The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
Moonee Valley Night Racing takes place under the lights this evening with the actioned headlined by the three-year-olds facing off in the 2018 Alister Clark Stakes, betting tips and updated odds on the feature found below.
Due to run as Race 7 at The Valley at 9:30pm (AEDT), the field for tonight’s Group 2 $200,000 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) is down to 11 with Salsamor scratched in favour of a Sydney run on Saturday in the Sky High Stakes.
Firming favourite backed into an odds-on quote of $1.60 from $2.40 in the latest Alister Clark Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Darren Weir-trained Cliff’s Edge.
He is the only runner in the field with a top three finish at the track having placed a distant second to the gun filly Aloisia in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) at the course and distance in the spring.
A first-up Group 3 winner this time in, Cliff’s Edge was last seen running seventh in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) after over racing early.
A slower pace tonight and the step-up in distance but drop in grade put the colt in a nice position to bounce back to winning form as the heavily-supported favourite.
The only other single-figure hope in the Alister Clark Stakes betting markets at $4.60 is the in-form James Cummings-trained Medaglia D’Oro colt Astoria.
It has been a while between wins for this Godolphin galloper, but Astoria has been ultra-consistent since late October including a VRC Derby third and a last start second in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield.
The increased metres also work in favour of Craig Williams’ mount who presents fit third-up.
So will the best two in betting battle it out in the finish or is there an upset Alister Clark Stakes result pending from the likes of well-bred Pierro colt Levendi ($10), the well-drawn Belfast ($12) or even the Foxwedge filly Bemboka Queen ($26) coming off a 2227m win at Sale?
#2 Astoria ($4.60)
Tipping the value with Astoria over the odds-on favourite. Hasn’t run out of the money since the fifth to Ace High in last October’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in Sydney and his four subsequent runs have all been the Melbourne way. Only two lengths beaten for third the VRC Derby so obviously the step-up to 2040m here third-up will suit. Beaten favourite last time out but gets the chance to atone stripping fitter and ready to fire with Craig Williams coming aboard.
#1 Cliff’s Edge ($1.60)
Deserving favourite who will certainly take some beating. Forgivable late drop out in the Australian Guineas when out in front too hard early. Jockey change here and Jamie Mott will hopefully have him settled better. Runner-up in his only other start at the track (over this distance) and has winning form over the metres too. Fourth-up and looking ready to return to winning form.
#6 Belfast ($12)
Plenty of livewire hopes for third, but the rails run will aid this Teofilo colt whose lead-up fourth in the Autumn Classic was eye-catching. Up over further than 1800m for the first time but looks like he’ll appreciate the distance. Dwayne Dunn retains the ride on the two-time winner who looks right in the mix.
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