The Melbourne Mail: Moonee Valley - 22nd August 2020

There are storms about this Saturday, both on the track and off, as we return to the Valley for the McKenzie Stakes meeting.

DIRTY THOUGHTS winning the Allianz Insurance 2YO Maiden Plate in Geelong, Australia.
DIRTY THOUGHTS winning the Allianz Insurance 2YO Maiden Plate in Geelong, Australia. Picture: Racing Photos

The storms in the sky, 10-20mm of rain currently tipped with winds whipping about, are largely unwanted. On the track, the aptly named Windstorm is something to look forward to as he has shown a stack of promise out west and may be a horse to make an impression in much better races deeper into the spring. 

A wide draw, awkward map, and well-fished early price make it hard to throw him up as a bet but we have other options there including another with the talent to pose a threat during the carnival proper - Orderofthegarter.

Fingers are crossed that the weather doesn't turn conditions into the extremes as the last race on the card is an absolute cracker with a number of horses hitting the race on the verge of a big new peak and several of interest beyond that. 

The early price about Orderofthegarter still appeals to us, however, as his exposed talent makes him very well placed here and his return from a long break last time threw up the hope that he could still get back to something like that best form in 2020. 

Orderofthegarter arrived in Australia back in 2018 with the ratings and profile to make it at the top level and his first run here, a strong second to Furrion, did nothing to dampen those ideas. 

Injury struck and it was 672 days until we saw him again, five weeks ago, and there he stuck on gamely in a high-pressure mile - a long way below his best form but it was certainly encouraging, as was the fact that he held his place at the top end of the betting.  

He can only be fitter for that and gets out to 2040m now which is sure to suit. Young Rascal does him a solid by compressing the handicap and, despite the already mentioned fact that this race runs deep, he finds himself extremely well placed if we consider him any chance of working towards his peak efforts. We're happy to gamble on him at least edging towards it. 

For an each way play we roll back to the third race on the card - a fairly nondescript handicap for three-year-old fillies.  

Jenni's Rainbow comes up favourite off an eye-catching debut win, and she is sure to prove a lot better than that form, but she will certainly need to and she plays her part in making Dirty Thoughts a bit too big around 8-1. 

That was the price that she was sent around at Sandown last time and she made light work of it there. A slow tempo may have left her well placed in the run but she has zipped home well enough in both wins this time around and may have more to offer just yet. 

THE MELBOURNE MAIL 

Bet Of The Day: Race 9 #3 Orderofthegarter @ $5.50

Each Way Play: Race 3 #3 Dirty Thoughts @ $9.00 


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