Restricted to three year olds, the Moonee Valley Vase is run at set weights and has traditionally been a key lead up event for the VRC Derby. The last horse to complete the Vase/Derby double was Efficient in 2006, while Tarzino finished 3rd in the Vase before going on to claim the Derby in 2015.
First held in 1983 at Listed level, the race achieved Group 3 status in 1989 and in 1997 was elevated to the current Group 2 classification. The race is held over 2040m with colts & geldings allotted 57kg and fillies 55kg at the set weight scale.
Total prizemoney on offer in 2017 is $200,000 with the winner to receive $120,000. The 2016 winner was the Tony Pike trained Sacred Elixir, ridden by Damian Lane. Previous Moonee Valley Vase winners include Jameka, Rekindled Interest, Whobegotyou, Ustinov, Gold Guru and Alfa.
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|Date:||Saturday, 28th October 2017|
|Location:||Moonee Valley Racecourse|
|Race Type:||3YO Under Set Weights|
|2016 Winner:||Sacred Elixir|
|2016 Moonee Valley Vase Results|
|2||SACRED ELIXIR||1ST||$3.80 (win)|
|6||SO SI BON||3RD||$2.00 (pl)|
The Tony Pike trained gelding resumed in the G3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude where many expected Sacred Elixir to need the run and be looking for more distance. That proved to be anything but the case as the 3YO landed a half-length victory after working home strongly and hitting the front with around 50m left to run. Moving to the 1600m of the Guineas he had no luck in the run after being caught wide and had been bumped in the early stages of the race. He opened at $5 for the Moonee Valley Vase with Tony Pike’s only concern being whether the gelding can handle the track. The VRC Derby has been the target for Sacred Elixir since resuming for his 3YO campaign and after opening at $4.60 for the Derby his price was eased to $8.50 with a group of bets taken at that price.
On a VRC Oaks path, the Hayes/Dabernig trained filly has shown rapid improvement this preparation after winning her maiden on the Pakenham synthetic three starts back by an impressive four length margin. Taken to a 3YO handicap at Caulfield next start over 1600m the filly was able to land a 1.25 length victory when carrying 54kg after the 1.5kg claim of Regan Bayliss. Rocketeer finished 2nd in that race and has since finished 2nd in both the Listed UCI Stakes and G3 Norman Robinson Stakes, while Captain Duffy who finished 6th has since won the Listed Geelong Classic. Harlow Gold finished 5th in the G1 Thousand Guineas at her most recent start and has the breeding to suggest that she will be able to handle the distance and for this race will race without winkers for the first time.
After four starts this campaign the James Cummings trained colt has been improving steadily and will step out over 2000m for the 2nd time. Last start in the G1 Spring Champion Stakes jockey Glyn Schofield was able to angle across early from gate 4 to settle on the rails in 4th position about 4 lengths off the leader. As the field turned for home he was pocketed, went looking for inside runs and it was not until hitting the 100m that he really started to lengthen stride and let-down. Finishing a half-length from the winner Yankee Rose that flashed home down the centre of the track, he had to settle for 3rd with the Hawkes trained Swear splitting the pair. Drawing ideally in gate 2, Prized Icon will be having his first start the left-handed running at his Melbourne debut, with Glyn Schofield keeping the ride.
Lining up in the G1 Spring Champion Stakes, Veladero was searching for his 4th consecutive victory having won at each start this campaign. Settling in 2nd position as Ready Fire Aim took up the running, the colt loomed up and at the 350m hit the front and then tried to fight off the challengers. Digging in after appearing gone at the 200m, he was able to fight on to finish in 4th, beaten 1.5 lengths. That effort followed victory in the G3 Gloaming Stakes over 1800m where he defeated Prized Icon in the set weights event. Hugh Bowman takes the ride, with the star hoop having ridden the colt when successful in the second career win at Warwick Farm over the 1600m. It could prove to be a big hour, with the Waller/Bowman combination lining up with Veladero, in the race following Winx in the Cox Plate.
The AAMI Vase is a Group 2 race contested at the prestigious Moonee Valley Racecourse. A race for three-year-olds, it has become a highlight of Cox Plate Day. Conducted at set weights, it is run over 2040m (the same distance as the Cox Plate) and is one of the better middle distance events at the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. It is generally used as a lead up race to the AAMI Victoria Derby, held a week later at Flemington. First run back in 1981 as a Listed Race, it became a Group 3 in 1989 and then a Group 2 in 1997.
Over the years it has gone by numerous names because of various sponsors. These include; the Herald Vase, the BMW Vase, the AAMI Vase and the Mitchelton Wines Vase, which is its current title. Top-notch stayers such as Raveneaux (1986), Blevic (1994), Helenus (2002), Plastered (2004) and Efficient (2006) have all won the Moonee Valley Vase before going to victory in the Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby.
|2016||SACRED ELIXIR||DAMIAN LANE||TONY PIKE||02:10.9|
|2015||JAMEKA||DAMIEN OLIVER||CIARON MAHER||02:06.0|
|2014||MOONOVERMANHATTAN||CRAIG NEWITT||MICK PRICE||02:06.4|
|2013||SAVVY NATURE||JAMES MCDONALD||JOHN O'SHEA||02:05.0|
|2012||SUPER COOL||MICHAEL RODD||MARK KAVANAGH||02:08.2|
|2011||MANAWANUI||GLYN SCHOFIELD||RON LEEMON||02:07.1|
|2010||REKINDLED INTEREST||DWAYNE DUNN||JIM CONLAN||02:07.0|
|2009||HANKS||LUKE NOLEN||PETER MOODY||02:06.2|
|2008||WHOBEGOTYOU||MICHAEL RODD||MARK KAVANAGH||02:05.3|
|2007||MARCHING||DAMIEN OLIVER||MAHMOOD AL ZAROONI||02:06.5|
|2006||EFFICIENT||MICHAEL RODD||ROBERT HICKMOTT||02:05.2|