Deane’s Moonee Valley Preview

Deane Lester’s Preview


ROCKOLICIOUS should be improved by her first run for the Darren Weir stable and looks a good each way chance when she contests the Dr Sheahan Plate (1200m). The daughter of Fastnet Rock settled well back but worked to the line nicely in a leader dominated race when finishing 7th behind ANDRASSY over 1200 metres at Caulfield on July 30. She has drawn a better gate this time (barrier 1) and has the benefit of wearing blinkers for the first time. It looks an evenly graded mares race with several chances, however ROCKOLICIOUS looks poised for a big run and represents good value.


The Cleanaway Plate (1200m) looks a highly competitive race for three year old fillies with several spring quality gallopers making their season return, however MOTOWN LIL is one with race fitness on her side and appeals as a terrific each way chance here. The Robert Smerdon trained filly resumed with an eye catching 3rd behind ATHENA LASS over 1000 metres at Moonee Valley on July 13 before enduring a luckless run when finishing 6th behind VIDDORA in the Lightning Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville on July 30. The likelihood of a fast run race will suit MOTOWN LIL who prefers to race off the pace and she should be very strong in the finish. It’s always hard at this time of year to assess how the three year olds have come up, however MOTOWN LIL has already produced two strong performances suggesting that she will run well again.


PILOTE D’ESSAI is an exciting import from the Hayes and Dabernig stable that looks the standout bet of the day when he runs in the Westar Trucks Isuzu Handicap (1500m). The five year old created a huge impression winning his Australian debut over 1400 metres at Bendigo on March 19. He resumed from a spell with a solid 2nd behind ULMANN over 1400 metres at Flemington on August 6. He will derive good fitness benefit from that run and the slightly longer trip will be in his favour. Whilst he has a wide draw (barrier 12), the race sets up well for him with the likelihood of a strong tempo provided by NEVIS, ONPICALO and MAJESTIC DUKE. He looks a horse capable of being a spring player and PILOTE D’ESSAI represents the best bet of the day.

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