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Tonight’s Australia Stakes race meeting at The Valley is set to go ahead despite Melbourne suffering from extreme heat conditions today.

Whispering Brook, above, is the favourite for the Australia Stakes a The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Whispering Brook, above, is the favourite for the Australia Stakes a The Valley. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The Bureau Of Meteorology is forecasting a top of 44 degrees Celsius for Melbourne today but with a cool change expected to arrive mid to late afternoon, Moonee Valley Racing Club track manager Marty Synan said that the feature race meeting will definitely go ahead.

“I spoke to the duty forecaster yesterday and today (Thursday) and there is a cool change expected to come through around about four o’clock so they reckon it will go down from 43 to down about 28 maybe a bit lower and that will be between four and five,” Synan told racing.com.

“We don’t start racing until 6.30 so with that it should a nice pleasant night for racing even though we are in for a warm day.”

Race 1 on tonight’s eight race program at The Valley is scheduled start at 6.30pm with the feature race, the Australia Stakes, to be run as race 7 at 9.30pm Melbourne time.

The Moonee Valley track has been rated a soft 5 on race morning following 54mm of irrigation in the last seven days with the rail out 3m for the entire course.

“We have put plenty of water on it, a couple of inches,” Synan said.

“There has been no rain around and we have had a month off from racing as well so the track has had a really good rest.”

“I have got my moisture levels up to about thirty per cent, which is close to a soft 5, and the plan is to start off at a soft 5 on Friday morning and get to a good 4 by lunchtime and then hopefully upgrade it to a good 3 by race time.”

“We have plenty of moisture in the track, nice healthy grass cover, rail out three metres and looking forward to a great night.”

The Mornington race meeting set down for today has been abandoned because of the extreme heat conditions.

The Darren Weir trained horses dominate the Australia Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au with Whispering Brook at $3.70, Land Of Plenty at $4.80 and Brave Smash at $6 the top three in the market order with the stable’s fourth runner, Fifty Stars at the double figure odds of $18.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.