West Africa Ready Metropolitan Debut At Moonee Valley

Exciting colt West Africa will return to the races for the first time since his dominant debut victory when he contests the Alternate Railway Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley tonight.

Mark Kavanagh is confident that West Africa will run well in the Alternate Railway Handicap at Moonee Valley tonight.

Mark Kavanagh is confident that West Africa will run well in the Alternate Railway Handicap at Moonee Valley tonight. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

West Africa made his racing debut at Kilmore in the Craigieburn Central Plate (1112m) at Kilmore on November 12 and completely blew away his five rivals; storming clear from the rest of the field to record an exceptional nine lengths victory from Amos and Rile.

The Henrythenavigator colt was set to take on Lord Of The Sky in the National Patient Transport Plate (1000m) at Caulfield just under a fortnight ago but was scratched from the race up kicking his feed bin the day before the race.

West Africa had a little bit of swelling on his leg straight after the incident but suffered no long-term damage and Kavanagh told Racing Ahead this morning that the three-year-old had trained on well since the accident.

“He has trained on really good,” Kavanagh said.

“It is a pretty big jump in class to Moonee Valley on a Friday night from a maiden at Kilmore.

“There was questionable opposition that day but he has done pretty well since and we are hopeful that he will run well tonight.”

Kavanagh admits that West Africa did not beat a strong group of horses in his debut victory at Kilmore but said that he was particularly happy with the mature way that he went about his racing; although he believes that the Coolmore Stud-owned colt still has plenty to learn.

“Of cause they have learning to do after they have only had one start but it was pretty professional the way that he cruised along and then quickened,” Kavanagh said.

“He is on his way anyway.

“When you sit down and you think that it is an ordinary maiden, they still don’t normally win by nine.

“They normally win by four and they are looking around but it will be interesting to see how he goes anyway.”

West Africa has been one of the best backed horses running anywhere in Australia this weekend and is now available at odds of $1.65 in Alternate Railway Handicap betting markets after being available at odds as long as $2.10 earlier in the week.

Kavanagh has three runners at Moonee Valley tonight; with Mother Grace set to contest the Asian Pacific Group Handicap (1200m) and Bernicatti the Best Tote Plus Handicap (1500m).

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.