04/07/15 – Sunshine Coast

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Racing this week comes to us from the Sunshine Coast.  The track as of Thursday is rated a Heavy 8.  Clear skies are predicted over the coming days so we should see the track upgraded to the Soft range.  The rail is in the true position.

***Track and Weather Update Saturday:  The track is rated a Soft 7.  Clear skies predicted.***

Race 1

Elusive Catch (3) won with ease last time out at the Gold Coast.  She meets a few of those that she put to the sword that day and it’s hard to see them turning the tables on her.  She remains at 55kg and should be more suited to the wide open spaces of Corbould Park.  She loves a wet track which she’ll get here.

Other Hopes: 

Water Kiss (5) will roll forward from barrier 4 and will be in this for a long way. Enjoys the sting out of the track.

Athena Fire (6) will race in a forward position from the good gate. Nice effort behind Elusive Catch last start.

Cruz By (11) is better over further but can get through the ground and will finishing strongly.

Race 2

Fiery Heights (5) has finished 2nd in both his career starts.  He’s an up and coming type that finished quite well last start in the heavy going after racing 3 wide without cover.  The step up to 1400m should be to his liking.  He’s drawn barrier 6 which should see Tim Bell racing in the first handful or so of horses.

Other Hopes:

Sugar Hit (15) drops in class on her last start at the Gold Coast where she finished 7th to Harlem River.  She’ll put herself in the race by going forward. Last 100m or so could test.

Supreme Jet (2) brings very good form from North QLD.  Hasn’t faced a wet track.

Real Good (1) seems to always be around the mark in these 2 year old races.  However drawn wide.

Race 3

Addictive Habit (1) landed some big bets at the Gold Coast a few weeks ago when he finished strongly to win over 1800m.  He drops back to 1600m here which is a distance he has performed very well over with 8 quinella finishes in 12 starts.  He rises in weight but the claim for Luke Dittman will see him only carry 1kg more than last start.  He enjoys the sting out of the track and will race in a forward position.

Other Hopes:

Epic (2) finished 4th behind Addictive Habit last start. His form prior has been very consistent.  Won’t want it too wet.

Avalanches (6) won well last start. May be tested with the class rise.

Trakstar (5) disappointed last start but was alright before that.  Soft 7 is as wet as he wants it.

Race 4

Aussies Love Sport (3) joins the Toby Edmonds stable after racing in Sydney.  His form down there has been quite good with a win at Rosehill and a narrow loss to Dublin Lass this campaign.  After carrying no less than 58kg, he’ll enjoy the drop to 54kg here.  He’s drawn the outside for Paul Hammersley but I would think he’ll go forward and settle 3rd or 4th.  His recent win was on a Soft 7 surface so he should handle these conditions.

Other Hopes:

I thought Rock Royalty and Excellantes were the only horses capable of beating Aussies Love Sport and they’ve been scratched.

Race 5

We’ll find out whether Feltre (5) is the real deal here.  His form at the provincials has been excellent and it’s only logical he makes the step up to Saturday racing.  Last start he won by 2 lengths at Doomben with relative ease.  He’s drawn barrier 4 for Ryan Wiggins which should allow for a sweet run.  His record at the track is super as his is ability on a soft track.

Other Hopes:

Allknight Saint (1) has 59kg and a wide gate to deal with.  However he loves the track and will take great benefit from his good 1st up run.

L’Entrecote (2) has been good in 2 runs back.  Likes track.

Neuschwanstein (8) is in good form in weaker grades.  Enjoys a wet track.  Wide gate a concern.

Race 6

The Queensland Cup over 3200m is a bit of a stinker.  However it will be made more interesting if they employ similar tactics as last time on Lovethebeaches (1).  She opened up an incredible lead with a bold front running display.  At the 800m she was 25 lengths in front! She ended up winning by 5 lengths.  She’s won over the trip and handles the wet.  At the end of the day I can’t help cheering for a horse that takes a race on like that.

Other Hopes:

Major Major (2) has won over 2400m on heavy a couple times in Sydney.  Will be whacking away.

Mister Impatience (3) won by 7 lengths over 3000m at Ballarat.

Pop ‘N’ Scotch (5) won at Ipswich recently but other form has been ordinary. Placed in this race last year.

Race 7

A big field of 16 2 year olds go around here over 1000m.  The speed should well and truly be on.  For that reason I’m going with Denarius (5).  He resumes here and normally I would say the 1000m is a bit short for him.  However the hot speed will favour his fast finishing ways.  From a nice gate he’ll be able to settle midfield before flying home in the straight.  He defeated Worthy Cause over 1350m last campaign so you know he’ll be strong late.

Other Hopes:

Beau Jet (2) is another that will be favoured by a strong speed. Will be finishing strongly.  Loves the track and form is quite good.

Outback Saga (14) disappointed last start but prior form was good.

I Am Boss (1) is rarely out of the placings and won well at Toowoomba last start.  Drawn to get a sweet run.

Race 8

Another big field of speedsters go around here over 1000m.  I’d be surprised if Lesley’s Choice wasn’t scratched as Luke Dittman has been named to ride it and Glenbawn Dame.  Glenbawn Dame (2) has drawn the plum gate of barrier 2 so I’d say that’s the way Team Edmonds will go.  It’s also the way I’m going.  Last start at Ipswich he went against usual tactics and tried to lead Hidden Pearl.   The tactic failed and he weakened.  However the start prior showed what he is really capable of when ridden correctly.  He finished 2nd to Dublin Lass and beat home Hidden Pearl.  That’s excellent form for this.  From barrier 2 Dittman who claims 3kg can take a sit behind the speed and finish strongly over them.

Other Hopes:

Time To Exceed (13) was winning for fun last campaign.  Will race forward and look a winning chance coming for home.

Stay Schtum (5) is a knockout hope resuming.  Lost narrowly to Rock Royalty last start before a break.

Hallside Rose (14) has been disappointing in past 2 starts but capable on her day.

Best Bets 

Race 1 – Elusive Catch (3)

Race 3 – Addictive Habit (1)

 

01/07/15 – Ipswich

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Track – Soft 6

Rail – Out 4m

Weather – Possible afternoon showers

 

Race 1 – Onemore For Wilson (1)

Race 2 – Patriarch (8)    (Tip courtesy of T.Quinn)

Race 3 – Provocateur (2)

Race 4 – Biantic (3)

Race 5 – Max It Out (4)

Race 6 – The Thomas Affair (3)

Race 7 – Apple Thief (2)

Race 8 – Epsilon (1)

27/06/15 – Doomben

EagleFarmRace7RockyKing-DamianBrowne

Last Saturday saw the end of this year’s Winter Carnival.  Despite a few issues in regards to balloting and good horses missing out on Group 1 races, I think the carnival would be considered a success.  We’re back to regular racing this Saturday at Doomben.

The track as of Thursday is rated a Soft 5.  Weather forecasters are saying that there’s a fair chance showers will take place Friday and Saturday.  So it’s reasonable to think that the track will be in the soft range.  The rail is out 1m.

***Track and Weather Update Saturday morning: The track is rated a Good 4.  We have avoided showers thus far but there is still the possibility of them today.***

Race 1

Gerald Ryan can produce a horse 1st up and I think he can do that here with 1st starter Rainbow Nation (12).  This expensive colt has had 2 trials in Sydney leading into his debut here.  He won fairly easily at his most recent effort.  He’s drawn barrier 8 for Jim Byrne who will hopefully settle the horse in the 1st 5.

Other Hopes:

Real Good (1) has been in good form recently beating Handfast and finishing 2nd to Wicked Intent last start.  Gives the others plenty of weight but has drawn to get a nice run.

Privlaka (2) resumed last week after being gelded with a nice win at the midweeks.  Drawn to get a good run just behind the speed.

Certain Ellie (6) has raced in better quality races down south.  She was galloped on in the Lancaster but has since won a trial by a space.

Race 2

You beauty!  We’ve got a distance raffle to deal with.  I’m sticking with Kobi Creek (10).  He finished 3rd in the Provincial Stayers Cup on Ipswich Cup day.  He was shuffled back throughout the run and was near last on the turn.  He came wide and finished strongly.  His form prior to this was very consistent and his record over this distance is excellent with 2 wins and 3 placings from 5 starts.  He’s drawn barrier 2 which should allow Jim Byrne to race in a forward position.  Hopefully he doesn’t get the hot shoe shuffle again!

Other Hopes:

In Masquerade (7) finished 4th in the Provincial.  The run was full of merit as he was forced to go forward after racing wide.  Showed guts to fight on.  Drawn much better.

Shotover River (3) was a shot duck in the Ipswich Cup after racing wide.  Wide barrier again a concern but this is a drop in class.

Lucky Liaison (5) brings Sydney form here.  Albeit average form but this isn’t a strong race.

Race 3

A big field of 16 maidens all chasing the $100,000 on offer makes for an interesting affair.  Mchawi (4) is ready to kick the maiden door in.  He’s placed in 7 of 9 career starts and has been no more than a length off the winners in his past 5.  Those races are arguably a lot stronger than what most of these have been competing in up here. He’s drawn wide but has the necessary speed to cross and take up a forward position for Michael Cahill.

Other Hopes:

Savanero (1) brings good Sydney form here.  Blinkers go on for the 1st time.

Vinnie Loves Me (15) has placed in 4 of her career starts.  Resumed recently and will take great benefit from that.  Will go forward and put itself in the race.

Wisconsin (10) narrowly lost 1st up and has since trialled well.

Race 4

This race has caused me some grief.  I have looked at it for a considerable time and nothing is jumping out and saying “pick me”.  It’s a very even affair where I can make a case for any number of horses.  Unfortunately I can also find negatives with them so for that reason I won’t be getting carried away here.  I’m going with Lucky Tom (1).  He’s been racing in much tougher races than this.  I like the fact he’ll go forward.  Last start in the Guineas over 1600m he drew wide and used up a lot of gas to go forward.  He understandably weakened.  Back to 1350m and in an easier race at set weights should give him his chance.

Other Hopes: 

Mywayorhighway (2) will race in a forward position and prove hard to run down.  Last 100m could be a concern however.

Savannah Dream (13) won for us at the midweek meeting last week.  She’s up in class but has been racing in good form and should get a nice run from barrier 3.

Murt The Flirt (3) was ok in the Guineas and if can get in from the tricky gate can be a player.

Race 5

Based on his past 2 starts, Rocky King (1) looks to have got back to the horse we all know.  Last start at the Sunshine Coast over 1000m he took up his customary front running role and never looked like getting passed.  From barrier 8 Mitchell Wood who claims 2kg will roll forward and take up the lead.  Two starts back in the Lightning he was harrassed by Thinkhesaurus but still managed to fight on for 2nd.  He had the others covered in that race, some he meets here.  He’s the one they have to pass in the straight.

Other Hopes:

Territory (2) resumed in the Lightning and put in an ok performance.  Will be better 2nd up and gets a nice gate.  However may find this a bit short.

Seeking More (4) likes this track and distance.  Drawn well and is always thereabouts in these types of races.

The Storeman (5) has a great record here but has drawn wide and may have to use a bit of gas to find a spot.

Race 6

Although Hidden Pearl (10) was very, verrrry costly to me last time at Ipswich, I’m sticking with her here.  She was nutted not far out from the winning post over 1100m.  I mentioned it last time but I was impressed by her previous run over 1200m here.  She led and although finishing 3rd, she did find a decent kick in the straight.  She’s drawn barrier 11 but she’ll be able to get across and lead or box seat.  She handles a soft track well.  Will carry just 52kg after the claim for Bridget Grylls.

Other Hopes:

Bymonashee (2) has been racing in Stakes quality races and will enjoy the drop in class.  Will be finding the line.

Dream Of Slips (5) is a consistent type and will race forward and will be in this for a long way.

Our Boy Nicholas (1) resumes here.  Prefers longer but can show up fresh.  Watch for him late.

Race 7

Tukiyo (4) has preferred to race over shorter trips than the 1350m here but her past 2 starts have been full of merit.  She finished 3rd in the Group 3 Glenlogan here over 1350m before getting nutted right on the line last time out at Ipswich.  She’s drawn barrier 11 but should be able to get across and lead without too much drama.  With just 51kg after the claim for Emma Ljung, she’ll be hard to get by in the run home.

Other Hopes:

Riva De Lago (1) has been excellent in his past 2 starts.  He’s really found the line.  Drawn wide here and will get back which is a concern.

Pillar Of Creation (3) hasn’t been far away in better quality races than this.  Should get a nice run for Tim Bell.  Does he have the dash though?

Jazz Song (5) is a quality mare on her day.  Last start 5th in Group 2 company was good for a race of this standard.

Race 8

Dubawi Dream (5) goes for a hattrick of wins here and I can’t see why he can’t.  He has been very good since joining the Steve O’dea stable.  He has been carrying big weights and gets plenty of relief here with 55.5kg.  Tim Bell will be able to settle in the leading pack of runners from barrier 2 which will give this horse every possible chance.  He will appreciate the sting out of the ground.

Other Hopes:

Heart Of Warrior (10) is lightly raced and shows plenty of upside.  Has won 3 of 5 starts and will put itself in the race by racing forward.  Big weight drop.

In The Genes (12) defeated Heart Of Warrior last start.  Has drawn wide but still gets in with a light weight.

Billy Aucash (2) draws to get a great run.  Doesn’t win often but is consistent.  Can’t win this, probably won’t win again.

Best Bets

Race 1 – Rainbow Nation (12)

Race 5 – Rocky King (1)

Race 8 – Dubawi Dream (5)

 

20/06/15 – Gold Coast Tatt’s Tiara Day

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It’s a historic day at the Gold Coast Turf Club with the running of the first ever Group 1 there.  With Eagle Farm out of action, the Tatt’s Tiara meeting has been moved the Gold Coast.

The track as of Thursday is rated a Heavy 8.  However with mostly clear weather forecast, we should see an upgrade to Soft 6 or 7.  The rail is in the true position.

Track and Weather Update Saturday morning: The track is rated a Soft 7.  A fine day is forecast so we may see an upgrade to Soft 6.

Race 1

I’m going with Outback Saga (8) in the opening event.  This girl has been racing well since resuming.  In 2 of those races she drew wide and had to do a fair bit of work before finishing in the placings.  She showed what she could do from a better barrier 2 starts back at Doomben when finishing 4th to Mohave.  Here she draws beautifully in barrier 2 which will enable local legend Daniel Griffin to race a lot closer to the action.  She meets She’s Miss Devine 3.5kg better off for finishing half a length behind her in the Mohave race.

Other Hopes:

Cantbuybetter (2) ran well in the Mohave race but condition probably gave out 1st up. Will be better 2nd up and draws well.

She’s Miss Devine (3) up considerably in weight and draws wide.  Not ideal but she’s in good form and never runs a bad race.

Freezethemillions (10) was in a mood 1st up and I’m prepared to forgive the failure. Doesn’t mind the sting out of the ground and will be finding the line.

Race 2

There’s a complete lack of speed in this race which makes it a difficult proposition.  From barrier 3 L’Entrecote (4) can settle in a forward position for Glen Colless.  He resumed recently at the Sunshine Coast and finished 2nd to Le Cap.  He’ll be improved by that run and has a 50% strike rate 2nd up.  The rise to 1400m will be to his liking.

Other Hopes:

Kalandula (5) has won her past 2 starts. Beat Budget Bender here last time and that horse was stiff last Saturday. Loves the track.

Written Above All (3) found form last start to win over this trip.  Big weight to carry but has Damian Browne in the saddle.

Kazoom (7) brings solid NSW form here and will get a sweet run from barrier 1.

Race 3

Harlem River (10) has finished 2nd to Flippant in both her race starts.  Last time out in the Lancaster Stakes she was beaten by 1.3 lengths after being overhauled 100m from home.  She brained the rest despite being found to be lame.  From barrier 5 Tommy Berry will be able to go forward on her and boot away in the straight.  The price available now isn’t very attractive however.

Other Hopes:

Lady No More (8) won well at the Sunshine Coast 1st up over 1350m.  She’ll get a nice run just behind the speed.  Can handle soft ground.

Falloch (5) will race on the speed.  Finished half a length off Sagaronne on debut and that horse has proved to be very good. Gun jockey in Zac Purton.

Sugar Hit (11) finished 2nd to Lady No More last start. Will race handy but may be tested at trip.

Race 4

I liked the way Bachman (1) finished off in the QLD Guineas over 1600m last start.  It was a great hit back from the disappointment the start prior in the Grand Prix.  In the Guineas he was held up for a considerable time in the straight before getting out late to hit the line for 2nd.  The 1800m here looks ideal.  There looks to be adequate speed for him to finish over the top of them.  Has won on heavy so no worries with a wet track.

Other Hopes:

No Tricks (12) took on older horses in the Ipswich Cup last week and handled it well.  Can race forward from the good gate.    

Right Or Wrong (8) has been racing well lately.  Will be running on.  Gets Damian Browne in the saddle.

Yulong Baby (13) has finished well in stronger races than this lately.  May want longer and could get too far back.

Race 5

The Offer (1) has to lump 61kg but there is no doubting that as a Group 1 winner, he is the class in the race.  He resumes here after a disappointing Spring.  He has a tremendous record on a heavy track and while it won’t be that bad, over 1800m those credentials will be handy as they slog their way home.  If fit, he’ll be storming home.

Other Hopes:

Epic (3) has been racing really well over 1600m recently.  Found the line last start behind Strawberry Boy so stepping up for the 1st time to 1800m shouldn’t be a concern.

Jetset Lad (2) won the Group 2 Brisbane Cup last start.  Will handle the soft track but just concerned that last start was the exception to the norm.

Darci Be Good (5) has been racing c0nsistently and has won on heavy twice.  Can race forward from a wide gate.

Race 6

Epingle (1) was unlucky not to win the Brisbane Cup last start.  She didn’t get clear till late in the race but really found the line.  She loves a wet track and has a super record over this trip.  Yes she has 59kg but I don’t think that’s enough to stop her against this lot.  She’s drawn barrier 2 which gives Hugh Bowman plenty of options in the run.  She’ll be finding the line when most of these are looking for a place to lay down.

Other Hopes:

Banca Mo (2) returned to form last start in the Ipswich Cup when finding the line.  Eats up a wet track.

Shoreham (5) is a dour type who will run the 2400m and has reasonable Melbourne form.

Faust (4) fought hard to win last start.  In good form but extra distance could find him out.

Race 7

This race obviously takes on a different complexion if Najoom makes the final field.  Currently she is the 2nd emergency but I have a feeling there may be 2 scratchings so I’m covering both scenarios.

***Najoom missed a start as only 1 horse scratched ahead of her so Catkins on top***

If Najoom gets a start: I can’t tip against Najoom (18).  She was nothing short of outstanding when she won the Fred Best last start.  She sat 3 wide the trip and had the audacity to win by 3.3 lengths.  She won by 3.8 lengths the start prior on a Soft 7 track.  She missed a start in the Stradbroke but has been working well since and put in a bottler of a trial a couple of weeks ago.  Tommy Berry will take her forward and put her into the race beautifully.

If Najoom doesn’t get a start:  Catkins (4) deserves a Group 1 title and she gets every chance here.  She has a super record on wet ground and races well over this trip.  She’s drawn barrier 3 which allows Hugh Bowman to give her a lovely run in the first handful of horses.  Was good 1st up but the weight probably told in the end.

Other Hopes:

Avoid Lightning (6) loves a wet track and will get a nice run from barrier 1.  Could be tested in final stages.

Lumosty (16) was never a winning hope in the Stradbroke given the wide ride (hardly suprising).  Was super winning 2 starts prior.  Can handle a soft track.

Solicit (7) comes into this race in good form.  Will need to step it up to win but gets every chance with a sweet run.

Race 8

Kaepernick (14) hit the line like a horse possessed last time out in the Hinkler.  He was held up in the straight after coming from the back.  With a clear passage he’ll be tough to hold out.  There appears to be adequate speed in the race for help his flying finish.  Won 1st up this campaign on a soft 7 track and went very close 2nd up on the same surface.

***Kaepernick has been scratched.  I’ll promote Into The Red (8) to my top pick***

Other Hopes:

Into The Red (8) is racing in super form this time in.  Will get a good run and once again should be in the finish.

Target In Sight (2) loves this distance and gets Zac Purton to steer.  Sydney form good enough for this.

Office Bearer (10) wasn’t far off them in the QTC Cup last start.  Barrier 2 gives the horse the chance to get a super run.

Dothraki (3) has performed very well in Sydney. Wide draw a concern however.

Best Bets

Race 6 – Epingle (1)

Race 7 – Catkins (4)

13/06/15 – Ipswich Cup Day

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It doesn’t seem that long ago that Silk supporters were flaunting their cash after backing Brave Ali in the 2014 Ipswich Cup.  Well a year has passed and we’re back at the Ipswich Turf Club for the 2015 edition of the Ipswich Cup.

With 20,000 people expected to front up, it should be a super day on and off the track.  The track as of Wednesday is rated a Good 4.  However showers are predicted over the coming days.  It will definitely pay to monitor as Weatherzone and BOM have quite different views on the likelihood of these showers.  Having said that, if showers do eventuate then I couldn’t see it any worse than Soft 5.   The rail is in the true position.

Race 1

I think Budget Bender (4) can start the day on a good note for us.  This guy has a good record of 5 wins and 3 2nds from 11 starts.  He resumed recently at the Gold Coast and was run down late over 1400m.  He’ll be fitter for that run and is undefeated 2nd up.  Barrier 1 gives jockey Bobby El-Issa the opportunity to take up a forward spot.  He’ll be hard to pass in the straight.  He beat Eight’s A Party last campaign.

Other Hopes:

Forest Way (7) is the obvious danger.  Has been in good form but has drawn barrier 9 which can be tricky from this starting point.  Does like the track.

Colour Charge (6) won well at the Sunshine Coast in lesser grade last start.  Will be charging from the back of the pack but may get too far back in running.

Borehole (2) has a good record at the track and trip.  However is a bit hit and miss these days.

Race 2

This isn’t the best race you’ll see but one horse has to win it.  A number of these are dropping back from 2000m to 1350m which I wouldn’t think was ideal.  I’m going with the Tamworth trained Crooked Blaze (1).  He could quite possibly lead them a merry dance here.  There appears to be very limited speed in this race and jockey Paul Hammersley can roll forward and dictate proceedings.  If allowed to do that, he’ll prove hard to get past in the run home.  Has performed well in better company recently.

Other Hopes:

Kareem’s Edge (7) resumes here.  Will probably need the run but will put himself into the race by racing forward. Form in the country carnival races is good enough for this.

Touch Of Bella (9) will get back but has won it’s only start here over the trip.  Will enjoy any sting out of the track.

Buckin The Blues (5) from the super Matt Dunn yard was outclassed last start but prior form was good.  Finished 2nd to Worthy Cause 3 starts back.

Race 3

Wicked Intent (1) has been handed 60kg here but he is clearly the best horse here and thus deserves it.  This guy was excellent in his first campaign before running out as favourite in the Magic Millions.  He went to the paddock after that run and came back in super style, narrowly losing the Group 2 Champagne Classic over 1200m.  He then failed last start in the Sires but I suspect the 1350m was beyond him.  Back to 1100m will be to his liking.  He drew wide in his past 2 starts and while barrier 8 isn’t great, jockey Damian Browne will have an easier time finding a forward spot.  Class will prevail.

Other Hopes:

Real Good (2) has drawn barrier 1 and will get the box seat run.  Won well 1st up but was disappointing 2nd up.  Raced in harder races than this.

Perfect Dare (4) won it’s only start here.  Will be better for the experience and will get a great run from barrier 4.

Embrace The Pain (3) is undefeated in 2 races at Rocky.  Put the sword to them up there but draws poorly in barrier 12.

Race 4

Hidden Pearl (14) has been in cracking form since coming to Brisbane.  She put together 3 massive wins before coming to town last start and finishing a very good 3rd.  She led them up and was only collared in the last 100m by Dublin Lass and Glenbawn Dame.  That was over 1200m and the drop back to 1100m will definitely suit.  She’s drawn barrier 4 for Bridget Grylls which will give her every opportunity to lead.  Over the shorter trip and tighter Ipswich track, she’ll be very hard to beat.  Has a postage stamp weight.

Other Hopes:

Glenbawn Dame (13) beat Hidden Pearl last start but needed the extra distance to do it.  Will be finishing strongly but probably wants further now.

Rock Royalty (3) has been freshened and is always around the money.  He’ll get a midfield run for Damian Browne and be finding the line.

Sammi Jain (12) has drawn awkwardly but will go forward and be in the mix.  Loves this distance.

Race 5

Great way to start the quad….puh-lease!  Year after year the Provincial Stayers Cup throws up a rough result.  Sometimes I think you’d be better offer hiring Phil “The Power” Taylor to throw a dart at the form guide.  This year looks no different.  I’m going with Kobi Creek (5).  This guy puts in every time he goes out.  In his past 5 starts (all 2000m +)  he’s won 2 and placed in the other 3.  He finished 3rd in the Caloundra Cup 2 starts back.  From barrier 3, Jim Byrne will be able to take him forward.  I feel that will be beneficial as he will be ahead of the pack when a lot of them get stitches entering the straight.

Other Hopes:

I’m Hector (3) drew the car park last start and had to race from the back.  Drawn much better here which can see him closer to the action. Has upside, well more than a lot of these.

Wimpole Street (8) has drawn a shocking gate but he has beaten these previously.

Pop ‘N’ Scotch (1) has been down on form recently but has raced in stronger races in the past.  However you don’t have to be a world beater to be winning this.

Race 6

The big race of the day….the Ipswich Cup.  I’m going with the Lloyd Kennewell trained Baligari (8).  This guy looks like he’s been building up to a win based on recent runs.  Two starts back he was luckless when running 4th over 1600m.  Last start he finished a narrow 2nd over 2020m in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup.  He defeated Jetset Lad that day and that horse came out and won last start.  There should be a decent speed set here and I would think Ric McMahon will be able to park just behind it from barrier 4.  Will be finding the line.

Other Hopes:

Darci Be Good (2) has been racing well and the rise in distance looks suitable now.  Gun jockey Damian Browne to ride.

Banca Mo (1) has disappointed in 2 Brisbane runs.  However won Mornington Cup and was good in Tassie. Can hit back.

Danchai (6) has the Chris Waller polish.  Brings average Sydney form here but that could be good enough.

Race 7

Just as Tony Gollan completed the Ipswich Cup/Eye Liner double last year, I’m hoping Lloyd Kennewell can do it this year.  I’m backing his runner Nite Rocker (7).  Last start was a total forgive run when he raced wide the entire race before finishing last in the Ascot Handicap.  The start prior is what I liked.  Over 1350m he used a fair bit of gas early to find the front.  Yet he still fought on to finish 3rd to Charlie Boy and Rock Sturdy.  He should get the lead here for Ric McMahon from barrier 4.  There doesn’t look a lot of competition for that role which will make him hard to pass in the straight.

Other Hopes:

Smokin’ Joey (1) is a classy galloper who finished strongly in the Stradbroke last start. However gets 59.5kg and may give them too much start.

Pillar Of Creation (4) has placed in the Weetwood and the Glasshouse in his past 2 starts. Gets a good run from barrier 2 but I would have liked to have seen a bit more in his finishes.

Neo (3) should get a great run on the speed.  Was shown up last start but form prior was very good.

Race 8

Real Surreal (2) can finish the day on a high for us.  She raced in much harder company last campaign down south and acquitted herself well.  She resumed after a 252 day spell in the Bright Shadow and really found the line for 4th.  She drew wide there and really didn’t have much option but to race at the back of the field.  She’s drawn barrier 3 here which will give Michael Cahill the option of racing a lot closer, preferably midfield.  The step up to 1350m will be to her liking and she’ll hard to keep out as she charges home.

Other Hopes:

Champagne Cath (4) has been a tad disappointing in her past 2 Qld runs.  However she’ll race forward and put herself in the race.

Fare Well (8) resumed nicely in the Bright Shadow.  2nd up record a concern.

Refer (7) was good finding the line in the Dane Ripper. Wide gate and Tegan Harrison’s intentions from there worry me.

Best Bets

Race 1 – Budget Bender (4)

Race 4 – Hidden Pearl (14)

Race 8 – Real Surreal (2)