A couple of delayed features add some spice to an otherwise fairly uninspiring meeting at the Valley this weekend.
Those features, the McKenzie and the Carlyon, have been pushed to the back of spring having been part of an abandoned meeting in their traditional spots at the start of the carnival and they may even find themselves better placed here as they add something to a meeting that otherwise would be lacking for interest.
The McKenzie pulls together a handy little field. Just seven line up but three of them are last-start winners and the favourite Deep Speed comes off a good effort at Flemington when a fast 1400m was probably just beyond him. Back to 1200m he looks hard to beat but Nicolini Vito is showing plenty among others and all things considered the race looks priced up about right.
The Carlyon offers us a way in however, with Coruscate appealing as the most likely winner and prices potentially underselling just how well he is going at the moment.
It's easy enough to draw him up several rolls shorter than the $4.50 on offer. Prezado, who joins him at the top of the betting, was terrific last prep but he is out of his zone at Flemington now where the slow/fast nature of the straight races seems to play to his strength. This promises to be a high-pressure race around the Valley. A very different ballgame and a scenario that makes him easy enough to oppose.
Coruscate is drawn out, and likely to be run off his feet in the first 400m, and that is an issue, but it's one that seems rolled into the price. Better the devil you know, they say, and at bigger than $4.00 we can dance with this one.
For an each way play we will roll back to the first where a field of eight provides a decent each way option. Sea Princess comes off a slow time at Wangaratta - hardly a recipe for coming straight to town and winning - but she showed nice late strength there and the step up to a mile promises to draw out plenty more from her.
This is hardly a strong race and double figure prices seem plenty big enough to be with her.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL
Bet Of The Day: Race 8 #2 Coruscate @ $4.40
Each Way Play: Race 1 #7 Sea Princess @ $12.00
Racing at The Valley on Saturday, picture Racing Photos