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JRA Cup preview

Another feature race preview from Moonee Valley night racing on Friday, not with one of the black type 3yo races but with a traditional spring riches lead-up race, this time featuring the new people's horse, The Cleaner, who just jumps to the front and runs his rivals ragged, bringing back memories for my favourite ever horse, the one who got me hooked on racing, the mighty Vo Rogue.

Enough reminiscing, it's assignment number two for Mitch Nicholls, give him some support via @MitchNicholls1.

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Alternate Railway JRA Cup
Moonee Valley 2040m G3
Race 6 9:15pm


Fantastic race! The speed comes from out wide with The Cleaner pushing forward from barrier 10. Mourinho will come across and settle somewhere close to the speed from 12 then I’d suggest Lord Durante will hold his spot from gate 4 perhaps with Big Memory close behind.

1 The Cleaner $3.60 (TAB fixed-odds prices quoted): This bold-front running gelding is in career-best form, stringing together two wins a row (three on the trot here) with his last success being the best of the lot, the Group Two Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes over 1600m. The Dato’ has so far proven to be a strong form reference, with the third horse Foreteller going on to win the feature Group One Underwood Stakes on Saturday, and the seventh-placed Gris Caro claimed the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes. Steps up 440m on last start but has been victorious seven times from 2000-2200m. He is a $3.60 favourite and will be the one they’ll have to run down. And on-course punters will be cheering him on - the race club have promised half-price schooners until the next race in all bars if he wins!

2 Precedence $14.00: This nine year old gelding is on another Cups campaign. He comes into this race second-up off a fair run first-up, where he was doing his best work late. He’s a bit of a smokey each-way chance in a fairly open race. He’s won five out of nine career starts at Moonee Valley and won this race way back in 2010! He’ll get back and run on from a good tempo set by The Cleaner.

5 Mourinho $4.50: Has been in very good form of late, winning here first-up then was brave running second to The Cleaner where he was posted wide, but still hit the line strongly, beaten under a length. Should be at his peak third up and is unbeaten this track/distance. My only concern is his draw, barrier 12. He might be posted wide in a race that is sure to be run at a fast pace. Meets The Cleaner 2.5kgs better for a 0.75L defeat last start.

8 Big Memory $5.00: This former French gelding arrives in good form, being beaten a nose a fortnight ago at Flemington by the injury-plagued Brambles. He has had one start for a win at Moonee Valley. This is without a doubt his toughest test yet, and I feel he’s a risk at $5.00. Yet to win second up, and is likely to be better over 2400m.

11 Signoff $5.00: Has the boom on him, being trained by Darren Weir, wearing the same colours as last year’s spruik horse Puissance de Lune, and having won six of his first nine starts, including two from two here. The lightly-raced five year old gelding comes into this race with an eye catching third behind Brambles and Big Memory. A proven middle distance/staying type with two wins over 2000m, he is drawn well in barrier two and shouldn’t get too far back over this sort of distance. Expect him to be hitting the line well.

Suggested Bet: Happy to have The Cleaner on top, he’ll be hard to catch and I believe $3.60 is an attractive price. Good luck, and hopefully we all find a winner!

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