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Headlines Today is 25/10/2014
In the 17 years that Justracing has been going I've met thousands of racing people, so I fancy I'm qualified to say that the Queensland harness racing lost one of the nice guys from within its ranks when John Davis, pictured here with his charming wife Pam, passed away in Ipswich Hospital earlier this week after recent health issues. John was a long standing and highly respected trainer and Pam was his greatest supporter. It was always my pleasure to run into John over many years at Rocklea, Albion Park, Parklands or Marburg. If there were more men like John Davis in the world, the world would be a much better place. Funeral details are yet to be announced - but they will be placed on this website when they are known.

Moonee Valley understandably holds centre stage for thoroughbred racing around Australia this weekend and 17 races are set down for decision across this evening (8) and tomorrow afternoon (9).

The two feature events of the 17 races are obviously the two Group 1’s – namely the Manikato Stakes tonight and the Cox Plate tomorrow.

Hopefully the jockeys riding in the Manikato Stakes tonight will actually be with the rest of us on planet Earth and not just sit back like they are riding a cumulative bunch of slugs and just hand up the lead meekly to Buffering again, like happened last time, after his trainer Rob Heatchcote had said on a radio interview earlier that day that his horse would lead and run them along. “They” all stupidly took the bait again, so Buffering won again. When will they ever learn that if you don’t actually make it a “race” he’ll beat you home if it’s simply a sit and sprint. Any horse that can plod along to the 600 and do no work to that point - has to be the horse to beat when the sprint home goes on.

Racing Queensland Chief Handicapper Lester Grimmett didn’t advise the scaled weights for Doomben tomorrow, but on checking the weights on RISA, the scaled weights are: Race 3 + 1.5kgs, Race 5 + 4kgs and Race 8 + 1kg, so in my words not his, the Chief Handicapper is telling all and sundry that the 3YO’s in Race 5 are ordinary, from a class perspective, to the standard of horse that he would expect to see in an Open Saturday metropolitan 3YO race, which is territory I educated the public on last time this crew all raced each other 14 days ago.

Doomben Track Manager, Jim Roberts, has advised the website that the Doomben track this afternoon is currently a “good 3”. Jim added that “the penetrometer is 5.14 this arvo, so it’s pushing a bit towards the dead side, but that’s exactly where I want it. I’ve put about 36mm’s of irrigation on it this week and there’s another hot day forecast for tomorrow. I’ve got the rail at one metre and the track has got a lovely cushion of grass”.

Luxbet obviously has caught a right royal dose of Melbourne Spring Carnival fever, as evidenced by their amazing offer - on the top and side banners on this website today - whereby they have extended their first deposit bonus to new clients, from eligible States of Australia, to a whopping $750. So in other words if you open up an account with $750 they’ll match it dollar-for-dollar, to the point where you’ll then have $1,500 to bet with, subject to their terms and conditions. And even if you are an existing client of Luxbet and click on those banners Luxbet has a “guaranteed 50% more” than any of Sportsbet’s Top Tote Plus, Tom Waterhouse’s Tom’s dividend and Sportingbet’s Best Tote Plus products, subject to betting limits and terms and conditions. Anyway you can see for yourself by clicking on the banner.

The apprentice jockey weights for Doomben tomorrow should be:



Samuel Payne

53.5 claims 3kgs

Geoffrey Goold

54 claims 2kgs

Luke Tarrant

50 claims 1.5kgs

Beau Appo

49 claims 3kgs

James Orman

52 claims 3kgs

Travis Wolfgram

54 claims 2kgs

Matthew McGuren

55 claims 2kgs

Cassie Schmidt

54 claims 3kgs

Bridget Grylls

49 claims 2kgs

Today on I preview Doomben Race 7. On I name 24 horses that are racing at Moonee Valley tonight and tomorrow that haven’t won a race anywhere for 12 months or longer, whilst on Matt Nicholls looks at the Cox Plate.

The Postman has kindly sent in his thoughts for tomorrow and they read:

On what promises to be the best weekend of racing for the year thus far, I think we can get a bank early on Cox Plate day with Rocky King in race 2 @ Moonee Valley. This Queensland 5YO gelding is racing in peak form at the minute and I expect him to well & truly measure up against what I consider an average bunch of sprinters. Rocky King ran a gallant second in the Ramornie last prep behind Big Money, then followed that effort with a decisive win over 1300m @ Eagle Farm before spelling. Rocky King was produced first up @ the Sunshine Coast just on 4 weeks ago over 1000m, when he led & trotted in. Trainer Tom Bourke has picked out a perfect race over 1000m for Rocky King's Victorian debut tomorrow and I think he's in this race up to his ears.

Rocky King has drawn a middle barrier, so I expect him to use his customary early dash & either lead or sit outside Minaj. Jockey Tegan Harrison is a very good judge of pace, so if she can control the tempo over the 1000m, I expect Rocky King to be very hard to get past in the straight. I don't think he's too badly treated with 59kg and the balance of this field have many convictions and/or will find the 1000m around the Valley too short. Miss Steele is going to need good luck from back in the field on the fence and the likes of Let's Rock & Roll, Eight Bills & Straight Gold will struggle to peg back Rocky King if he pinches a break.

Luxbet opened Rocky King @ $4.8 which I think is great value. I have him marked closer to 3-1 or $4. I think he'll run you a great race & I'm keen to play.

Moonee Valley (Saturday) 2-1 Rocky King.

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