Moonee Valley race 3 – G2 Stutt Stakes – 1600m
#6 Prince Alexander – $6/$2.05
The start is all-important here, if he can jump well from gate 1 and land behind the likely leader Sandy Prince, he looks a solid each-way chance. Crying out for a trip and the mile suits perfectly second up. Keen to play on an each-way basis.
Moonee Valley race 7 – G1 Moir Stakes – 1000m
#1 Trekking – $11/$3.40
The in-form Craig Williams takes the reins and from gate 3 he should map just behind the speed, possibly 3rd on the fence, in what looks like a mad scamper over the short course. He chased home Nature Strip last start and was only narrowly beaten in this race last year. He can win but I’ll be having more on the place.
Moonee Valley race 8 – G2 Ladbrokes Stock Stakes – 1600m
#8 Only Words – $8/$2.60
Typical wide open mares race to finish the Moonee Valley card and quaddie. Settling on Only Words, she can race much handier up to the mile with Willo on. She looked to have a genuine barrier trial last start in what looks like the superior form line. Waller and Willo, in we go!
Rosehill race 6 – G2 Shannon Stakes – 1500m
#1 Imaging – $4.40
Few things in his favour today. Firstly, he gets J Mac, the best hoop in the country. He draws gate 1 and gets a class drop from Group 1 company back to an average Group 2. I thought he was pretty good first-up before chasing home Incentivise at WFA last start. He’ll find this much easier. The one to beat.
Rosehill race 7 – G2 Golden Pendant – 1400m
#2 Entriviere – $2.35
She was superb first up and no reason she can’t run well again here. Only goes up half a kilo from last start and that won’t be enough for the others to turn the tables on her. J Mac sticks and even though she has drawn wide, there doesn’t look a lot of speed in this and she can roll forward early. I think we’ll see a bit better bet on the day but the one they all have to beat.
Rosehill race 8 – G1 Golden Rose – 1400m
#1 Anamoe – $1.90
I don’t think there’s much need to overthink it here. Easily the best lead up run into the race and looks to have come back bigger and stronger. He usually spots them a start but he can power over them and win. He’s an exciting animal. Up you go, Anamoe!
Grand Final – Saturday
Melbourne ($1.73) VS Western Bulldogs ($2.35) – Optus Stadium
Whilst the Dogs finished fifth on the ladder it’s fair to say that these two have been the in-form teams all season and both flexed their muscles in the prelims. Melbourne demolished the Cats with Gawn bagging 5 goals and the Bulldogs smashed Port. As for Norm Smith betting, I’ll be backing Clayton Oliver, he’s a prolific ball winner and I’m hoping he can jag a goal or two in a Melbourne win.
Suggested Bets – Melbourne -8.5 @ $2 & Norm Smith Medal – Clayton Oliver @ $7
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.70) VS Manly Sea Eagles ($2.20) – Suncorp Stadium
Cracking contest. A month ago, if you told me the Bunnies minus Latrell would be 2.5 point favourites against a full-strength Manly, I would have had you committed. But here we are. The key for the Bunnies is simple – ball control and Turbo control. For the Sea Eagles, it is all about their support players standing up and playing to their best. Fort that reason Harper, Foran and Schuster will have more of a say on whether Manly wins or not than Turbo. I’m backing them in.
Suggested Bet – Manly Sea Eagles @ $2.20
Melbourne Storm ($1.32) VS Penrith Panthers ($3.50) – Suncorp Stadium
The 2020 Grand Final rematch and what many thought would be this year’s GF comes to us a week earlier. Penrith have looked well below their best lately and the loss of metre eater winger Brian To’o, as well as other players carrying niggles, is going to make their task very hard. The Storm have been super impressive all season and this might end up being pretty one-sided.
Suggested Bet – Melbourne Storm -9.5 @ $2
The Yanks are on home turf at Whistling Straits which will suit their long hitters but as a whole, Team USA have struggled to break their individualistic culture – The Bryson/Brooks feud won’t help that cause. Team Europe always defy form and lift for this occasion, they look to be the value bet at $3. Rory McIlroy has been down on form lately but he does have two top 4 finishes in his last two outings. He loves this course, looks well suited and looks a bet at $6 to be Europe’s Top Point Scorer.
Suggested Bets – Ryder Cup Winner – Europe @ $3 & Top Points Scorer – Europe – Rory McIlroy @ $6