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Eagle Farm – Saturday 1 May 2021
Race 6 – Ashema
I’m certainly not dropping off Ashema after her brave effort to run a close third in the Dalrello. This a filly who ran within three lengths of dominant Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside and was also placed at G3 level in Sydney. However, nothing went right here at her first try in Queensland. This is despite the speed map looking favourable for her from barrier five. I’m sure Steph Thornton would like to have the race over again, because I believe she simply got it wrong when letting the speed go and ending up three wide. She was the five wide into the turn but still had the audacity to loom up as the winner. It was only until the final 50m that the winner Miss Hipstar – who had enjoyed a perfect run on the fence – got the better of her. She’s nominated for the Ken Russell at the Gold Coast this Saturday and if she backs up, looks the winner.
Race 8 – Stampe
This was a huge run first-up off no trials in the G2 Victory Stakes. I’ve always thought he’s perhaps just a rung below the good horses at G1 level, but this run has really made me stand up and take notice. A huge case could be made that he should’ve run top three, or perhaps even won the race if not for bad luck in the final 150m. He sat off the hot speed and tracked the favourite Trekking, before finding trouble in the straight. Once he picked himself up he finished off better than anything else in the race. I’d like to see him once more before touting him as a contender for the Brisbane G1 races he’s nominated for, but there’s no doubt he’s come back a better horse this prep.
Race 9 – Asharani
We backed this girl as our best each-way on the day and she drifted out to near $20 before running sixth. While the run looked plain, she actually picked up quite nicely in the straight to be going arguably as good anything at the finish line. She looked to hit a flat spot in the middle stages and they might consider putting the winkers back on after taking them off for this affair. She also ran into two very smart ones in Fender and Garibaldi. If she can find a slightly easier race up here she’ll be ultra-competitive/
Doomben – Saturday 24 April 2021
Race 6 – Maozi
She’s always been a horse who I believe has somewhat flown under the radar. Given her Victorian form, it’s no surprise she’s been highly competitive in good races in the sunshine state. She drew a sticky gate here first up and nothing went right for her in the straight. Last prep she contested listed events and I’m confident she can win one around that level this campaign.
Race 8 – Garropolo
This previously unbeaten son of Per Incanto went around at close to $20 but arguably should’ve won the race. He settled towards the rear and jockey Robbie Fradd had little option but to ride for luck on the inside. He was absolutely bolting but had nowhere to go in the straight. I like that Fradd has stuck with those horse throughout his career and he gives the impression 1200m+ will be more to his liking. I’d love to see him on a big track such as back to Eagle Farm (where he has won) or the Sunshine Coast.
Race 8 – Miss Canada
A talented filly on her day who loomed up out wide and looked a winning hope before fading slightly to be beaten 3L. It was no surprise she didn’t finish it off given she was wide for most of the trip from barrier 12. Last prep in Sydney she was competitive around the likes of Dame Giselle – that’s good enough form to pick off a nice race on Brisbane. A better gate would be hugely advantageous next time. Last prep she was tried out to 1400m and failed, but it was her final run of the campaign so perhaps she had come to the end of her prep instead of not getting the trip.
Eagle Farm – Saturday 17 April 2021
Race 5 – Be Water My Friend
We backed this son of Headwater at big odds and he was simply never a winning hope in a fast run race where Apache Chase ran them off their legs. I took a positive out of the fact this 3yo stuck to his guns late on the line (and beyond). It suggested that he won’t have an issue out to 1600m if they choose to progress that way – and every run prior has matched that profile. He has some strong form around him, and I think he’ll be better in a bigger field. We will get big odds again and suggest he’s worth following.
Race 8 – Flash Aah
Very underrated galloper. Stepped up to an Open Quality here and proved he’s a horse capable of winning a good race – and possibly even something over the winter carnival. He sat second last on the fence, and although he was given every possible along the paint as the field fanned wide, he was ultra-strong to the line to only miss by less than a length. He had already won a nice race at the Gold Coast earlier in the prep on a wet track, but this performance highlighted he’s certainly not just a wet tracker. This lightly-raced 5yo has won 5 from 11, and is proving to be highly versatile on all types of tracks and distances from 1000m to 1400. His Gold Coast win was at 1400m on a heavy surface, and being by Lucas Cranach I’d assume he will likely get up to the mile and possibly beyond. It was interesting placement here (heavy track 1400m win back to 1000m), but he’s only had two runs this prep (plus one where he lost the rider), so it would be no surprise to see him keep progressing into the carnival.
Race 9 – Westlink
This tough Dubbo-trained galloper has now had three runs in Queensland and is getting better each time he steps out. He had a decent run in transit around midfield, but was tightened for room and the jockey did go for home very early in the long Eagle Farm straight. He looked all to have the race in his keeping at the 100m mark but the eventual winner (Enterprise Keren) had enjoyed a much more economical run and charged late up on the fence to score. 1400m seems to be his best trip, but he has been competitive out to a mile. He’s ready to win next start.
Doomben – Saturday 10 April 2021
I want to be forgiving of horses on the inside as virtually nothing won or finished well from there all day. Horses at least two off the fence travelled and performed best throughout the program.
Race 3 – Foreign Territory
He was heavily-backed to start near-favourite, but not much went right for this son of Tavistock. As the steward’s report shows, he jumped out at the start and then proceeded to pull hard in the middle stages of the event. He then hung out rounding the home turn but was able to somehow be steered nearer the inside which was likely inferior ground. I wouldn’t’ be surprised if he performed much better next start.
Race 4 – Fender
Don’t have to be Einstein to be impressed by the performance of Fender. This 4yo was first-up off only one trial so there’s likely plenty of improvement left in him going forward towards the Brisbane Winter Carnival. Admittedly, he didn’t beat a whole lot here, but he was soft late in betting which is another indicator of huge improvement to come. He won by almost two lengths and was throttled down to still record 34.75 for the last 600m.
Race 7 – Simply Fly
This was the run of the day at Doomben. Simply Fly is a very smart animal, further outlined by her performance over the 1050m to run second behind Ballistic Lover. The winner came to Brisbane with solid Sydney form, but Simply Fly no doubt should’ve beaten her. She was a clear last on the turn – a couple of lengths off the second last horse – but powered home to make up about 10 lengths on the winner. She did it all in the worst part of the track in the straight before coming off the winner’s heels to almost score an unthinkable victory. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep her up for a race in the carnival, having already won the Gold Coast Jewel on a heavy track earlier this prep. She’s already won six from 10 and with her lethal finish, she’ll be winning much better races.
Eagle Farm – Saturday 3 April 2021
Race 4 – Patty’s Fortune
Continually under-rated in the market and we were able to get some cash out of him each-way on Saturday at $5+ the place. He was snagged back to last from the wide gate and picked his way through the field to rocket home and run third. If he’d drawn a better gate, there’s every chance he finishes a lot closer to the winner, and perhaps even fights out the finish. This was a high quality BM72 and if he can draw a gate in something slightly easier as he likely steps up in distance, I’m confident he’ll be ultra-competitive.
Race 5 – Tycoon Evie
Tycoon Evie further confirmed her standing as a filly of high quality – arguably the most talented female in the state. She was solid in the market back from a freshen up as she kicked off a likely Oaks campaign. After settling a clear last on the fence she weaved a passage through the small field to win impressively, running home the last 600m in sub-34. She’s only lightly-raced but appears to be getting better with racing and should be competitive in any upcoming race assignments.
Race 7 – Akage
Another galloper who flies under the radar and goes around at big prices because of an unheralded trainer-jockey combo. This 7yo mare has produced three huge runs in succession and is capable of winning again. Admittedly she had barrier one and a soft run on Saturday, but if she gets conditions to suit, she’s proven to be a real line chaser once she get a sniff of winning. It’ll be interesting to see if they step her up to the mile (a distance she has won at in the past) next start or stay around the 1400m mark.
Race 9 – Bold Style
A bit of a horror show from start-to-finish for this Garnett Taylor-trained 4yo. He’s a versatile type who can sit handy if needed, and it appeared that was the intention despite beginning awkwardly. He was bustled up early in an attempt to hold a midfield spot after the tardy beginning, and from there he ran into trouble at around the 800m mark when he found a tight spot to the inside of Defence Missile. It meant Bold Style was forced three wide and that was where he was planted for the race. He finished off nicely out wide (where very few were making ground on the day) and was still going as good as anything on the line to grab fifth. He’s certainly worth following in similar grade.
Doomben – Saturday 27 March 2021
Despite a week of torrential rain the lead-up, the Doomben track played relatively fair last Saturday. It didn’t appear to be a huge advantage to on-pacers hard on the fence, as was predicted by many.
Race 3 – Barefoot
We backed this mare at big odds each-way, and as luck would have it, she was beaten a lip for third spot and arguably should’ve won the race. She found a great spot fourth / fifth on the fence and travelled well into the race but was in a bumping duel on several occasions between the 400m and 200m when attempting to secure clear running. She’s ready to win and up in trip should be an ideal way for her to break back into the winners’ circle.
Race 4 – Better Get Set
This 3yo filly has been excellent in all three runs this prep backing up her 4th placing in the Gold Coast Jewel with a sound second placing here at Doomben. She settled in a relatively handy spot, and despite racng keen in the early stages, still looked set to run down the eventual winner (Rollinwiththeflow). The winner was able to control the race up on the speed making it an impossible task for Better Get Set to run him down. There was a big gap to third which is always a good sign. Keen to follow her next start, but not sure how many more runs the stable will get out of her this prep.
Race 9 – Let’s Party Marty
Let’s Party Marty is flying this prep and continues to go around at juicy odds. This run was a train wreck from start to finish. He began awkwardly and had to settle in an uncustomary spot near the back of the field. He was likely never going to win from there but he should’ve finished a lot closer after being eld up for clear running in the home straight and unable to be fully tested. This prep he has beaten Snowzone and ran close-up behind the likes of Roman Aureus and Desert Lord. He is going very well this campaign continues to go around at big odds. With his most recent run showing a ninth place, beaten four lengths, it should mean we get another good price next time he steps out.
Eagle Farm – Saturday 6 March 2021
Despite aesthetically to appear in average condition last Saturday, Eagle Farm played considerably fair with all runners given their chance whether out wide or closer to the fence. If anything, there was perhaps a slight disadvantage to be hard up on the fence towards the latter stages of the meeting.
Race 9 – Back When
Whilst this was not a hard run to spot from the last race, but I’m extremely keen on his future and I’ve got no doubt we’ll be repaid by following him. From well back in the field, he powered through the field upon hitting the straight to grab second on the line. No doubt he was aided somewhat by the strong tempo set by the winner Georgie’s Pride (herself a very smart galloper) but he was extremely strong though the line second up out to 1400m. It must be said the winner is very smart and in the top couple of progressive horses in the state. The money went on Back When here and it would be a surprise if this 3yo went around at any flash odds next time, but assume the Garnett Taylor stable will be looking to step him out to 1600m now, and if he can draw a gate he’ll be mighty hard to hold out wherever he goes.
Race 1 – The Stifmeister and Yangari
I might sound like a broken record here, but The Stifmeister and Yangari are worth continuing to follow. They profile as similar type horses, both likely to show their best out to 1400m and perhaps beyond. Nothing from Saturday has swayed me that they are both horses well worth watching, but only time will tell how far they get this preparation and if they can make their presence felt over the upcoming Brisbane carnival. The Stifmeister looks a talented horse and it would be no surprise to see him measure up in upcoming stakes race, with the JJ Atkins would no doubt be on the radar. In the same race, I also didn’t mind the way Yangari kept whacking away on the fence. I’d prefer to see him draw a middle gate and settle midfield with cover and round them up before the bend. He might be a rung below The Stifmeister (the market has reflected that) but he’s still worth following.
Race 6 – Exclusive
I was keen on this NSW visitor’s chances and while he couldn’t run into the placings, his run was full of merit. He settled back last from the wide gate with the big weight but was able to pick up and loom along the fence. There’s a small query that hard up against the fence was a less than ideal place to be as the day wore on, but it’s reasonable to understand why the jockey went that way given he didn’t want to loop around them with the big weight.
Race 8 – Golly Hutt
Another horse who stays in the blackbook is Golly Hutt, simply because I’m hoping he’ll continue to be underplayed by the market because of his low-profile trainer. The margin says he was no match for Wren’s Day on Saturday, but he was three deep the trip and the winner came off his back so there’s a small case to make he could’ve finished a lot closer than the 1.75 margin. He’s a horse in great form and there’s no reason why he can’t win a Saturday race around the 1400m mark this preparation.
Sunshine Coast – Sunday 28 February 2021
Race 1 – Tesuara
It was a disastrous debut for Tesaura, who came into the race following a smart second in a trial. The 2yo filly had nothing go right at her first race start, with jockey Michael Rodd reporting the saddle slipped before she was caught wide throughout. She still had the audacity to run home strongly into third. Well worth following.
Race 2 – Danezel
This lightly-raced 4yo looks to be going places, notching up his first win this prep after contesting tougher assignments. He settled well back in the field and rounded them up, but it was the manner in which he used that momentum and maintained it right towards the line. Despite covering much more ground, he was tenacious in outgunning the second place-getter who had enjoyed a much more economical run.
Race 2 – Double’s Choice
Sneaky run by a $51 shot that will largely go unnoticed, particular as he comes from an unfashionable stable. He was lengths off the second last horse in the straight but really ground gone strongly to arguably finish as good as anything through the line. Worth keeping an eye on especially put to 1400m.
Race 3 – Master Tyler
Was no match for the winner as he ran into the well above average debutante Karaka Lad here. I very much doubt Master Tyler could’ve troubled the winner, but he was a touch unlucky in the run, caught wide on various occasions copping some trouble before the turn. His two trials before the debut run were full of merit. Breeding suggests he’ll get over a trip and has a nice action.
Race 4 – Patty’s Fortune
Went around at a silly price and arguably should’ve finished a lot closer than a well-beaten fifth. He was stuck in an awkward spot before the turn and was forced wide leaving the 800m. The trouble didn’t stop there having some difficulties securing clear running in the early stages of the home straight. There was late money around for him suggesting the stable has got him in good shape.
Sunshine Coast – Saturday 27 February 2021
Race 3 – Glorious Ruby
Glorious Ruby was thrashed by nearly five lengths, but nothing went right in the run and the winner (Sweet Dolly) is very smart and hard to chase down over the 1000m. She was caught wide and the jockey elected to snag back, but essentially it was a move that just halted her momentum and allowed the winner to snatch a winning break. Wouldn’t be surprised to see her step back up to 1100-1200 and be very competitive at a race in town, but drawing a better gate would be beneficial.
Race 7 – Epic Girl
A talented mare on her day when she gets things her own way. Ideally, she needs to get back to Doomben, draw well and have little pressure in front. On this occasion she was forced to work relentlessly from an awkward draw but kicked strongly in the straight to run second to an in-form and talented Doctor Zous. It was a run full of merit and it looks as though she’s not far from producing her best this preparation.
Eagle Farm – Saturday 20 February 2021
Race 1 – Yangari & The Stifmeister
Keen to follow two runners out of the first race – Yangari and The Stifmesiter.
There was an interesting sub-plot in this race with the winner Mishani Enchanted ridden by Jimmy Orman and The Stifmeister piloted by Michael Rodd. The pair essentially swapped mounts, with Rodd jumping off the winner to ride debutante The Stifmeister (who trialled with Orman aboard). While it didn’t prove a winning move on Saturday, I’m confident Rodd will be repaid for his faith in The Stifmiester as he looks a talented type.
Yangari is a big, loping type and crying for a step up in distance. 1400m at Eagle Farm will be to his liking. Both runs this time in have been excellent, hitting the line hard from back in the field. Would love to see him head up to the wide expanses of the Sunshine Coast for a 1400m maiden – I’ve got no doubt he would be winning.
Race 4 – Golly Hutt
On a day where it seemed you needed to build momentum on the turn, Golly Hutt was a little flat-footed when the winner and runner-up were setting down to fight out the finish.
Once balanced up, he powered home for third. It’s no surprise to see him back in town and racing competitive as he’s a 4yo who has always had some ability. He’s now ran well at both runs this time in, and the lack of market support suggests he’s only going to get better as the prep continues.
Can’t wait to see him out to 1400m.
Race 8 – Better Get Set
Run of the day. The wide gate did this filly absolutely no favours, stuck on a limb three and four wide before having the audacity to dash home out wide and finish better than anything in the race.
She clearly should’ve won. Despite the wide draw she was heavily backed, suggesting there is some real confidence in the way she’s returned this prep.
A win (or two) isn’t far away for her.
Eagle Farm – Saturday 6 February 2021
Eagle Farm’s much-maligned surface dished up a track that played in favour of on-pacers with almost every winner coming from up on the speed and close to the fence. Below are a couple of horses worth following from the meeting.
Bonaparte (Race 5): Arguably the run of the day after having to go back to last and three wide. He circled the field and finishing off gamely, sticking to his task impressively out wide. The Stuart Kendrick-trained 5yo has produced two runs in this time which have been superb. If he can draw a gate third-up to 1400m, he should be winning.
Mosshiki (Race 3): This Rob Heathcote-trained runner has been ultra-costly this prep when hard in the market at each run. He was a touch unlucky here without much room before the turn. Admittedly, he did get out in time to loom as a winning hope, but the eventual winner former Victorian Quality Approach had all the favours and was too strong at the business end. Mosshiki is worthy of one more chance.
Ligulate (Race 4): No prizes for identifying Ligulate as a horse to follow, considering he’s now won two on the trot, but he’s in sublime form and will be hard to hold out wherever he goes next. Ran home in a slick 32.66sec, clearly the best time of the day. If he can find another weakish Open Handicap in Queensland it’ll be hard to back against him.