Welcome to the Aussie Handicap season!

As the Spring turns to Summer in Australia, it can get very hot.  Most of the top horses are spelled for a renewed campaign in the Autumn.  After a steady diet of stakes races in the Spring, most of the racing in this secondary period features general handicaps, where the more accomplished horses carry more weight.  The bettor should focus on horses that have run less times, as they are considered “unexposed” to other bettors and to the official track handicappers, who add weight to a horse after a good performance.

Friday, Nov. 22nd (9:00 PM EST USA Time), Moonee Valley Race 1A, #1 Romancingthestone is the kind of horse that is not helped by the handicap system.  Two starts back, she ran a very good second (at Moonee Valley) carrying 121 pounds, then was slightly disappointing when running at the same level against slightly tougher (note she carried only 119 pounds down Flemington’s straight course).  With a class drop today and a reunion with top Aussie jock Michael Rodd, she can definitely win, but she will have to carry 128 pounds, the most weight she has ever carried in her career.  Considering she is no win machine (1 for 8 lifetime, but 5 for 8 in the money), she’s probably best used under in the exotics.

The horse I think has the best chance is #6 Mokoro, who is incredibly well bred (Redoute’s Choice is one of the top 3 or 4 sires in Australia and Machiavellian passes on a lot of speed as a broodmare sire), and won a maiden race in decent time.  To me, the most impressive part of Mokoro’s debut win was the time for the final three furlongs – under 34 seconds.  If she improves on race day at all she will handle these.  Note she has not become “exposed” to the handicapper and only has to carry 121 pounds, seven pounds less than Romancingthestone.

Selections for Race Moonee Valley 1A:

1st) #6 Mokoro  2nd) #1 Romancingthestone  3rd) #3 Longchamp Belle

Betting Run Est. Peak Fair
Number Horse Post Style Effort Pattern/Form Effort Odds
3 Longchamp Belle 4 Speed Class drop from listed stakes.  Low win %. 38.0  3/1
6 Mokoro 9 Tactical/Unexposed Very well bred horse.  Won debut.  Top connections. 37.0  7/2
1 Romancingthestone 6 Tactical 4th off the layoff/class drop from listed stakes.  Low win %. 36.5  4/1
2 Miss Steele 7 Midpack 3rd off the layoff/class drop from listed stakes 35.0  7/1
5 A Saucy Snitzel 8 Speed Steps up in grade.  Decent record. 35.0  7/1
4 Go Again 5 Midpack Steps up in grade. 33.0  29/1
7 Astro Miss 3 Speed Steps up in grade. 33.0  29/1
8 Rowdy Belle 2 Midpack Won first start, has a good Aussie pedigree.  Top trainer. 32.0
9 Spinning Light 1 Tactical Uncoupled with #8 (same trainer).  Appears slow. 31.0

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