The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Mark Walker’s flying Kiwi raider Imperatriz is the headline runner in the 2023 William Reid Stakes under the lights at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Night racing at The Valley this weekend sees a talented field face off in the Group 1 $1 million William Reid Stakes (1200m), and betting on the weight-for-age clash is firmly led by the New Zealander visitor.
The four-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible races down under for the second time and is well-backed to continue to frank the form from across the Tasman.
She sits top of the William Reid Stakes odds online at a firm $3.40 through Ladbrokes.com.au chasing her fourth win from five starts.
Fresh in Australia on March 4 the four-time Group 1 winner was eye-catching when beaten a narrow margin right on the line by Artorius in Randwick’s Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
She now heads south with her Kiwi hoop Opie Bosson in town for the ride replacing James McDonald in the saddle.
The mare is sure to relish a drop back to the six furlongs and looks a hard to beat favourite.
There are three other single-figure fancies in the current William Reid Stakes betting markets looking to stop the Kiwi including the $7 second elect Jigsaw.
Cindy Alderson’s airborne gelding is in flawless form ahead of the Group 1 test having won his past four on the trot in easier grade.
The ultra-consistent Manhattan Rain four-year-old was outstanding here off a month break winning the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at the track and distance with 58.5kg by 2.5 lengths in late January.
He has been kept fresh again with the galloper performing best with his runs spaced.
Daniel Moor retains the ride and Jigsaw should be flying again.
The early market mover backed right in from $14 to $8 already is the resuming Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained In The Congo drawn the rails with Tim Clark to ride.
The four-year-old Snitzel entire is looking to break a notable winning drought not having saluted since his Group 1 Golden Rose victory over Anamoe in September of 2021.
He has been competitive in plenty since including at his latest last November when runner-up to Vilana in Newcastle’s The Hunter (1300m).
In The Congo was at Moonee Valley last September first-up in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) running a distant sixth, but there is support for him in the markets to return to better form on Friday evening.
Rounding out the hopes under $10 for the win is then the Jason Warren-trained Benedetta chasing a fifth straight win.
Drawn out in gate 11 for Daniel Stackhouse the lightly-raced Hellbent filly has just her sixth career start in the William Reid.
The bonny bay has been defeated just once when third at Moe on debut last December, and she hasn’t put a foot wrong since.
At her latest she was outstanding putting a three-length gap on Paris Dior at Flemington to win the Inglis Sprint (1200m) down the straight.
She now faces the older rivals on the tight Moonee Valley circuit, but after overcoming barrier 16 of 16 with 56kg last start she looks a genuine chance back to 54kg here.
2023 William Reid Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||79x63900x0||MASKED CRUSADER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jye McNeil||4||58.5kg||108|
|2||22x61801x8||PAULELE||James Cummings||Damien Oliver||14||58.5kg||111|
|3||9x6146x114||KING OF SPARTA||Peter & Paul Snowden||John Allen||12||58.5kg||106|
|4||x12130x00x||A CASE OF YOU (IRE)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Mark Zahra||10||58.5kg||114|
|5||x329x6272x||IN THE CONGO||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||1||58.5kg||106|
|6||2x104x10x8||FRONT PAGE||Geoff Duryea||Patrick Moloney||8||58.5kg||98|
|7||11867×1111||JIGSAW||Cindy Alderson||Daniel Moor||5||58.5kg||105|
|8||55x1219x30||BELLA NIPOTINA||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Melham||13||56.5kg||111|
|9||10x4221x00||ROCH ’N’ HORSE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Jamie Mott||9||56.5kg||113|
|10||3135x84x40||SEPTEMBER RUN||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||6||56.5kg||110|
|11||x1148x1112||IMPERATRIZ||Mark Walker||Opie Bosson||7||56.5kg||114|
|12||111310×389||CHAIN OF LIGHTNING||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3||56.5kg||104|
|13||x09xL22221||BABYLON BERLIN||Ben Foote||Blake Shinn||2||56.5kg||105|
|14||31111||BENEDETTA||Jason Warren||Daniel Stackhouse||11||54kg||88|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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