The Melbourne Mail: Moonee Valley - 22nd January 2021

A big weekend of racing in Melbourne starts on Friday night at the Valley with the Australia Stakes meeting.

YULONG COMMAND winning the MVRC Membership On Sale Now Handicap at Moonee Valley in Moonee Ponds, Australia.
YULONG COMMAND winning the MVRC Membership On Sale Now Handicap at Moonee Valley in Moonee Ponds, Australia. Picture: Racing Photos


The Australia Stakes has attracted a disappointing turn out with just six to go to post headlined by Viridine and Streets Of Avalon - a pair of 115-raters who should be bit players at Group Two level. 

Viridine is a damn good horse but that he is (currently) odds-on here makes it obvious that this is a weak edition and it's an edition that makes little betting appeal. 

The seventh on the card is a three-year-old sprint over the same course and it does make for some interest with several nice profiles engaged. 

It should be a strong betting heat and the one we want to be with is the horse who currently trades as the second favourite in Yulong Command.  

He set a strong gallop around Caulfield last time out, and he paid for it late on in a race that set up for the closers. 

If this is any harder then it isn't by much and Yulong Command returns to the Valley 1200m over which he won nicely two starts back. 

Amalfi Spritz showed something on debut and could be a handy one and Zesty Belle heads up a trio of last start winners who should run well again, but 4/1 Yulong Command is a bet against the lot of that in our view. 

For an each way play we will roll on to Sandown on Saturday, a meeting that suffers a bit for the Valley Friday and the big Australia Day meeting at Caulfield on Tuesday. 

Despite that it throws up some interesting races and the fourth on the card is one of them, with Melbourne Mail favourite Double You Tee stepping out again at the pointy end of the market. 

We've been chasing him on these pages for some time but he is a tactical nightmare, connections seemingly determined to make him do it the hard way, and while he closed as well as ever last time, and his best would make him something to side up with here, we have to look away inside 3/1. 

Double You Tee went straight past Stars Of Carrum last time but Stars was just second up and 42 days between runs there and should be ready to improve sharply. That's the good news. The bad news is that he has gone 16 runs since his lone win... 

But wait, there's more. Good news that is. There is no speed here yet again (Melbourne staying races have been a complete farce for the entire summer...) and Stars Of Carrum is just the horse to exploit that, particularly under the guidance of Peter Moody who made a hall of fame career out of having his horses ridden for pace over position in Melbourne - the home of the sit and sprint. 

If Stars Of Carrum can get control of this from the front then he can win it, and in a good each way race he makes plenty of appeal on that front if you can secure fair each way terms. 



Bet Of The Day: Moonee Valley Race 7 #5 Yulong Command @ $5.00

Each Way Play: Sandown Race 4 #6 Stars Of Carrum @ $6.50




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