The Brisbane Winter Carnival kicks off this Saturday with a strong card at the Gold Coast. All 9 races are of Listed or Group quality which has attracted a number of interstate horses.
The track as of Thursday is rated a Soft 5. However we will see an improvement to the Good range with clear skies predicted over the coming days. The rail is in the true position.
Worthy Cause (1) is a favourite of mine and he didn’t let us down last start when he slaughtered a field of 3 year olds over 1350m. He won by 3.8 lengths striding away. I got the impression from that win that he’s finally putting it all together. He steps up quite steeply in distance here to 1800m but the way he finished off last start suggests he’ll be up to it. Justin Stanley will be able to sit behind a solid speed and get a nice cart into the race before charging to the line. He’s suited the best by the set weight conditions. Other hopes to Inauguration (4), Ulmann (6) and Gid Up Strop (3).
Former NZ filly Bohemian Lily (12) looked quite good in her debut run for Gai Waterhouse. She was 1st up after a 97 day break and ran 2nd over 1600m. She’ll take plenty of benefit from that run and will be a major player here over 1800m. She gets the services of gun jockey and Silk favourite, Blake Shinn who will be able to race on the pace. That will make her tough to run down. She competed in Group company in NZ. Other hopes to Imperial Lass (10), Game Of Fame (4) and Sheiswhatsheis (2).
I’m going with the Chris Waller trained Index Linked (1) in this week’s distance raffle. He was racing in quite good form prior to a gut busting Mornington Cup run 2 starts back. He wasn’t too bad last start when finishing 5th to Hi World over 2000m. He will get his preferred good going here and from barrier 1 should get the run of the race. Glen Boss takes the ride. Other hopes to Sir John Hawkwood (4), Tremec (3) and Epingle (2).
The Peter, Paul and Mary trained I’ve Got The Looks (8) looks to be well placed here. She resumes here on the back of 2 trial wins so she should be well primed for a 1st up win. She has been in the quinella in each of her 3 1st up runs. Her form last campaign in Group company was much better than it appears on paper. There should be a reasonable amount of speed here and I can see Glen Boss being able to give her a sweet run from barrier 2 just behind the heat before pouncing on them in the straight. Other hopes to Espiritu (6), Diamond Fund (3) and Estonian Princess (1).
Ninth Legion (1) has 60.5kg and a wide gate to contend with but put frankly, he has a class edge over these. Prior to the Doncaster failure which was completely understandable given the conditions, he was racing in excellent fashion. He missed by a whisker in the Group 2 Ajax over 1500m and ran with 1.5 lengths of Contributor in the Apollo over 1400m. The Apollo run is proof that a wide gate and weight won’t stop him. I don’t think there is a great deal of speed here so Blake Shinn should be able to push forward and take up the lead or sit in the box seat. He’ll be tough to hold out if he can do that with little fuss. Other hopes to The Peak (2), Neo (7) and Jetset Lad (4).
Gai Waterhouse has a very nice type here in Regatta Rebel (12). This well bred filly has just the 1 race start and finished half length off Furnaces. Yes that was on heavy going but that still has to be considered super form for this. She won 2 trials prior to her debut. She’s drawn barrier 4 for Blake Shinn which should see her get a glorious run. Other hopes to Denpurr (13), Look To The Stars (11) and Madotti (9).
Ball Of Muscle (11) is a horse on the rise who has put together a great record. In 11 race starts, he’s won 7 of them and has never been out of the trifecta. He resumed in Melbourne 2 weeks ago and finished a very close 2nd after jumping awkwardly and carrying a big weight. He has a super 2nd up record of 3 wins from 3 and should get all the favours for Blake Shinn from barrier 3. He’ll race on the speed and prove tough to pass in the straight. Other hopes to Srikandi (12), Knoydart (6) and River Lad (2).
This is a terrific edition of the Hollindale Stakes. I’d be very keen to go Pornichet’s way if it gets a start but at this stage that is unlikely. I’ll put Arabian Gold (14) on top. Her last 2 runs have been full of merit. She finished strongly in the Coolmore to go down by just 0.7 of a length. That was after encountering no end of trouble in the straight. She then finished 6th in the Doncaster where she was again looking for clear running room in the straight. She gets the experienced Damian Oliver in the saddle here and I’d suggest he’ll give her every chance from barrier 6. Based on her last 2 fast finishes, the 1800m here looks ideal. Other hopes to Silent Achiever (13), Leebaz (15) and Moriarty (4).
There should be plenty of speed in this race which makes this a tricky way to get out after the scratching of Miss Cover Girl. I’m going with Time For War (1). He resumes here for a new stable and from all reports is ready to go. He has a good 1st up record with 2 wins from 3. He trialled nicely behind River Lad. From barrier 10 Blake Shinn will go forward and put the horse into the race. He showed his toughness this time last year when he held off Brazen Beau to win a Group 1 over 1350m. Other hopes to Traveston Girl (12), Nostradamus (3) and Huka Eagle (8).
Race 2 – Bohemian Lily (12)
Race 4 – I’ve Got The Looks (8)
Race 6 – Regatta Rebel (12)