It’s G1 Stradbroke Handicap Day, the biggest race meeting on the calendar and our very own racing guru Jarred Magnabosco has you covered with a race to race preview for the 9 race program.
R1 #6 Bank Maur $4.80 at PlayUp & Quinella with Metallicity
Going with the Richard Laming trained Bank Maur, a colt by in demand Japanese sensation Maurice who was purchased for $130,000 at last years Inglis Premier sale.
I thought his win had a lot of merit on debut, albeit at Sale in maiden grade, it was a win of raw ability and I think he’s certainly got plenty more upside to come and the stable must think that to bring him up here for this.
He was strong out of the gates to put himself in a good position in the run and looming up to the home turn, he looked like he was scrubbed along and not really knowing what it was all about, but as son as he straightened back onto the bridle, he found another gear and motored away, to beat Quang Tri, with over 3 lengths back to third, which were older horses. The form has been franked, with Quang Tri winning the Vobis Gold Elvstroem today.
Of the others, Metallicity has always been a horse I have thought highly of. He will relish being back on top of the ground tomorrow and the step up to 1300m looks ideal for this son of Zoustar who is out of an O’Reilly mare.
The one knock I’ve got on him is he can get really high in his stride at times and that might cost him ground, but other than that, I think he’s the main danger and must be respected.
My Numbers 6-5-10-9
R2 #2 Kirwans Lane $4.20 at PlayUp
Smallest field of the day, not overly excited about the field, I think 3 or 4 can win this depending on how the tempo shapes.
If they walk up front and the rail is hot like last a fortnight ago then Bigboyroy might take a stack of beating, but if the track plays fair, then I expect in a small field tactics could be out the window and I want to be on the horse who can launch a nice turn of foot and a horse who can stay the mile and that’s the O’Shea trained Kirwans Lane.
He’s going to really appreciate being back on top of the ground and under WFA conditions, he meets BigBoyRoy better at the weights from when they faced each other back on New Years Day where he was far too good when it mattered.
My Numbers 2-3-1-7
R3 #2 The Fearless One – Each/Way $6.50/$2.30 at PlayUp
The G2 Brisbane Cup is back at 2 miles for the second year after the introduction of the Q22 which now overshadows what was once a time honoured race for the state. As expected, the field lacks quality and most of these will probably struggle to see out the 3200m.
One horse who will get the distance is Sweet Thomas, the 10 year old might feel the sting out of the track though and having his 70th career start, I probably couldn’t back him, even though he’s going to give his backers a genuine showing after flashing home last start in impressive fashion.
I’m actually going to lob with the kiwi trained The Fearless One on-top who was 3rd in that same race a fortnight ago where he was shuffled back and then 5 and 6 wide homing the turn on a day where they weren’t really making ground from out wide, so the run was a solid effort.
This is the grand final for this horse, he’s young, lightly raced and I think if you go off his last few runs in NZ, he started to race on pace and just had too strong a turn of foot late which has seen him really rise through the grades.
He’ll get across and should get a really comfortable run on speed and I think he’s a horse with plenty of improvement to come and all things going well, I think he’ll run a massive race.
My Numbers 7-6-1-3
R4 #3 Battleton & #4 Loch Eagle Both $4 at PlayUp
Pretty confident that the Bjorn Baker trained Battleton can get the mile here in the G3 Gunsynd Classic.
He’s the best horse in the race for me and has only missed the placings once in his 6 start career, which was when he ran 5th in the G1 Coolmore down the straight, beaten just 4.3L to a horse who will be representing Australia at Royal Ascot in Home Affairs.
He covered more ground than any last start when planted wide throughout from a bad draw and still found the line really well. I don’t think the mile will be an issue. With the winkers back on and from a better barrier, I think he can run a big race.
Of the others, Loch Eagle looms as the main danger for me and is worth a small saver. Rock hard fit now after he was a month between runs last start & with Bowman sticking, he should run a very strong race as he is rarely far away.
My Numbers 3-4-2-1
R5 #10 Simply Fly $26/$6 at PlayUp
Not overly keen for this race. I think the Waller trained Ranch Hand should hold favouritism but I’d probably have this race $5.50 the field and think the current $3.80 on offer is unders.
The Rex Lipp trained Simply Fly is way over the odd’s I would have thought. Just over a year ago the 4YO gelding won 5 races on the bounce as a 3YO and then gave Ballistic Lover 6kg to narrowly go down by 0.2L to end the winning streak.
Hasn’t win since that hot patch but was heavily supported last start and has been in the market in 3 of his past 4 starts, so it wouldn’t shock me to see him run a bold race in a very open race at a price fresh off a trial win.
My Numbers 5-9-10-8
R6 BEST BET #9 Maximal $5 at PlayUp
Expecting a big performance from the John O’Shea trained Maximal who was enormous in the G1 Doomben Cup here a fortnight ago with a dashing turn of foot, only losing to what was an inside run by eventual winner Huetor.
I think over the 2200m, it will be a higher pressure race than last start, he’s going to get a lovely sit back in the field and I think he’s got the best turn of foot by far in this race, so 2nd-up and rock hard, this looks his race and all going well, I expect he’ll be winning.
My Numbers 9-3-6-15
R7 – Group 1 JJ Atkins #16 Sheeza Belter $4.40 at PlayUp
It’s the ex WA filly Sheeza Belter here or it’s roll the dice and hope. On ratings, I would suspect the filly is the best horse in the race and her turn of foot in the G2 Sires Produce confirmed that she is very very special, rating as one of the best 2YO performances of the season. If she brings that again, she wins, simple.
I like the fact that she’s now in a second preparation, well travelled and in what is a high pressure 2YO race, she should get a gun run from a midfield draw and be able to switch off and rocket home.
I think this field is a G2-3 standard race at best and it looks one of the weaker editions of this time honoured QLD 2yo race in quite a while. Outside of the filly, if she doesn’t fire for whatever reasons, then I think Brereton boasts the best claims, while Political Debate is clearly a classy animal, but his prep hasn’t been ideal, on the quick back up I think it’s all just a tad too much.
Brosnan and West Of Africa at a monster price round out my numbers.
My Numbers 16-1-4-6-19
R8 – Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap #2 Laws of Indices – Each Way $16/$4.80
Fairly open Stradbroke this year, you could run this race 10 times and probably have 10 different winners. I’m going on what I know and that’s a horse I’m lucky to be involved in, called Laws of Indices.
G1 winner in France of the Prix Jean Prat last year, he thrives under pressure and gets his best chance to claim a major since arriving in Australia.
He ran a monster Aus debut in the Golden Eagle, beaten a lip for 3rd when wide the trip. Tommy Berry got off and thought he could be the next star of the stable for Annabel Neasham & although we are yet to see that come to fruition, to his credit, he’s been racing in the top class at almost every start since and has been drawing carpark draws and facing Heavy tracks which he doesn’t handle.
His run last start was better than it reads on paper. He ran the fastest final 200m of the race, finishing alongside Entreviere, who the start prior made a massive claim to almost roll Mazu.
Visors on, on top of the ground, JMAC in the saddle and with a stack of early speed, this maps well for our boy and I think he’ll run a monster tomorrow and hope he can become a dual hemisphere G1 winner.
Outside of my bias, I think Eleven Eleven is back to his career best form. He’ll be darting through the pack and hitting the line strongly and for me rates and the main danger.
My Numbers 2-4-1-11
R9 #1 Vangelic – Each Way $15/$4.20
I think the favourite Najmaty is going to take a stack of beating, but I’m going to finish the card with the class of the race who is resuming and looks a treat following a strong trial in Vangelic for the Waterhouse & Bott stable.
She faced heavy Sydney tracks in the Autumn and resumes here with the blinkers on for the first time which could be the knock out punch she needs. The key here is that the speed is only moderate at best, so it should allow a great front running jockey like Tim Clark to get across from his carpark draw from the 1300m and hopefully find some cover before that first turn.
If they try and make her work to get over and they do run above average splits, then the favourite could be the one who will be making a strong claim late.
My Numbers 1-15-10-13