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Moonee Valley Round Up

Wild Rain made a one act affair of the Mitty’s McEwen Stakes, leading from barrier to box with little fear of her being run down at any stage of the race.

She bounced cleanly out of the gate and was always travelling as if she was enjoying it, while the favourite, Heatherly, was never in hunt at any stage, she is racing well below the form shown by her in the autumn when she started favourite in the Oakleigh Plate.

She was even struggling to win the Carlyon Stakes, and was fractious in the McEwen refusing to go into line, and she baulked when coming out of the gate

Fortunately the stewards cleared the starter of any fault, and rightly so, as Heatherly was in no mood to give of her best.

Whereas Wild Rain increased her value as a potential brood mare, winning a Group 2 race will do her no harm.

She is now likely to go into the Moir Stakes, whilst she may be stepping up a bit in class, she warrants plenty of respect.

The win was a welcome change of luck for Mark Kavanagh, without elaborating on the issues at hand, he was due for a brake.

Wild Rain 044 Jack CustomWild Rain wins the Mittys McEwen Stakes

Punters were prepared to support the Perth filly Whispering Brook in the Mitchelton Wines Atlantic Jewel Stakes, her form line was faultless, it looked a case of just put in and take out.

She was certainly the best two year old in Perth by a mile, unbeaten in five starts including the Karrakatta Plate and the W A Sires Produce Stakes.

After drawing near the outside she was away in a flash and was on the fence thereafter, Athena Lass was on her outside but the W A filly was doing much better, looking as if she would draw away when called upon, until Merriest appeared on the scene.

Under strong riding from Damian Oliver, Merriest finally won the day by the barest of margins, being it only by short half head.

I Am A Star was a surprise scratching electing to go to Randwick, with the risk of a heavy track she was in the firing line for much of the journey, before fading away to finish fifth.

Merriest 079 Jack CustomMerriest returns to scale

Awesome Rock earned his ticket into the Cox Plate after an awesome performance in winning the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Group 2 level.

The post parade was as busy as we have seen since the Cox Plate of last year, the good horses were there, it brought back into racing the excitement that has been missing during the cold winter months.

It was the first glimpse we have seen of the Japanese import, Tosen Stardom, prepared by Darren Weir, there is a lot to like about the import.

First impression, he ticks all the boxes at this stage, he paraded well, he carries his head low, which is a characteristic of most good stayers, conserving all his energy for the task ahead.

Awesome Rock 124 Jack CustomAwesome Rock with Stephen Baster up

When John Allen mounted up there was plenty of spark there, the signs were there, he is no doubt a good type of horse.

You could say that Awesome Rock deserved his win, some compensation for losing the Australian Cup on protest to Preferment.

This could well be the best season for the handsome bay entire by Fastnet Rock; he has won three of his 21 starts.

Fresh from a win on Wild Rain in the McEwen Stakes, Stephen Baster was seen at his best with a masterful ride in winning on Awesome Rock, he rode the rails as if he was born there.

It was an authoritative win by Awesome Rock, this could be his best season, a Group 1 win could see him as a definite stud prospect.

Real Love came from the rear of the field with a wide sweeping run, she is right on the threshold of winning a decent race, while stable mates, Set Square and Jameka, were running on at the end of the race.

As expected The Cleaner ran his honest race, he led the field up until the home turn and hung on pretty well, however, he may be getting out of his depth from herein.

The United States turned in a solid performance, he will be better for the run; a win is eminent on that performance.

Tosen Stardom was working into the race when the post was reached, he is certain to be improved by the outing, he has lost no admirers as far as the Melbourne Cup is concerned, he was working home nicely, Flemington is sure to suit him better.

As for Darren Weir’s two other representatives, Mahuta and Signoff, both finished along side of each other.

Mahuta was on the pace from the outset, he looked a chance on the turn but was nowhere to be found in the straight after h finishing near last.

Signgnoff was clearly the pick of the yard, but didn’t show it in the race, he laboured all the way.

Awesome Rock 110 Jack CustomAwesome Rock winning the Dato' Tan Chin Nam Stakes

 

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