This Friday night in Melbourne the latest spring cups lead-up runs at Moonee Valley Racecourse with the 2013 JRA Cup, betting markets for which are led by Adam Durrant’s visiting Perth-based galloper Mr Moet.
Winner of the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) first-up at Ascot last November the now six-year-old Mosayter gelding is looking to return to form in the $200,000 Group 3 Alternate Railway JRA Cup (2040m).
Competitive in Melbourne during the autumn including their third to All Too Hard beaten under a length in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, this time in they have been well out of the money.
Their first was a ninth to Foreteller in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) after which they were last seen crossing eighth to upset Kiwi-trained winner It’s A Dundeel for their fifth Group 1 in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) last weekend.
For both runs Mr Moet was defeated by four lengths and they are sure to finish off much better getting up in distance here against arguably and easier class of rivals.
Of the 13 engaged to face off in the JRA Cup Mr Moet is the one the punters have been coming for early and they are the firming $3.20 favourite despite their 59kg topweight.
Two other runners then are battling for second favouritism with Oasis Bloom and Lightinthenite paying $5 and $5.50 respectively.
Oasis Bloom will carry the 54kg minimum on Friday night with ace hoop Craig Williams aboard as the Al Maher mare looks to build on the momentum she set up last start when second to the then undefeated Cox Plate favourite Atlantic Jewel in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago.
Lightinthenite meanwhile is the only runner outside of Mr Moet carrying above 54kg having been allocated a still very manageable 55.5kg.
The John O’Shea-trained Galileo six-year-old returned on September 7 at Randwick and was a credible third to Hawkspur, favourite for the 2013 Caulfield Cup next month, in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
With the JRA Cup used as a stepping stone by many genuine stayers looking for the mile and a half of the Caulfield Cup (2400m) or even the two miles in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) later in the spring, there are no other hopes under double figures.
Those that could prove nice value at their juicy prices however include the Jake Stephens-trained Gris Caro ($10), Queensland Cup third placegetter Verdant ($11), Gai Waterhouse’s last start Moonee Valley winner The Great Snowman ($12) and even David Hayes’ veteran Danzero gelding Extra Zero ($15).
Imported With Approval grey Gris Caro has had just one run down under for their new trainer when winning the Listed Balaklava Cup (1600m), an effort that will have boosted their confidence ahead of their next tougher assignment.
Stephens’ confidence is also boosted going to Moonee Valley where the tight circuit should suit Gris Caro who did a lot of racing on another notoriously constricted course, Marseilles in France.
“Most of the horses that go to America from France go really well on their tight tracks,” Stephens told The Advertiser.
“He likes to hang in and get to the rail – he’s a cornering horse.”
See below for the latest JRA Cup 2013 prices, full betting odds and markets open online at Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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2013 JRA Cup Odds
Moonee Valley Race 7 – 9:15pm (AEST) – 27/09/2013
|1||MR MOET (9)||3.20|
|3||OASIS BLOOM (11)||5.00|
|4||TALENT SHOW (4)||61.00|
|5||GRIS CARO (8)||10.00|
|6||EXTRA ZERO (7)||15.00|
|10||THE GREAT SNOWMAN (12)||12.00|
|11||HORNETS’ NEST (10)||17.00|
|13||HISTORY NO HURDLE (1)||201.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change