Winter racing continues to be competitive with Eagle Farm, Flemington and Randwick staging some good action on Saturday.
We have picked out our best bets for the three meetings with our weekend best bets.
Already proven at the trip, AZURO ($2.90 TopBetta) looks a solid chance to take out this year’s QLD Cup. Two starts back, he wasn’t disgraced when finishing sixth (of 18) at Flemington in the Listed Andrew Ramsden over 2800m. He carried 58.5kgs that day and covered more ground than Bourke & Wills. Last start, he headed to Sydney, lining up in the Stayer’s Cup and enjoying a much better run, Glyn Schofield drove him to victory in the two-mile event on a heavy 9 that day. He drops in weight again and will carry just 54kgs here which is a 6kg advantage on topweight Yogi. This should be the telling difference in the end.
The Allison Sheehan-trained EL QUESTRO ($6.00 TopBetta) was a moral beaten last start on Flemington Finals Day. She kicked up for the first 600m and it looked like Niketa was going to hold the front before handed up and sat behind Pria Eclipse, which I found to be a strange move. She was stuck behind runners in the straight, while the winner Miss Mandito was building momentum down the outside. When clear, she flew home and just missed, running her last 200m in 11.44s which was clearly the quickest last furlong of the race. She ran the fifth-fastest last 200m and tenth-fastest last 400m of the day, with some very handy sprinters in the meeting. This is the Rising Stars Final so it’s an all appearance race and Chelsea Hall takes the ride. Hall is really struggling, with just one win from her last 50 rides and her record at Flemington isn’t much better, with just one win from 21 rides at headquarters. That is an obvious negative but I’m still happy to have a bet.
I’m keen to oppose Sir Elton who is undefeated in three starts, and I’ll be siding with Chris Waller’s mare HAUT BRION HER ($2.80 TopBetta). Sir Elton likes to lead all the way and has done so in three runs over 1100m. Last start, he was just one of two winners on the day to have not broken BM as he went 1.3 lengths below BM. He now has to carry 1.5kg more over 100m further as he steps up in grade, and those three things are against him. Haut Brion Her on the other hand went 2.3 lengths above All BM and she now drops 4kg as she goes up in grade, and she’s open to so much improvement.