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  1. Horse Racing

Australian Racing: King Of Fighters eyeing Moonee Valley crown

There’s plenty of Group action at Moonee Valley on Friday including the Group 1 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes over 1000m.

Race 7 Moonee Valley

Uncommon James @ 4.60

Race 5 Moonee Valley

King Of Fighters @ 4.60

Race 8 Moonee Valley

Shesallshenanigans @ 5.00

James to upset New Zealand star

The previously mentioned Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes has attracted a classy field headed by Imperatriz.

The New Zealand sprinter secured two top level wins at Te Rapa prior to having her attentions switched across the Tasman Sea.

The five-year-old has shown that she can be competitive in Melbourne, winning both starts since suffering a narrow defeat in the 1300m Group 1 Canterbury Stakes at Randwick.

The second of those victories saw the daughter of I Am Invincible salute by two-and-a-half-lengths in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes over this track and trip on 9th September. 

The mare has her rivals here with Rothfire (second), Zoustyle (fourth) and Acromantula (fifth) all set to re-oppose in this contest.

Mark Walker’s mare sets the standard on form and while expected to prove hard to beat, UNCOMMON JAMES may prove capable of inflicting a defeat on the crack sprinter. 

The five-year-old showed progressive form in 2022, completing a hat-trick when winning a handicap over 1200m at Caulfield in August of that year.

However he has taken his form to a new level this year, placing twice from four starts including in Group 1 company, while his sole success in those runs came at the top level.

That top level success saw the gelding triumph by nearly a length in the Oakleigh Plate over 1100m at Sandown Lakeside in February.

The selection raced off a low weight that day and subsequently placed second in the Group 1 Galaxy handicap over this trip at Rosehill.

The pick’s absence since an eighth in the Quokka at Ascot in April shouldn’t inconvenience him too much and Damian Lane’s mount may prove up to resuming with a win.

King to rule in Stutt 

There are a couple of interesting Group 2 contests on the Moonee Valley undercard including the Group 2 Stutt Stakes over 1600m. 

The 2023 looks sure to cement his or her claims of taking the Caulfield Guineas and will join an illustrious list of winners including Zabeel, Canny Lad, Encosta De Lago and Pierro.

Ciaron Maher & David Eustace are set to saddle Griff, with the Warwick Farm maiden winner delivering a Listed victory in the 1400m at Exford Plate at Flemington earlier this month.

The colt triumphed by half-a-length on that occasion and shapes as if the extra 200m he tackles here will prove no issue. 

Mark Zahra, successful on board Tijuana 12 months ago takes the ride, however preference is for the maiden KING OF FIGHTERS, runner-up in the previously mentioned Exford Plate.

Trained by Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr, the colt showed solid form at maiden level when runner-up on his first two starts including over 1300m at Sandown Hillside last month.

While the selection jumped at big odds for the Exford Plate, he finished strongly to claim third having raced from off the pace. 

Damian Lane is a positive jockey booking and he may find himself in the winners’ enclosure in this event. 

Shesallshenanigans for Scarborough success

The concluding race on the Moonee Valley card is the 1200m Group 3 Scarborough Stakes.

SHESALLSHENANIGANS will jump from next to the rail here and she registered her fourth career success when winning the Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes over 1100m at Flemington.

Successful by a narrow margin on that occasion, the pick had previously finished sixth in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes at Caulfield.

Simon Zahra’s mare proved that she stays this trip when winning on a soft 5 track at Sandown Lakeside in April and she is selected to register her first win at this level. 

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