A warm and balmy night will greet us under lights at Moonee Valley with the running of a juicy eight-race card.
The best bet comes up in the first on the program, so hopefully we are off to a fast start!
Moonee Valley Race 1
#1 Lord Paramount
Lord Paramount was double nominated this week and has now been accepted into this maiden over 1000 metres at Moonee Valley.
Jye Mcneil has been booked to ride the three-year-old galloper who has been gelded since his first preparation.
He looks to come back in lovely after two solid trials and a sharp jump out win over 1000 metres at Cranbourne.
Usually you want horses like this to debut over a little bit longer, but he has shown he has the speed to sticky with these slick runners.
Barrier one means Mcneil will just get the lovely camp in behind the leaders and will just need an opening at the top of the straight to be might hard to knock off.
The nose roll comes off this horse as well, which is a sign that the stable have got him settling and conserving his energy for when Mcneil asks him for the supreme effort.
Suggested Bet: Lord Paramount win at $2.7
Moonee Valley Race 2
#3 first platoon
First Platoon should have won by a space when rocketing home through the middle and final stages of his first-up run at Kyneton over 1200 metres.
He was heavily punted in the betting in that race on December 16 when drawing a wide barrier and was asked to do way too much in the run.
Barrier one presents jockey John Allen with the opportunity to either lead or take the sit one pair behind the leaders.
Either way, he is going to be much closer in the run than he was at Kyneton and that will see him be super competitive here.
His main danger is obviously Daytona Beach, but that horse comes up well under the odds for a galloper who is yet to run a race.
We have the race fitness on our side with First Platoon.
Suggested Bet: First Platoon win at $4.4
Suggested Exotic: Quinella 2 & 3
moonee valley race 4
#7 Oh So Far
It is always a bit of an ask to get resuming stayers to sprint well fresh over 1600 meters, but the price is too good to refuse for Oh So Far.
She races first-up here after two jump outs at Cranbourne over 800 metres and 1200 metres.
In her favour is the residual fitness she would have built up from racing over the staying distances last preparation.
What works out well for her here is the lack of pace in the race.
It looks like she will be close enough in the run to be within striking distance on the home bend or, if Damian Lane opts to, he can ping her towards the lead from the wide barrier early in the race.
We get the each-way price to have a play.
Suggested Bet: Oh So Far each-way at $7.5 the win and $2.2 the place.
Suggested Exotic: Boxed Trifecta – 2, 6, 7
Moonee valley race 8
#7 apres la mer
Race fitness and the speed is on the side of Apre La Mer who is racing in career-best form.
The five-year-old mare gets the services of Damien Thornton to guide her around the Moonee Valley 1200-metre circuit and he should be able to get an uncontested lead with her in this race.
Doubt Thornton will give up the lead given the fitness advantage his mount has over the race favourite Star Spirit who is clearly the main danger.
She knows the track well and was brave in her fourth-place effort last start in a race dominated by those horses off the pace.
Another mare we can have an each-way peanut on at a generous price.
Suggested Bet: Apres La Mer each-way at $7 the win and $2.5 the place
Suggested Exotic: Quinella 7 & 8