Weekend Best Bets

This weekend punters turn their focus to Mooney Valley in Victoria, as the Spring Carnival has now wrapped up in Melbourne most of the stars have gone to the paddock to spell.

However, there are still a few gems to be found here and plenty of quality races. We will also preview the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.

Race 1: If jump-outs are anything to go by this race has all the potential in the world, Our Playboy has bloodline connections to Pierata and showed a great turn of foot to cruise home in the trial. Tagaloa was impressive on debut, had a very good final 600m at Flemington. Turned out to be one of the fastest final 600m of the carnival. Worth following ($3.70 Playup).

Race 2: Balaabel has been good this prep, only missed the quinella when fresh and did it easy when finally scoring last start. Will take lots of beating, get on! ($2.60 Playup). November Dreaming ran behind Oasis Girl before going onto a solid run in a listed race. Breakthrough win was commanding, looms as a danger.

Race 3: Bella Vella was good against group rated opposition last start at Flemington, win before that run was done with ease and showed all her class. Has the potential to cruise home here ($4.00 Playup). Equal Love wasn’t far off in that Flemington race mentioned above, not sure if she can rise up to the level here and will opt to watch again. Can’tforgetyou was very impressive in last start win, really good start the prep and has maintained form. Never missed a placing.

Race 4: Wagner is fresh here, hasn’t missed the quinella in three fresh runs. Has the potential to win this and a fresh record is hard to go past, 1000m may be a bit sharp. Jungle Edge is pure class, all his wins have been in the wet so the forecasted rain is a huge plus. Looms as real danger and has every chance ($5.00 Playup). Thermal Current ran into trouble at Flemington and was never in it, closed off well in latest but wins are rare. Mystyko has a decent second-up record but boasts no wins, always gives an honest account and will figure again.

Race 5: Talenti was imposing when winning here in fourth start, a win at the Valley is always a pleaser for me. The speed looks as though it will suit but will need luck from inside ally. Bill The Bee was unlucky when resuming, pipped on the line when looking like a good thing. Second-up win last prep was superb and followed that up with a place behind Zoutori. Love that form ($5.00 Playup). Manhattan Arch is 2nd-up here, resumed after a lengthy spell and exceeded all expectations there. Will be fitter here and should improve again.

Race 6: Three Beans found the 955m far too sharp as many do, run before that in Red Anchor was great and provides good form-line for this. Rubisaki is fresh here, her first prep was quite impressive, strikes a smart runner and that will have her in a great spot. Somals is unbeaten so far and running great times, she beat a runner last start who has ran fifth to Missile Mantra. Get on ($2.90 Playup).

Race 7: Sure Knee is a monty here, my bet of the day. Was all honours when winning at Flemington. Queries over the Mooney Valley track and the drop in distance, but if she runs at her best she’s above these ($2.00 Playup). Vanuatu didn’t run-on in latest at Sandown, if you forgive that the form before is good. Ran in front of Snogging in Tesio. Snogging is previously G2 placed, has been ok without being great last two but does have the class to figure here.

Race 8: Rupture didn’t stay the 2400m in Bendigo Cup, form before that was terrific. Comes back in class and distance and should be too good here. Get on ($3.80 Playup). Secret Blaze was good second-up, was a decent gap in between that and first-up run too. Will relish the 2040m here. Sir Pippin was second last start but wasn’t far off the winner and big gap to rest, will be fitter here.

Winterbottom Stakes: Trekking is all the class here, measures up better than the opposition and will take some serious beating. Has been huge this campaign which seemingly culminated in massive third in Everest. Get on, get on, get on ($2.60 Playup). Hey Doc was huge when resuming after 14 months off, fought all the way to the end and will be better for it. Draw hasn’t helped at all but he has been set for this so maybe worth a little flutter. Viridine won well last start but may find this too much.