwick Farm 1300m 57.5kg Oct. 2 and first-up Canterbury 1200m 3yr-old BM75 56.5kg Feb. 16. Keep safe.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 TRUE EXCELSIOR