Moonee Valley Preview: 16th February by Dean McHugh

16 February, 2024

A fantastic eight-race card awaits this Friday at Moonee Valley. Kick off your weekend in style with our preview of every race.

Race 1: Alinta Energy Maiden Plate (1600m)

A difficult opening race awaits bettors this Friday at Moonee Valley, with fifteen runners looking to win the first race of their career. 

Set to start as the favourite is Limburg who will be looking for a first win at the eighth time of asking. Only just denied when last seen, he has been stepped up in trip and will have blinkers reapplied. 

There will be major hopes that he will have enough to finally break his duck. 

Ceremonious will rate as the biggest danger. This will be his fourth start, and he heads into the contest fresh off the back of two successive second-place finishes. 


Race 2: Alinta Energy Handicap (1600m)

A seven-runner handicap awaits in the next race of the day, and it contains a whole host of chances. 

Mawhera has one win from his first three career starts and is yet to finish outside of the top three; his recent good form should continue here. However, he has very similar form lines to Vilnius, who has won one of his four career starts. Disappointing last time out, he will be looking to bounce back here. 

French Flirt shed her maiden tag on her last outing, and that performance was impressive. Eased down to the line, she should have plenty in the tank here and should be raring to go.

The best value of all could be with Spangled Slipper. She has placed second in both of her last two starts and, before that, broke her maiden. Still in good heart, she could represent some of the best value of the day. 


Race 3: Thats Better Maiden Plate (1200m)

The third race of the day is another competitive-looking Maiden. 

A leap of faith will be required if you want to back the favourite, Happy Link, who will be making the first start of her career. Reasonably well bred, big things are expected, but this will be the first time she has raced competitively on the track. 

If you are looking to side with experience, then Quebeck could be the horse for you. An encouraging third place on debut hints at potential, and he was only just beaten. With that experience behind him, a big run can be expected. 

Universal Harmony has placed in both of his two starts and could be worth considering at a longer price. 


Race 4: Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge Heat 12 (955m)

Another tricky-looking handicap marks the halfway point of Friday’s card.

After a great start to her career with two wins, End Journey was well beaten when last seen. She takes a small drop in class here, and her connections will hope that will see her return to form. 

Greyt Mumma has three wins from seven career starts and is another taking a step back in class following a poor showing last time out. She looks to have a huge chance.

Arctic Fairy placed second when last seen in this company but completely missed the break. Only just denied that day, if she can get away on terms, she could be a real threat to all on the field. 


Race 5: Award Winning Handicap (2500m)

One of the longest races of the day comes in the fifth race. 

Dubai Moon could be one of the best backed horses of the day. Victorious in his last four starts he arrives in superb form, and looks capable of another bold showing. 

Roaring Engine takes a small step up in class following a narrow victory last time out. He will need to take another step forward, but could be capable. 

Untethered has been unlucky not to have won any of his last four starts and has finished second on each occasion. This could be where it all finally comes together, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him cross the line in first. 


Race 6: Reliable Service Energy Handicap (2040m)

The Handicaps continue to come thick and fast, and Samuel Langhorne looks set to lead the betting in a tight-looking contest. 

A winner of one of his five career starts, he ran well when finishing third last time out, and he certainly arrives in good form. 

Staunch is without a win in nine but has placed on numerous occasions during that spell. A solid competitor at this level, he is more than capable of getting the job done.

The same can be said of Eight Martinis, who has won both of his last two contests.


Race 7: Alinta Energy Lunar New Year Sprint (888m)

Nokhbah will start the penultimate race of the evening as the overwhelming favourite. A winner of two of her four starts, she has form to find at this level but arrives in great heart.

Midnight Devil heads into the racing having won two of his last three contests, including a win in a sales race when last seen. Another with class to prove, he looks an interesting alternative. 

Lipstick Swing has five wins from twelve starts and has raced in higher grades than this. Although without a win in three, she could be more than capable at a big price. 


Race 8: Sustainable Energy Handicap (1200m)

Arguably, the most difficult betting heat of the day comes in the final race of the card. A competitive-looking handicap, Catahoula arrives at the race in better form than most. Although without a victory in her last three, two of those races have seen her place second. She won’t be too far away. 

Exceed The Dream will be making a first start for Ciaron Maher and seems to love it round Moonee Valley. Having won over course and distance three starts ago, everything looks perfectly set up for another bold showing. 

Dark Journey is unexposed in comparison to most in the contest. Making just his fourth career start, he led from start to finish to break his Maiden tag but won’t have things all his own way this time around. 


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