The resuming James Cummings-trained Paulele heads markets on the Group 1 $1 million Moir Stakes (1000m) running under the lights at The Valley tonight in Melbourne.
The Godolphin-raced four-year-old is narrow favourite to beat home his 11 rivals fresh on the tight Moonee Valley circuit in a class edition of the weight-for-age Moir.
Hoop of the hour, James McDonald, partners the Dawn Approach entire who has an outstanding first-up record (4:3-0-0).
McDonald was aboard for Paulele’s two latest runs at Eagle Farm over the winter when finishing a close second in both the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) and Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m).
The latest Moir Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have Paulele at $4.20 to kick off his spring with a win from barrier six.
Drawn one on his inside is the main danger, the Robert Heathcote-trained Brisbane raider Rothfire at $4.40 fit second-up from gate five.
Damian Lane continues associations with this 1000m specialist with the five-year-old son of Rothesay having won all four of his previous runs over the distance.
First-up last start Rothfire was excellent winning the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) here and he looks a key chance to win again here with the fitness edge.
She Will Reign (2017) is the only filly since Virage De Fortune (2005) to win the Moir, and this year the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained Coolangatta pays $7.50 to be the next.
Jamie Kah rides the talented daughter of Written Tycoon from the inside alley.
The three-year-old has won over $1.8 million in her five starts thanks to her $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic win and Golden Slipper third as a juvenile.
In her three-year-old debut she was good when third to Rothfire in the McEwen Stakes, and she gets the chance to finish in the money again here at WFA.
Coolangatta is joined in the Moir Stakes field by the fellow Maher & Eustace-trained Generation and Bella Nipotina drawn barriers two and eleven respectively.
Snitzel four-year-old Generation is rated a $9 chance to win second-up following his second fresh in Caulfield’s Group 3 The Heath (1100m).
He returns to The Valley for the first time since March when he was far from disgraced running two lengths back fourth behind September Run in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).
Pride Of Dubai mare Bella Nipotina has her seventh start at Moonee Valley and is also second-up in the Moir.
The five-year-old boasts one win and four seconds at the track, the victory coming last time out fresh in the wet when narrowly taking out the Listed Norman Carlyon Stakes (1000m) on August 20.
The other single-figure fancy at $8.50 is the Tony Gollan-trained McEwen Stakes runner-up Zoustyle jumping from gate nine with Damien Oliver aboard.
Gollan remains confident in his galloper’s ability to cross from the wide gate, and is tipping another big performance from the determined Zoustyle.
“We are under no illusions but I take good confidence that he was able to absorb that pressure in the McEwen and fight on well,” he told News Corp this week.
“I thought he was entitled to drop out on the corner there the other day and he fought on beautifully.
“Who knows, maybe we’re going to be the one applying the pressure this time around.
“Barrier nine isn’t always great but we need to see how the track is playing on the night.
“I’m not overly concerned as long as he steps well and gets himself in a rhythm.”
The Moir Stakes 2022 is scheduled as Moonee Valley Race 7 at 9:15pm (AEST).