Racing returns to Eagle Farm on Saturday for a nine-race card on a track that has been under pressure for its firmness. Conditions have been posted as a Good 4, and with no rain in sight, it appears the program will be run on another firm surface. The rail is back to be only out +1m the entire circuit, but its position has rarely been a factor here of late. This is a track that is difficult to assess for any bias and it’s mostly a case of horses either handling the Eagle Farm track or not, it’s as simple as that.
Race 1 – The Stifmeister & Yangari
I’m keen to get involved in race with a couple of black bookers from past meetings. The Stifmeister has come up favourite – and deservedly so – after finishing fast to just miss when well-backed on debut. No surprise to see dominant jockey Michael Rodd stay aboard, but he will need to be at his best from an awkward alley. The step up to 1300m looks suitable and expect him to be right in the finish.
The market reflects Yangari will need to improve to beat The Stifmeister, but the rise in journey is a big plus. Admittedly, 1400m would’ve been preferred to only rising up to 1300m, but I’ve got no doubt he’ll make a handy racehorse up to a mile (and perhaps beyond). While he’s drawn to do no work from gate one, the knock from there is that he is a big horse who appears to need room. Jockey Ben Thompson will be hoping they fan on the turn so he can storm home up the fence.
Happy to play this race, level staking both horses and hoping Yangari can score a mini upset for the better result.
Race 5 – She Za Boss
No flash odds here, but She Za Boss looks to strike the perfect race. She’s put in two good runs this prep and gets up to the 1400m third-up with just 54.5kg. The only slight query is a tricky draw, jumping from the outside in the small, seven horse field. Given the small field, she can sit back or even midfield with cover, before peeling out and zooming home over the top of them. Up to 1400m last prep she made a mess of them at this track. She ticks almost ever box and should just be winning.
Race 6 – Exclusive (each way)
Underrated galloper with an excellent strike rate and a good fresh record. No surprise they’ve trekked north of the border with him in a bid to jag a city win. Last year he was kept fresh with a handful of runs and sharp freshen ups – it proved a winning formula. This time he comes in off a much longer break, but the key to offset the layoff is the trial at Grafton, which he won impressively a month ago. Importantly, Jake Bayliss made the trek down to Grafton to trial him and he sticks here. This is a shrewd move by trainer Stephen Lee to target this race and given 7/8 wins have been on good ground, the firmer Eagle Farm surface should be no issue. Admittedly, the steadier is the 59kg and a wide gate, but he’ll go back anyway, truck into the race and look to sprint sharply in the final stages.