There’s plenty of quality on the card at Moonee Valley, headlined by the 2020 Feehan Stakes (1600m) with a golden ticket into the Cox Plate included for the winner, as well as the 2020 McEwen Stakes (1000m), and a pair of very competitive listed events to round things out.
The rail is back to the true position, after the heavy rain and damage from the abandoned meeting two weeks ago; I’m expecting the lanes closer to the rail, and those close to the speed, to be at an advantage in run.
Race 5 – Chandler Macleod Stakes (1200m) – Listed Race
An interesting setup for the impressive Showmanship here, who showed us that he can do it without favours in run, when he swooped home in the poorer part of the track at Caulfield last start.
Drops back to the 1200m here and you’d expect Pike to show some more intent from the gates, as he can’t afford to give a quality on-pace sprinter like Age Of Chivalry too much of a headstart, especially after his very solid pipe opener fresh, and rock solid second up record.
Not a lot of value in the market here and I think I will be staying out at these prices, but it should be a great battle between the leader Age Of Chivalry, and the swooper Showmanship.
Verdict: I’m staying out and watching Age Of Chivalry and Showmanship duke it out.
Watch: Showmanship fly home late to win at Caulfield last start.
William Pike if you don't mind. Showmanship an unbelievable win as the wizard wins the last. ?♂️ pic.twitter.com/IXXJKKqNo3
— Racing.com (@Racing) August 15, 2020
Race 6 – McEwen Stakes (1000m) – Group 2
This is going to be another interesting race, with the two market leaders, Hanseatic ($3.20) and Brooklyn Hustle ($4.00) noted backmarkers.
There’s going to be plenty of speed in the race, with tearaway sprinter Witherspoon and Bella Vella likely to lead, with Rulership slotting in behind them on the rail.
I think Rulership looks a good eachway play here at $9/$2.60, mapping perfectly for how I am expecting the track to play. He was unlucky last start being held up at crucial times, and powered through the line when he got some room.
No doubt Brooklyn Hustle has the ability to win this, but will need to ride for luck and have the seas part again.
Verdict: Rulership eachway at $9/$2.60.
Watch: Rulership held up behind runners and powering through the line last start.
It wasn't Windstorm's day but he finished strongly, Rulership and Legionnaire couldn't get there in time… and Express Pass delivered for the late money! pic.twitter.com/bVhgnZcwVy
— Racing.com (@Racing) August 29, 2020
Race 7 – Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) – Listed Race
Lots of fillies here who have their sites set on a possible Thousands Guineas path if they perform well, with Night Raid my pick of them.
She maps perfectly and should lead from Barrier 5, and was super impressive when breaking her maiden last start, albeit at Tatura.
River Night should be in this for a long way, and another to keep an eye on is Aidensfield from the Dabernig & Hayes yard.
Verdict: Night Raid to win at $5.50.
Watch: Night Raid do it in style at Tatura last start.
— Racing.com (@Racing) August 15, 2020
Race 8 – Feehan Stakes (1600m) – Group 2
The starting point here is obviously $2.90 favourite – and $9 Melbourne Cup favourite – Surprise Baby. There has been plenty of media attention that he’s ready to go and capable of winning this first up, but I’m not keen at the price and the map, especially with the ultimate goal in November.
I’m keen to side with Harbour Views, who is wound up for this and desperate to win for a ballot exemption for the 2020 Cox Plate. He draws inside and should be box seating behind the leaders, and looks a good bet at $4.20.
Verdict: Harbour Views to win at $4.20.
Watch: Harbour Views complete a gallop with Gailo Chop in preparation for the Feehan Stakes.
— matthew williams (@mwracing3638) August 30, 2020