Competitive card with value hard to find so I am playing cautiously backing those with upside that I can follow into profit even if unsuccessful at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Race 1 – Two-Year-Old Handicap – 1400m
A small field with four chances and the one with the most upside is Buffering’s half-brother SEEFELD (4) which has shown promise both outings. He just missed over this trip last start when he gave them too much start off a slow tempo and Ben Thompson won’t make the same mistake again. KENNY BOY (2) was the one that set the tempo last time and while he meets Seefeld slightly worse at the weights Ryan Maloney could make the difference. The newcomer is SECRET TALES (6) which distanced a weak field on a very heavy track at the Gold Coast. This will be very different but a big win can’t be ignored and she has the speed to be prominent. VETTA VELOCITA (3) disposed of a moderate field on debut at the Sunshine Coast over 1000m. He steps up significantly in trip but is from a prolific winning family and the big track should suit. Winkers go on but a rise in class, weight and distance are always of concern.
Betting strategy – I blackbooked SEEFELD (4) last start and will have two units to win
Race 2 – Benchmark 78 Handicap – 2200m
The tempo or lack of it makes these Brisbane middle-distance affairs tricky but JOYMAKER (2) gave nothing else a chance here last start for Michael Rodd, Jim Byrne takes over and he has won four times on her. The Casino Prince mare rises 3kg but is in rich vein of form and loves this track and distance. Chris Waller’s STARDOME (1) is working up to a win. He was well beaten by Joymaker last start but is fitter for three outings and meets the mare 2kg better. Gary Portelli has brought PICARO (3) up from Sydney form and Michael Rodd takes the ride. His recent form is up to this moderate Brisbane class and he has been here before and won. TRADUCE (9) has promised more than he has delivered and is eligible for easier but third-up gets to a suitable trip. With a bold ride from Robbie Fradd he can surprise with 54kg.
Betting strategy – I cheered JOYMAKER (2) home last start and will do so again but without my money aboard
Race 3 – Colts, Geldings and Entires Benchmark 72 Handicap – 1200m
Horses that can handle Eagle Farm well always attract me and DIXON BAY (2) wasn‘t far away in a Benchmark 80 over this trip after beginning slowly last start. He has won three of six starts and was dominant here in a Benchmark 70 with Jim Orman two starts back. Dixon Bay is well placed in this Benchmark 72 and the combination could bear fruit again. There are wraps on CLEARANCE SALE (8) which is resuming after showing promise when winning twice last preparation from five outings. He won his maiden here and is well placed with 55kg and Michael Rodd riding for his old mentor Bryan Guy.
Betting strategy – One unit on DIXON BAY (2) to win
Race 4 – Fillies and Mares Benchmark 72 Handicap – 1200m
Sydney form often holds up at Benchmark level in Queensland and EAST ASIA (7) is having her first outing for Rob Heathcote. She has had jumpouts and is well placed this class based on her NSW form where she has won twice and placed three times in seven outings. Mares often improve when they come north and while East Asia likes to get back in running the big track will suit. INGEAR (3) didn‘t handle the heavy track at Doomben last start when a short-priced favourite. She is better suited here and with Michael Rodd will be near the speed for a long way. Tony Sears brings them to town for a reason and DIS DAH WUN (2) resumed with a strong win at Toowoomba. She awkwardly drawn but Leah Kilner’s 3kg claim helps and she has the speed to be prominent for a long way. CENTREFIRE (8) just missed when resuming at the Sunshine Coast over 1000m, He has won here previously, draws to do no work and with Justin Huxtable claiming 1.5kg could swoop late.
Betting Strategy – Watching EAST ASIA (7) but not having a bet
Race 5 – Three-Year- Old Quality Handicap – 1200m
The small field will suit GOTTA KISS (3) which is resuming after a game effort in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas where she was never on the track but kept making ground to run fifth to Aim. She likes this track, has a good first-up record, Steph Thornton rides and draws to do no work from gate one. While she hasn’t won for nearly a year she has raced well in strong company and can be too good for these. APACHE CHASE (1) struggled on a heavy track last start but is better suited here and beat Gotta Kiss in the Vo Rogue here last prep. The 61kg may test but he will give a bold sight and be hard to pass. The jury is out on KISUKANO (2) which has disappointed this preparation but she gets a tongue-tie and has a good record at Eagle Farm. Maybe Michael Rodd can make the difference.
Betting strategy – Two units to win on GOTTA KISS (3)
Race 6 – Class 3 Plate – 1400m
ALPENDURADA (1) saves his best for Eagle Farm winning and placing at his two outings here the most recent over 1300m. With Michael Rodd he will get a good run from gate three and can finish off strongly. THE DARK (6) is another that saves his best for Eagle Farm and he fought on strongly despite being caught wide in a stronger Class 3 than this last start. Mark du Plessis gets back on and he will be handy throughout. RACING PARADISE (5) has given a good sight at his past two Eagle Farm outings at past three starts. Desleigh Forster has made some gear changes and with Jim Byrne will get a good run near the speed.
Betting strategy – ALPENDURADA (1) is hard to beat but only watching
Race 7 – Benchmark 90 Handicap – 1400m
I blackbooked LOVE STRUCK (5) after he just missed when resuming on a heavy track at the Gold Coast in a Benchmark 85. He has won second-up, likes Eagle Farm and is well placed with the 1.5kg claim for Justin Huxtable. WREN’S DAY (2) was dominant in Class 3 company here last start. This is harder but has a Group 1 placing to his credit long ago in Europe and with the 3kg claim for Leah Kilner should be up to this grade. SHE ZA BOSS (6) overcame a slow tempo to ground out a win in this class last start. She meets a stronger field but drops half-a-kilo and will be strong late. TOP PROSPECT (1) just missed in a Listed race when resuming. The 2kg claim for Adin Thompson helps and while he might like longer he rarely runs poorly.
Betting strategy – Two units on LOVE STRUCK (5) to win
Race 8 – Class 6 Handicap – 1600m
SLOW HANDS (7) had a reputation as a professional placegetter but may be turning things around and beat a similar field to easily win a Class 3 Plate last start. He drops 3kg in this higher grade but rarely runs poorly and can be in the finish again. WALKING FLYING (4) ground home to win on a heavy track at Doomben at her first start for the Edmonds’ stable. This is harder but the trainers have a good record of improving mares and her best southern form is well up to this grade. UNBIASED (2) hasn’t won for a long time but wasn‘t far away in this class last start. He is now fourth-up and the extra distance will help. WORD FOR WORD (3) is poorly weighted but has been runner-up at both outings since coming North and Chris Waller doesn’t bring them to Queensland for a holiday.
Betting Strategy – find it hard to trust SLOW HANDS (7) to go back-to-back so staying out
Race 9 – Class 6 Handicap – 1000m
There will go fast in this which may set it up for one just off the speed. Tony Gollan has four acceptors and PIZONIE (2) goes well at this track, has a good first-up record and with a sit off the speed for Ryan Maloney will be strong late. The stablemate LE PALMIER (7) can also race well fresh and with Jim Byrne will be near the speed for a long way. KYLEASE (1) got bogged down on the heavy track at Gold Coast. She is better suited here and will be hard to run down. BOLD STYLE (3) trialled well, can race well fresh and with Ryan Wiggins won‘t be far away in running.
Betting Strategy – not sure which Gollan runner will win passing
BEST BET: GOTTA KISS (Race 5 No. 3)
NEXT BEST: SEEFELD (Race 1 No. 4)
VALUE BET: LOVE STRUCK (Race 7 No. 5)
Quaddie numbers are;
Race 6: 1, 5, 6
Race 7: 2, 5, 6
Race 8: 4, 7
Race 9: 1, 2, 3, 7
Originally published asEagle Farm: Preview, Tips and Best Bets
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