The Robert Hickmott-trained import The United States is well-fancied to continue his gun form this campaign in Melbourne when taking on a quality field of fellow stayers at Moonee Valley in Friday night’s JRA Cup 2015.
The Moir Stakes Night feature runs as Race 6 at 9:15pm (AEST) and there are 11 still in the mix for this year’s $200,000 Group 3 The Cup Club JRA Cup (2040m) after the early scratching of the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Extra Zero.
Jumping from barrier three with Damian Lane retaining the ride on the Galileo stallion, The United States pays $3.80 in the latest JRA Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au after just missing the win last start when a neck off Caulfield Cup hope Magnapal in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m).
That was a brave effort over the same distance he gets again this weekend when going up in weight from 54kg to 55.5kg for his fourth Moonee Valley run, his record at the track to date solid with a win, one second and a third.
Five of his rivals are also under double figures in JRA Cup betting this season including co-$5 second favourites Magnapal and Genuine Lad both coming off very nice lead-up form.
The Terry & Karina O’Sullivan-trained Magnus gelding Magnapal earned the Caulfield Cup ballot exemption for his Naturalism Stakes win a fortnight back that took him to three wins on the trot this time in.
He now looks for a fourth straight turf triumph and is out to beat home The United States again, the six-year-old getting the worse weight turnaround however up from 54kg to 57kg after meeting Friday night’s favourite equal in the Naturalism.
Genuine Lad is a Craig Williams mount jumping from barrier eight third-up, Robert Smerdon’s Ladoni five-year-old a close third in the Naturalism that looks the form line to follow again this week.
The former Tasmanian galloper has top form in the staying features down there including a Launceston Cup win over the mile and a half this February gone and is after his first Melbourne win.
Also under double figures for the win in the race that could lead into either the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17 or the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) back at Moonee Valley on October 24 are Awesome Rock ($7), Velox ($7) on the rails and the 58.5kg top weight Prince Of Penzance ($8).
Chris Parnham has the ride on Fastnet Rock four-year-old Awesome Rock, fourth in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) back in June, who failed in tougher company on September 12 at Flemington when 13th of 14 runners in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), but still only defeated three lengths by the winner Fawkner.
Velox is the remaining hope for Hayes & Dabernig, the Zamindar six-year-old coming off a 1600m win in non-black type company when carrying 59kg at Pakenham in mid-September, the drop to Friday’s 54kg minimum to help his chances in the Group 3.
Prince Of Penzance is at the other end of the weight scale, Darren Weir’s Pentire six-year-old after his first victory since winning last October’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day.
He is undefeated at the track having won both of his previous Moonee Valley runs and was last seen running fifth over the mile at Ballarat with a hefty 62kg on his back on September 20.
See below for the full JRA Cup 2015 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and Fixed Win odds provided by our preferred online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Moir Stakes on Friday night!