There will be high quality thoroughbred racing this Friday at Moonee Valley with the night featuring the Group 2 Top Cut Alister Clark Stakes, the Listed Sportingbet St Albans Stakes, the Listed Trojan Hand Tools Night Sprint, and the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge.
With the change in distance in 2011 from 1600 metres to 2040 metres, the Top Cut Alister Clark Stakes offers Guineas contestants the next progression in their preparation. 7 of 10 runners on Friday night were Guineas acceptors only a fortnight ago. The field includes the 2011 Group 1 Derby winner Sangster and the Group 3 Norman Robinson winner Sabrage. The challengers appear to be the Peter Moody trained Highly Recommended and and the Mick Price trained Proliferate. The Michael Kent and Craig Williams combination returns to Moonee Valley with Dany the Fox, after winning last year’s Top Cut Alister Clark Stakes with Domesky.
Bush Aviator, trained by Danny O’Brien looks to be a strong chance in the Listed Sportingbet St Albans Stakes and with victory in the race, the Danny O’Brien trained two-year-old would be assured a start in the $3.5M Golden Slipper in three weeks time. The first-up Listed winner in Tasmania, was well beaten in the Blue Diamond, however, Bush Aviator will step back a grade and should be very competitive on Friday night.
The recently upgraded Listed Trojan Hand Tools Night Sprint looks to have a host of chances. Testa My Patience returns and could continue the outstanding night season form of Mick Price and Craig Newitt. Valentine Miss for Mark Kavanagh returns with an ominous first-up record and is unbeaten at the Valley. The emerging Luck San for Team Hawkes appears all class but this will be his stiffest test to date in open company.
Kulgrinda returns for Heat 17 of the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge. Unbeaten at 955 metres at her two attempts, it appears she may be racing the clock to break 55.28 seconds. If able to break this time set by Ricky Maund’s General Truce, the $55,000 Mazda BT-50 from Essendon Mazda could be parked in Peter Moody’s driveway with only the final heat remaining to be run next Friday.
For patrons, it will be their last chance to go into the draw to win a new Mazda 3 from Essendon Mazda simply by attending this Friday’s race meeting at Moonee Valley. Gates open at 5.15pm with the first race scheduled for 6.45pm.