Eagle Farm raced truly on Wednesday and will back up well on a good surface with the rail out 0.5m which should give all horses their chance.
Some promising debutants and other smart ones resuming add interest to the programme as we move towards the Winter carnival.
Race 1 – 2YO Colts and Geldings Handicap (1000m)
The well-bred Choisir colt DEBUSSY (1) has been educated with two winning trials and looks well above average. He gets a tongue-tie on debut but if he brings what he has shown on the track to Eagle Farm and handles the surface will be too good for these.
Another debutant VANTAN EXPRESS (6) has also looked sharp at jumpouts and has the speed to be prominent from a good gate.
GREY DEFENCE (3) won a Sunshine Coast maiden when resuming. This is harder but he has a score on the board.
LE FORCE (9) has an awkward gate but showed promise at his first preparation, gets Jim Byrne and is from an astute stable.
STAR CHANCE (4) has speed, won a short-course trial at Deagon, gets a tongue-tie and with a 3kg claim for Madeleine Wishart can show up on debut.
Betting Strategy: I can’t have DEBUSSY (1) at the opening quote but think it just wins.
Race 2 – 2YO Fillies Handicap (1000m)
Plenty of genuine speed in this but STELLAR MAGIC (1) was only run down late by Military Gambler last start over 1110m with Startantes third and they fought out the two-year-old race last week. This race is no harder, she placed here on debut over this trip and from a good gate with Baylee Nothdurft will be hard to pass.
INVISIBLE TEARS (1) performed well at both outings before a break and has trialled soundly at the Gold Coast. She is a promising type which will improve over longer but the big track will suit and if they go too hard in front Michael Cahill can swamp them late.
I always respect NSW form when it comes to Queensland and SNOWDROP (3) has had a change of stables after placing twice from four outings in NSW. Michael Rodd rides and she has the speed to overcome the wide gate.
ILLICIATE AFFAIRS (2) was too good when resuming at Ipswich over 800m. This is much harder but the Sears stable has a better than 20 per cent strike rate and she has the speed to give a bold sight.
The stablemate SINGLE DIZIRE (8) is another bred for speed and won a Toowoomba trial. She takes on strong company at debut but from a good gate will be prominent.
LADY LOVE BUG (5) is a well-bred I Am Invincible filly from the Tony Gollan stable which has done enough at trials and jumpouts to keep her under notice.
Betting Strategy: INVISIBLE TEARS (1) is a horse with a future and will watch with interest but no bet.
Race 3 – Benchmark 85 Handicap (1600m)
No speed and none of these win out of turn which makes this a tactical affair.
GUISE (4) missed the kick but swooped late to win a Benchmark 85 over 1600m on a soft track at Doomben last start. She rises 3kg here and only battled at her previous Eagle Farm outing but with Jim Byrne has the form on the board.
The stablemate WORD FOR WORD (3) has been runner-up twice and finished fourth last start in three attempts since Chris Waller sent her north to win a race. She gets another chance to break through.
HAPPY GO PLUCKY (1) is a tough seven-year-old which has been freshened since his runner-up effort behind Romakash in a Benchmark 90 and returns to a shorter trip. He knows how to win and with Jim Orman from gate one could go forward, make his own luck and be hard to pass.
SLOW HANDS (6) got a win two starts back beating WORD FOR WORD (3) in a Class 3 Plate and while his record shows he places far more often than winning he rarely runs poorly.
UNBIASED (1) hasn’t won for a long time but handled this track well last start when placing in a Class 6 over this trip and can race well again with Justin Huxtable staying aboard.
Betting Strategy: Any of these could win. Take your pick.
Race 4 – Benchmark 78 Handicap (2200m)
The same ones go around every week in these Brisbane middle distance races and they take it in turns to win.
STARDOME (1) has been working up to a win and just missed over this trip here last start in a race won by ABERLADY (4) that was run at a very moderate tempo. He meets a similar field and with a more genuine tempo likely will get every chance with Luke Dittman from gate two.
JOYMAKER (2) just missed last start to ABERLADY (4) and STARDOME (1) and Kelly Schweida has gone for some weight relief putting the 3kg apprentice Alex Patis on board. Whether she can get the best out of the wilful mare remains to be seen but it is worth a try.
BOLD EXECUTIVE (9) led throughout in three-year-old company and held them off over this trip last start. This is harder but he drops 2kg and from gate one with Jim Byrne will put some speed in the race and could repeat the performance.
TRADUCE (10) wasn’t disgraced at his first try in this company last start behind ABERLADY (4). He is fitter for three outings this time in, both wins have been at the trip and Robbie Fradd stays aboard.
Old MORENDI (3) was forced to go forward from his wide gate at Doomben and only battled. He is better suited at Eagle Farm and has won twice at the trip.
Betting strategy: It might be STARDOME’s turn but he can go around without me.
Race 5 – 3YO Listed Daybreak Lover 1400m
A disappointing field for a Listed race but that might be to the benefit of APACHE CHASE (1), which was unsuited by the tempo and knocked up under 61kg here last start over 1200m behind Tycoon Evie but is better off over 1400m with 57kg. He has won both starts over this trip here including the Group 3 Vo Rogue where he trounced GOTTA KISS (6) and with Jim Byrne can go forward and be hard to pass.
MASS DESTRUCTION (2) has now had three runs this time in and fought on behind Tycoon Evie beating both APACHE CHASE (1) and GOTTA KISS (6) home last start. He is not as well treated under set weights meeting APACHE CHASE (1) 6.5kg worse but won his only previous start here over 1400m and can be in the finish.
BE WATER MY FRIEND (5) is now with Daiki Chujo and he has resumed with strong efforts behind Racecourse Road and Toorooloo in Saturday class races. If he handles the step up to 1400m Nozi Tomizawa can have him in the money.
I tipped GOTTA KISS (6) last start but she disappointed and pulled up coughing. She gets a tongue-tie and at her two previous starts at this trip here ran second in the Group 3 Vo Rogue and Group 1 JJ Atkins. She is running out of excuses but Steph Thornton stays on and gets a chance to make amends.
WOLF MOON (4) has been freshened by a recent trial and drops back to 1400m after a last start win in a Class 3 Plate at the Sunshine Coast. This is his biggest test but with Jim Orman he can go forward, make his own luck and be hard to pass.
Betting Strategy: APACHE CHASE (1) has the form at the trip and is weighted to win but any of them could without surprising.
Race 6 – Class 3 Plate (1200m)
The speed will be on from the outset here and that should suit EURO BELLE (10). She is well placed under Class 3 Plate conditions, dead-heated at her only previous Eagle Farm start at the trip and just needs a good steer from Michael Cahill to get the prize.
DR WHY NOT (4) was runner-up last start behind the talented Weona Smartone at Doomben over 1110m in a similar class of race to this and has finished in the top four at both previous Eagle Farm outings. All three wins have been at 1200m and from a good gate with Madeleine Wishart’s 3kg claim will get every chance.
GOLLY HUTT (5) has been freshened after two good efforts here in strong Class 3 Plates behind Ventura Ocean and Wren’s Day. That form is good enough for this and with Taylor Marshall he should be handy throughout.
FRONT MONEY (14) was having his first start for Bryan and Daniel Guy when narrowly beaten in a Class 2 by SHAMROCK LU (13) at Doomben. He will be improved by that outing, drops 2kg and will box seat from gate one.
Betting Strategy: One unit to win on EURO BELLE (10).
Race 7 – Open Handicap (1400m)
A moderate Open Handicap field with several stayers resuming sets it up for JUNCTION (5) which was only run down late here last start in a Benchmark 90 over this trip and drops 3kg. With Michael Rodd to ride he can go forward, control the tempo and is the one to beat.
LOVE YOU LUCY (4) has been disappointing at her past two preparations but has won two of three here and at her last outing at the track ran fourth to Jami Lady in the Listed Bright Shadow Handicap. Better for two outings this time in, Larry Cassidy takes the ride and if she could rediscover her old form would destroy these.
GET STUCK IN (1) likes this track and has won at the trip here. The 3kg claim for Leah Kilner helps and from gate three can make his own luck. He has placed first-up over this trip in the past and this race is weak enough for him to do so again.
EPIC GIRL (6) won here two starts back but has been up for a while and 1400m tests.
Betting Strategy: On best form LOVE YOU LUCY (4) is way over the odds but I will stay out.
Race 8 – Listed Ascot Handicap (1000m)
There is no shortage of speed here and MASTER JAMIE (2) has been readied for this with a dominant trial win at Rockhampton. When last at Eagle Farm he won the Gateway qualifying him for the Stradbroke and whilst that is his long term goal he can race well fresh. Taylor Marshall takes the ride and with 55kg from gate two can control the race.
KYLEASE (5) ran a bold race last start under 59kg only to be found out late by Tony Gollan’s LE PALMIER (8). This is her trip, she drops 5kg and meeting LE PALMIER (8) 4kg better from gate three will be hard to run down again.
PIZONIE (6) disappointed first-up but pulled up short-striding. He can improve second-up and meets stablemate LE PALMIER (8) and KYLEASE (5) better at the weights. A strong tempo will suit and he can charge late.
The third and classiest of the Gollan runners VEGA ONE (1) carries 60kg but has earned it. He would like longer but is capable first-up, a big track suits and Michael Rodd will have him closing late.
ZANIAH (7) has been freshened after two disappointing efforts at Randwick. Her previous outings included placings in Group 3 company over 1100m at Randwick and Flemington. She is capable fresh, the tongue-tie comes off and can charge late.
Betting Strategy: Three units to win on MASTER JAMIE (2)
Race 9 – No Metro Win Handicap (1400m)
Stuart Kendrick has found the right race for BONAPARTE (6) which has been getting found out late over 1600m and the drop back in trip to 1400m is ideal. From a good gate with Jim Byrne and only 56.5kg he can take a sit off the speed and be hard to pass in the run home.
THE DARK (13) knows how to put in a bad one but he has placed at his past three Eagle Farm outings and drops 3.5kg from his two recent efforts in strong Class 3 Plates. From gate six he will get a good run with Mark Du Plessis and just has to maintain his recent form to be in the finish.
ENTERPRISE KEREN (10) has been racing well at provincial level winning two of four starts since resuming. This is harder but she drops 3kg and with Taylor Marshall will get a good run from gate three.
AXE (3) comes to town after a facile win in a Class 3 at the Gold Coast under 60kg. At his only previous attempt at Saturday grade he was beaten from a wide gate in a Benchmark 75 at the Gold Coast over 1200m on a heavy track. Conditions will be different here but Jim Orman still needs to overcome the gate.
Betting Strategy: Two units on BONAPARTE (6) to win.
BEST BET: MASTER JAMIE (Race 8 No 2)
NEXT BEST: BONAPARTE (Race 9 No 6)
VALUE BET: EURO BELLE (Race 6 No 10)
Quaddie numbers are:
Race 6: 4,10
Race 7: 1,4,5
Race 8: 2,5,8
Race 9: 3,6,10,13
Originally published asGraeme Carey previews Eagle Farm Saturday
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