Melbourne suffered a heavy downpour on Friday evening, causing the track to be downgraded from a strong 3 to a mild 6 at Moonee Valley.
With new rain forecasts on Saturday morning, chances are the track will be closer to a Soft 7 or even in the heavy range by the time the first race rolls around.
READ: Cox Plate Day preview and tips
Below are the horses best suited to traveling in the rain…
*Prices correct at time of publication
Race 2 – Bendigo Bank Handicap (1000m)
No. 4 – ASHFORD STREET ($7.50)
The consistent Ashford Street sprinter has won 7 races in his 21-start career – all on rain-affected tracks. The galloper trained at Ken Elford is five times winner on soft and is 2 out of 2 on heavy tracks. He is a quick backup after hitting a raging Asfoora at Caulfield last Saturday.
Teo Nugent (56kg)
5 years (b) Moshe x Magic By Gosh
#2 – ANCESTRY ($18)
He’s the first in 300 days and isn’t the same horse he was before, but Ancestry likes the pot off the track. He won 3 out of 6 in soft – one of those here, beating Jungle Edge by 2.25L – and is a two-time winner in heavy.
Zac Spain (57kg)
6 years (b) The Brothers War x Maltese
Race 3 – Red G3 Anchor Pegs (1200m)
#6 – SHALAILED ($4)
This colt trained by O’Shea has not yet missed a place in four starts on a field affected by the rain. He beat his maiden on a Heavy 8 at Canterbury and rode through the very tough conditions at Caulfield on the final start to earn a spot in the G3 Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) with a chance of $26.
Nash Rawiller (57kg)
3 years (b) Shalaa x Unassailed
Race 4 – Crockett Stakes (1200m)
#3 – WILLINGA BEAST ($3.70)
Willinga Beast has been reserved exclusively for wet tracks in her six-start career to date. The Lees-trained filly had four hard knocks for a win and three minor placings. She was beaten to 0.15L and 0.19L in two of those heavy runs, and was rolled by the smart Best Of Bordeaux in a final Heavy 10 start.
Ben Melham (56kg)
3 years (ch) Snitzel x Time Check
Race 6 – G2 Crystal Mile (1600m)
#1 – CALLSIGN MAV ($8)
‘Mav’ won the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on a Heavy 9 two starts ago and also beat G1 Tarzino (1400m) on a heavy deck in New Zealand.
Jamie Mott (59kg)
6 years old (b) Atlante x Raadisi
No. 4 – BUFFALO RIVER ($26)
He’s running below his best, but six of Buffalo River’s seven career wins have come on rain-affected ground. Damien Oliver’s return is interesting – he rode the gelding Moroney six times for four wins and two runners-up.
Damien Olivier (59kg)
6 years (b) Noble Mission x Fashion Insider
No. 7 – VISINARI ($4.40)
‘Gray in the Wet’. Visinari had four tries on wet tracks and never missed a top two. He beat a handy wet tracker in Chief Altony on a Heavy 9 track at Sandown in June.
Ben Melham (59kg)
Mick Price and Michael Kent (Jnr)
5 years (gr) Dark Angel x Visinada
No. 8 – BANKERS CHOICE ($6)
It’s a funny galloper, Bankers Choice. He is 0 out of 7 on the soft tracks, but is a two-time winner on the heavy and ran a cracker in this year’s G1 Doncaster (1600m) on a Heavy 9 surface. He seems to want it either quite firm or very wet .
Mark Zahra (59kg)
5 years (b) Mongol Khan x Signorina
Course 7 – G2 Drummond Golf Vase (2040m)
No. 3 – PERICLES ($4.80)
This son of Street Boss has only had two starts but both have been on heavy tracks and both have been very good. He was beaten by the smart Opal Ridge on a final Heavy 10 start but put over 5L on the rest.
Jamie Kah (57kg)
3 years (br) Street Boss x Accessories
Race 8 – G2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m)
#9 – NERF NOT VERVE ($17)
She can mix up her form, but Nerve Not Verve is usually pretty consistent on rain-affected tracks. She has placed in 7 of her 14 soft track races and has strong heavy stats (6:2-2-0). She is also a three-time winner of The Valley.
Tim Clark (55kg)
7 years (b) Shocking x Bilancia
Race 9 – G1 Cox Plate (2040m)
#1 – ZAAKI ($5.50)
It handles all surfaces, but Zaaki has a brilliant record on trails rated Soft 7 or worse. He nearly won the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on a bottomless bridge – crushing Anamoe – and was an easy winner in the G2 Tramway (1400m) on heavy earlier this campaign.
Jamie Kah (59kg)
7 years old (b/br) Leroides Animaux x Kesara
#4 – MR BRIGHTSIDE ($14)
Ex-Kiwi Mr Brightside won the G1 Doncaster (1600m) on a Heavy 9 track and won 5 out of 8 on soft tracks. The Valley doesn’t mind either, winning 2 out of 2 including the G2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) by 4.5L.
Craig Williams (59kg)
Ben and JD Hayes
5 year old (b/br) Bullbars x Lilahjay
No. 10 – ANAMOE ($2.50)
He handles all surfaces, bottomless bar. The trail is unlikely to be really heavy unless we have an unexpected downpour in the afternoon.
James McDonald (57.5kg)
4yo (b/br) Street Boss x Anamato
No. 12 – EL BODEGON ($6)
The pocket rocket zooms down wet trails, with all three of its career wins coming on soft/heavy surfaces. He’s a Group 1 winner over this distance on really soft ground.
Damien Olivier (56.5kg)
3 years C (b) Kodiac x Al Andalyya
Race 10 – Stakes G3 Tesio (1600m)
#4 – SWEETNESS ($13)
Douceur is 0 out of 11 on the good tracks but 2 out of 2 on the heavy ones. She’s drawn to dive in the middle/outside of the track, which you’d imagine will be field A by race 10.
Harry Coffey (54kg)
4 yrs (b/br) No Nay Never x Danalicious
Race 11 – Stakes G1 Manikato (1200m)
No. 10 – BELLA NIPOTINA ($4.40)
This ultra-regular mare has placed in 5 of her 10 starts on soft tracks and is a two-time winner on heavy tracks. She won the Listed Norman Carlyon Stakes (1000m) on a Heavy 8 here in August.
Craig Williams (56.5kg)
Ciaron Maher and David Eustache
5 years (ch) Pride of Dubai x Bella Orfana
N°13 – THE BEST OF BORDEAUX ($12)
It’s a small sample size, but Best Of Bordeaux won the G2 Silver Slipper (1100m) on a Soft 6 and then placed behind Fireburn in the G1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on a Heavy 9. He completely controlled the race to take out the G2 Roman Consul (1200m) on a final Heavy 10 start.
Tim Clark (53kg)
3ansC (b) Snitzel x Château Cheval