BEST BET | R8 #6 GRACE AND HARMONY
Keen on this Chris Waller-trained girl to take out the Queensland Oaks. She draws a much more favourable barrier after she went back from a wide draw last start in The Roses. She was sent out as favourite and while she was beaten almost four lengths, the run suggested she’ll be spot on in this target race of the Oaks. Before that she won with ease in the Gold Coast Bracelet. Importantly, gun hoop James McDonald sticks and from the perfect barrier here should lob in a lovely spot just off the leaders. She only needs to handle the Eagle Farm surface to be fighting out the finish.
NEXT BEST | R5 #6 STAMPE
Probably on his last chance as a punting proposition this Chris Munce-trained sprinter. He’s been black booked a couple of times this prep after putting in solid efforts from horrific gates. He draws a better gate this time but comes up against some talented rivals all lining up in the Moreton Cup for the last chance golden ticket to the G1 Stradbroke. He interestingly gets a jockey change with Larry Cassidy subbed in for Craig Williams, who I’m not sure has done anything wrong in recent defeats. Last start he was caught four wide from the bad draw but stuck on well to be beaten only 4.3 lengths in a race dominated by the on-pace winner Emerald Kingdom. From the good gate he can lob into the perfect spot just behind the speed and be right in the finish.
BEST EACH-WAY | R9 #10 GAROPPOLO
A big price for a horse with plenty of upside and unbeaten at Eagle Farm. We black booked this son of Per Incanto back from his run at Doomben two starts ago when beaten less than three lengths by Lord Olympus. He was absolutely bolting on the fence in that race but had nowhere to go in the straight. There are two (valid) reasons why we are getting around $35 (and we could get longer closer to race time). The first is that he isn’t well suited in a quality set weights affair, and secondly, he was only plain last start (although he did put in a rough stride when blending into the race) when beaten by Kisukano, who he meets again here. From gate one, he will sit back in the second half of the field and hopefully he can pick runs up on the fence as the speedsters in front wilt at the business end.