The team at Racepal have collated their insights to give you a head start on your form study for Friday night’s Group 1 William Reid Stakes meeting.
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Track: Good 4
Perfect conditions expected for a Group 1 night at The Valley. By virtue of the tight layout, the True rail position is typically the fairest configuration. The inside 3m hasn’t seen any traffic for a month so may be slightly better going.
Speed map/race shape: Khulaasa and Yulong January are both determined on-pacers drawn low, but Sunset Watch will likely try and cross them both ensuring a hot tempo. Chicago Cub can settle close from the good draw, while Fine Dane may slot into the one-one.
Advantaged runners: A pretty handy three-year-old field courtesy of the Super VOBIS prizemoney incentives. Four of the eight come through the Moomba Plate won by ANJANA who stormed through along the inside to beat pace-setter SUNSET WATCH and FINE DANE. Fifth across the line was MARCEL FROM MADRID who didn’t have a lot of room late and will appreciate the step up to 1200m. KHULAASA folded like a deck of cards last time out but returns to the scene of his last win two back.
Speed map/race shape: Lady Lupino has shown a penchant for leading, while Cheer Leader may position herself handy from the inside. Might be calling for some jockey initiative here?
Advantaged runners: Four previous winners among nine lightly-raced two-year-olds. Freshened from the Blue Diamond is Rubick filly ANDRASSY AVENUE who unleashed a devastating turn of foot to swoop home at this track two back. Her form through Mockery ties in with CHEER LEADER who spaced subsequent Flemington winner Flit on debut. DIRTY WORK switches to anticlockwise racing after a decent Sydney debut while MAYAN was dominant on debut at Morphettville and can go on with it.
Speed map/race shape: Elite Drake and Lauchetti are the keenest leaders here, while there’s a few that will want the handy sit. They include Girls Got Spirit and Testifier. There are some early decisions to be made on awkwardly drawn Good Offa, McGarrett and Moor Wanted.
Advantaged runners: This is a step up for unbeaten gelding TESTIFIER but he has previously shown grit to score over this track and distance. He’ll settle in front of track specialist MCGARRETT who is back in grade and up in trip, a likeable set up. He can settle closer than usual over 1200m and may well be tracked by OUTBACK WARRIOR who failed to fire in a good form race last time out. M Poy’s 3kg city claim is worth its weight in gold. ELITE DRAKE will free roll in front and deserves respect.
Speed map/race shape: The middle distance types tackle the Cox Plate course and there’s a few keen to be prominent in running. Perhaps Mitrust and La Belle Jude can kick up to lead Ayers Rock and Tre Dieci. Snipes may need to be content with taking a trail from out wide.
Advantaged runners: Looking for runners who will appreciate the trip and a bit of pace on, with RYAN’S FENDER standing out. He is only lightly raced but was dominant at Warrnambool first up and has won over this trip previously. We’ll take the decision to back CLEAN ACHEEVA up from last Friday night’s second over this track and distance as a positive. She chased hard there. It’s a shame SNIPES draws poorly because of all the front runners, she’s the most appealing.
Speed map/race shape: It is always on for young and old in the 955m scamper and this occasion will be no different, given speed horses Desert Lashes and Plateau Gold have drawn the two outside stalls. Would love to see Makahu Boy or Huge Action kick up underneath and make them work.
Advantaged runners: A few of these appear well positioned to gobble up any tiring leaders late. SUPERHARD couldn’t have been more impressive first up at Flemington, storming home from the back to easily account for BELWAZI and DEMONSTRATE, who will both also be looking to run on as well. GUN CASE is first up for 11 months and is getting on a bit, but has won three from five at the venue and will also poised to strike. This is of course assuming DESERT LASHES and PLATEAU GOLD overdo it in front, which is hardly a given.
Speed map/race shape: The lure of black type has attracted 15 fillies and most are up in trip, ensuring a genuine tempo. Kevikki will want the lead and will use barrier one to advantage but Etana, The Closer and Victory Kingdom won’t let her get away with cheap fractions.
Advantaged runners: This is a really good race for a Group 3. The Kewney is the main form reference and VICTORY KINGDOM is probably the one to follow out of that, particularly on this tighter layout. That said, THE CLOSER will be prominent throughout, but ANGELIC RULER is harder to trust given her racing pattern. On that same day FUTOOH was hardly disgraced against the older mares and has claims here. MIRETTE has prepared for this with two soft kills but last Spring showed she has Group quality. Keep an eye on betting with ROCK DOVE who brings fitness from a failed Tasmanian Oaks raid.
Speed map/race shape: Well, well, well – Sunlight has drawn the outside gate. You’d guess they will try and cross Written By and lead, dragging Fell Swoop over with them. Battle Hero led here last week but may not have the same luxury this time.
Advantaged runners: Last time she tackled a Valley Group 1, SUNLIGHT ended up buried in the ruck. From the outside here she’ll just jump, run and keep pouring the pressure on. That Newmarket win is the ultimate sprinting form reference. Her presence on-pace makes things difficult for WRITTEN BY who will either get crossed or absorb plenty of pressure. SHOALS returns to Melbourne and can get all the favours from a midfield position. Being unable to reel in Trapeze Artist is no knock. On that same day SPRIGHT sizzled around Randwick and has handled this track before, as has FELL SWOOP who has never missed the quinella here and appears somewhat rejuvenated of late.
Speed map/race shape: I Am A Star and Spanish Reef settled one-two in the run in the Matron Stakes, but the draw here will see them swap those roles. Blue Morpho may throw a spanner in the works if she kicks up inside them, otherwise she and Naantali will look to stalk the speed instead.
Advantaged runners: Interesting that no fillies have tackled the WFA challenge of the Sunline Stakes, all preferring the Alexandra (R6, fillies only) instead. SPANISH REEF won the Matron after sitting outside I AM A STAR in the run. The former was entitled to knock up but it was the latter who gave little, and with this barrier draw that margin is unlikely to close. NAANTALI followed their every move and was entitled to give more when the whips were cracking. Looking outside the dominant form lines, KENEDNA SAMOVARE and SHEEZDASHING were all first up when chasing home Oregon’s Day over 1400m. All are double figure hopes in this, use the market as a guide.