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Australian Racing: Brayden Star to shine at Moonee Valley

There’s big race action at Moonee Valley on Friday with two Group races including the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup.

There are also seven other meetings with the Gawler Cup the most valuable race of the day away from The Valley.

Race 7 Moonee Valley

Vow And Declare @ 5.00 

Race 6 Moonee Valley

Brayden Star @ 6.00 

Race 8 Gawler

Chicago Storm @ 3.60 

Declare to score at The Valley

The previously mentioned Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup is set to take place over 2500m on a good 4 surface.

A field of 15 has been declared with the lowly-weighted Lunar Flare expected to prove popular for the Grahame Begg stable.

The veteran galloper has been a regular feature in this race in recent years, winning here in 2021 and finishing runner-up here 12 months ago.

Notably both of those efforts came on wet tracks, however, the mare comes into this event on the back of an eye-catching fifth when jumping at odds of $101 in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes.

The Turnbull was held over 2000m at Flemington and the step up in distance here is a positive for Michael Dee’s mount who is usually ridden from off the pace.

Fellow veteran VOW AND DECLARE is the pick here, having registered some solid placed efforts, since delivering a victory in the Group 2 Zipping Classic over 2400m at Caulfield last November. 

The gelding returned from a spell with a down the field 10th, when starting at triple-figure odds for the Group 1 Underwood Stakes over 1800m at Caulfield last month.

While that effort wasn’t without promise, he took a step forward when two-lengths second to Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Might And Power over 2000m at the same track subsequently.

The step up in distance is in the Danny O’Brien-trained gelding’s favour and he looks up to saluting with Billy Egan booked to ride. 3

Star to shine in Cup

The race prior to the Moonee Valley Gold Cup is the Group 3 JRA Cup held over the Cox Plate track and trip. 

Ain’tnodeeldun is expected to start favourite, having won his last two starts, with the first of those coming over 1600m in a Benchmark 90 handicap here last month.

The six-year-old followed that triumph up with a success in an 1800m handicap event at Sandown Hillside at the start of this month and he steps up in grade here.

While Anthony & Sam Freedman’s gelding arrives here in good form, the pick is BRAYDEN STAR for the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young team.

The gelding has shown good form at a lower level this spell, including when winning two of his last four starts.

The second of those victories saw the pick come home one-and-a-half-lengths clear of his rivals in the bet365 Benalla Gold Cup over 2100m at the end of last month.

While the five-year-old disappointed in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes over 2400m at Caulfield, he is likely capable of better than he showed that day and is taken to return to winning ways. 

Storm for Gold Cup glory

The Gawler Gold Cup over 1500m comes up as the penultimate race on a nine-race card at Gawler.

The going is expected to be a soft 5 for the $107,000 contest, with CHICAGO STORM the selection for the David Aldridge stable.

The pick returned from a spell with a near two-length victory in a 1250m Benchmark 70 handicap at Morphettville Parks in August.

Since then, the five-year-old has risen through the grades, including when winning a Benchmark 84 handicap over 1400m at the same track on his penultimate start.

While the selection could finish only fifth in the Listed Murray Bridge Gold Cup over 1600m at Murray Bridge last time, he was ridden from off the pace following a change of tactics that day.

The son of Trust In A Gust had a wide alley to contend with at Murray Bridge and, with an inside barrier here, Jason Holder’s mount looks capable of recording his seventh career win. 

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