The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Grahame Begg’s Melbourne Cup-bound mare Lunar Flare dominates markets for her lead-up run under the lights at The Valley on Friday night where she’ll start favourite in 2023 Ladbrokes Moonee Valley Gold Cup betting.
The Group 2 $750,000 Ladbrokes Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) is the highlight of Friday evening’s twilight meeting to kick off the Cox Plate Carnival with a quality field of spring stayers engaged.
Eight-year-old Fiorente mare Lunar Flare is the one to beat paying $3.50 to win through race sponsor Ladbrokes.com.au as she makes her way towards the Group 1 $8.41 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday November 7.
She is one of four horses exempt from Melbourne Cup ballot after her powerhouse performance to win the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) by 5.5 lengths at Flemington back in May.
Lunar Flare has had three runs since this spring with her latest being a fifth to Gold Trip in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at 80/1.
The Turnbull is proving a strong form race for the season and that is expected to continue in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup when Lunar Flare jumps from barrier three with Michael Dee continuing associations.
The danger at current Moonee Valley Gold Cup odds of $5 is Danny O’Brien’s former Melbourne Cup champion Vow And Declare.
The now eight-year-old gelding won the ‘race that stops a nation’ back in 2019 but continues to show a zest for racing.
At his latest he surprised plenty at 60/1 to finish runner-up to Alligator Blood, who runs second favourite in Saturday’s Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), on October 14 in the Group 1 Might And Power (2000m) at Caulfield.
He had 59kg that day and is back to 57kg in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup at set weights plus penalties.
It is a tight top half of the market with a further two single-figure fancies with Future History ($7) and Cleveland ($7.50) also being kept safe.
The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Future History is racing in terrific form and is another guaranteed runner in the 24-horse Melbourne Cup field after his last start Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) victory.
Craig Williams retains the ride on the Showcasing six-year-old this weekend from out wide in barrier 13 of 15.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winning trainers Maher & Eustace also saddle-up $10 shot Interpretation from barrier 14 with in-form hoop Blake Shinn in the saddle.
Camelot entire Cleveland meanwhile will jump from barrier nine with James McDonald aboard the Sydney visitor.
Trainer Chris Waller has prepared three of the past seven Moonee Valley Gold Cup winners including last year’s champ Francesco Guardi (2022).
This spring he returns with two runners saddling-up last year’s Cox Plate third place-getter El Bodegon ($13) looking to return to better form and Sheraz ($31) who was scratched from Wednesday’s Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) in favour of a run here.
2023 Ladbrokes Moonee Valley Gold Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||39x8663x00||KNIGHTS ORDER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Jordan Childs||7||58kg||107|
|2||6x69x00x05||ALENQUER (FR)||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||12||58kg||110|
|3||1x22460x02||VOW AND DECLARE||Danny O’Brien||Billy Egan||11||57kg||108|
|4||537Px99118||ATHABASCAN (FR)||John O’Shea||Damian Lane||1||56.5kg||99|
|5||2x858x5861||FANCY MAN (IRE)||Annabel Neasham||Jamie Mott||15||56.5kg||99|
|6||9x0050x806||MOUNT POPA (IRE)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||5||56kg||97|
|7||1154×72121||FUTURE HISTORY (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Craig Williams||13||56kg||99|
|8||6x70x05029||REGAL POWER||John Leek (Jnr)||Wiremu Pinn (a)||2||55kg||100|
|9||x3x907x009||EL BODEGON (IRE)||Chris Waller||6||55kg||109|
|10||302813×808||TRUE MARVEL (FR)||Matthew Smith||Ms Carleen Hefel (a)||10||55kg||90|
|11||72x295x080||SHERAZ (FR)||Chris Waller||4||55kg||102|
|12||26x50x4962||CLEVELAND (IRE)||Kris Lees||James McDonald||9||55kg||102|
|13||6536Px3259||INTERPRETATION (IRE)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Blake Shinn||14||55kg||95|
|14||2x7931x805||LUNAR FLARE||Grahame Begg||Michael Dee||3||54.5kg||107|
|15||x820200x70||SO DAZZLING (NZ)||John Sargent||Dean Yendall||8||51kg||88|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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