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Opinion

Five races to watch this Saturday, including the All-Star Mile

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Expert
11th March, 2021
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Back after a lengthy spell, I’ve been tapped on the shoulder by The Roar HQ to come out of retirement and share some of my horse racing thoughts twice a week.

You’ll get a preview of the action every Friday, while a review of the weekend racing should drop most Mondays.

It’s a cracking time to dust off the keyboard because we’re about to enter a golden period of racing in both Melbourne and Sydney, although the best action will largely be in NSW for the next month or so.

This Saturday’s feature race is the All-Star Mile at Moonee Valley, which has attracted a crack field of horses.

The Group 1 Coolmore Classic at Rosehill is another terrific race and I give my thoughts on both of those in the below preview.

Good luck if you’re having a flutter and always gamble responsibly.

Moonee Valley (VIC)

Track Good 4 at time of writing. Rail in true position.

Race 2 at 12:50pm – $150,000 Listed 2YO Valley Pearl (1200m)
A tricky two-year-old race to get the preview underway with two first-starters and four last-start winners in the nine-horse field. I chose this race to preview because I liked the winner of Glitter N Gold on debut at Ballarat.

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She didn’t beat a lot and the time wasn’t outstanding, but I thought she was ultra-impressive and extremely professional for a filly on debut.

No Restriction ridden by Declan Bates wins the World Horse Racing Desirable Stakes at Flemington Racecourse

(Reg Ryan/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Craig Williams keeps the ride and from the right barrier, they should be able to stalk the speed and finish over the top of this field.

Suggested bet: Glitter N Gold (#8) to win.

Race 8 at 4:40pm – $5 million All-Star Mile (1600m)
The feature race on the program is difficult and that has been complicated by the potential injury of favourite Arcadia Queen, who will have to pass a vet’s inspection on race morning to start.

I hope the Western Australia mare gains a start because she’ll cut the value out of Probabeel, who I’m going to stick with after backing her in the Futurity Stakes. This Jamie Richards-trained four-year-old is a winner. She’s had 21 starts for ten wins and six placings.

The Kiwi also loves it in Australia, having won four of her last five starts here. That ‘failure’ was at this track when she ran seventh in last year’s Cox Plate. It was far from a bad run.

Providing Damian Lane can keep her out of trouble and build up momentum when it matters, she will be right in the finish. She’s the best horse in the race and wins with any luck.

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I’ll also be having a small bet on Queenslander The Harrovian to run a place. His last run was full of merit and while he looks outclassed on paper, he is a horse that puts in every time he races.

Suggested bet: Probabeel (#11) to win.

Rosehill (NSW)

Track Good 4 at time of writing. Rail in true position.

Race 5 at 2:55pm – $160,000 Group 3 McCarten Stakes (1100m)
I’m chips in here on Wandabaa for the Kris Lees camp. She’s a mare that has an impressive first-up record and has no doubt been set for this blacktype race. Her last campaign was luckless and Lees has trialled her twice at Gosford in preparation. I expect Wandabaa to race just off the speed and finish over the top of her rivals.

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California Zimbol looks the obvious danger for the Snowdens and I’d keep her safe if the price is attractive enough close to the jump.

Suggested bet: Wandabaa (#9) to win.

Race 6 at 3:35pm – $200,000 Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m)
This is a good three-year-old race with plenty of well-bred runners likely to be making plays in the spring if you keep an eye on them.

Because of the nature of this race with a lot of unfulfilled potential, I’ve decided to look for a little bit of value.

Our Bottino ridden by Damien Thornton

(Leonie Grbic/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

The Waterhouse and Bott-trained Yaletown is the one they will have to chase down and the double-figure price looks too good to turn down. The gelding was an impressive winner on debut at Kembla Grange and then got nailed late on the line at Canterbury last start.

Tim Clark will use him out of the gate to get to the lead and provided he gets enough of a breather in front, should have a strong kick late to keep him in the finish.

Suggested bet: Yaletown (#5) each-way.

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Race 7 at 4:15pm – $600,000 Group 1 Coolmoore Classic (1500m)
The feature race of the day for fillies and mares is about as tough as you’d expect. If you like something, back it at the best price available because there are plenty of winning chances.

I’m sticking with the Victorian mare Chaillot, a last-start winner at Flemington for Archie Alexander.

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She savaged the line and looks perfectly suited for this 1500m race. In her short career, Chaillot has proven to be at her best when fresh and provided she handles the float ride up to Sydney, she can mix it with the best up there.

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Another roughie to consider is fellow Victorian Rich Hips after a strong win in the Mannerism.

Suggested bet: Chaillot (#14) each-way.

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