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WINNING CHANCES AT THE VALLEY ON SATURDAY

Three runners at two venues for us on Saturday with Santa Catarina and Mirimar at Moonee Valley and Old Time Rock at Wangaratta.

Santa Catarina runs in race two, the Benchmark 84 Handicap for mares over 1200m with Thomas Stockdale’s claim reducing her weight to 60kg.

It is the second start in Australia for the daughter of Savabeel which ran fourth at Moonee Vally on August 1 and Mike Moroney is expecting a better performance today.

“She’s had a look at the Valley and she will relish the conditions. It’s currently soft (7) and if this rain continues then it could get to the heavy range which will not worry her.

“She’s drawn a good barrier and if she can jump and relax then I really think she is a good chance.

“The favourite does look the one to beat but she is first time racing left-handed and it’s her first time at Moonee Valley whereas our mare has a few things in her favour.”

Mirimar (pictured) is in the last race at the Valley, the Open Handicap over 2040m with Mark Zahra to ride from barrier four after scratchings have reduced the opposition to seven.

“The rain has come which is great and even though the scratchings have helped it’s still a good race,” Moroney said.

“His fitness levels are good and he’s back bouncy with conditions in his favour - the more rain we get the better it will be for him.

“He’s as fit as can be and even though it still looks a tough race I do think he’s there with an each-way chance.”

Old Time Rock travels to Wangaratta to run in race three, the 3YO Maiden Plate over 1170m with Rhys McLeod in the saddle and jumping from barrier one.

“We decided to see how he goes on the heavy ground as his half-brother loved it and his mother loved it so we’ll give him a chance,” Moroney said.

“We’ve put the blinkers on him and he’s drawn well so he gets his chance provided he can cope with the ground.

“He’s a strong horse and even though it’s a strong race for a Saturday and we’re guessing a little with the conditions I still think he will run an improved race.”
[22 Aug 20]

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