BEST BET – R8 #2 AMISH BOY
Just missed out a Stradbroke run last week – but winning the Eye Liner Stakes will be a nice consolation for Amish Boy. The betting suggests a race in two with Axe, but I’m keen to stick with Amish Boy because he’s drawn beautifully in gate five whereas Axe may have to work from a wide draw. Amish Boy should be able to sit a little closer from the nice barrier, perhaps midfield or a touch closer. If Craig Williams can negotiate a passage in the straight, I’m tipping he will go straight past them. He is an extremely striking 3yo colt who still appears on an upward spiral. He finished alongside Ayrton in the Fred Best three weeks ago, and was only 0.3 lengths off the winner Apache Chase. I concede that the form around Axe looks very strong, tying into Stradbroke winner Tofane, but I just think Amish Boy has more scope and the favourable barrier draw is a real plus.
NEXT BEST – R4 #5 WESTLINK
The wide gate appears absolutely horrific on paper, but he’ll likely get back anyway. I wouldn’t like to see him totally concede and go back to last, so let’s hope jockey Mark Du Plessis can get an ounce of luck and find a bit of cover. This tough former country NSW galloper has been bursting to win a race since coming north to Queensland. His form reads better than most of these and we’re getting a generous price near the double figure mark. He was beaten just over a length by Baller a few starts back and has form which ties around Stradbroke winner Tofane when beaten by Axe. He also finished hard last start to be right next to subsequent Eagle Farm winner Superium.
BEST EACH-WAY – R9 #5 KYLEASE
Another with an awful draw, but if Kylease can get across without burning too much petrol, I’m confident she has the talent to defy her near-$20 quote. She’s been an ultra-consistent performer in Queensland – getting nailed right on the line on a number of occasions. She’s been beaten less than a length by Varda, Zaniah and Le Palmier, and this race is certainly no tougher. While there’s no doubt she’s vulnerable in the final stages at 1200m, she will give us a big sight at a price. She also trialled extremely well 11 days ago, winning by three lengths in an impressive ‘tick over’ run.