Spring Stakes Morphettville 17/08

This looks a nice race to preview as we lead into the big Spring racing. It’s a G3 race that was conceived in 1970 and has often been a good one for the local brigade. A glance at the last six winners shows us that five of those had fairly extensive and winning experience at the track. We should get a surface with at least a bit of give in it, rated at best a Soft 5 and probably a Soft 6 at worst. The scratching of local four year old Behemoth has taken a little gloss off the race, as he would have been a pretty popular second or third elect for most punters. He is off to run at Caulfield instead where he looks to be a leading chance in Race 7.


Well there is a tiny bit of guesswork involved here but there doesn’t look to be any real speed in the race so I’d expect DESPATCH to lead from his inside barrier as he did when winning the Goodwood handicap here. That wasn’t his norm prior to that race but he had not often drawn to advantage in his runs leading up to that race. Outside of him we really only have Hard Empire, Scales Of Justice and possibly Kabini who will go forward and all are drawn out wide. If they don’t lead on Despatch I’d be very surprised and it’s possible that decision will decide this race.

Form analysis;

SCALES OF JUSTICE- What an absolutely superb win by him first up at Caulfield three weeks ago. I was reasonably keen on him there at the $9.50 odds because he represented class and had been unbeaten on wet tracks in Perth. The athleticism and ease of his win is what stood out but now he stays at the same distance (not his best), and you have to take odds on from a wide barrier in a race that probably won’t be run at a tempo akin to last start.No doubt he is the one to beat under this weight scale (WFA) and he gets a surface to suit once again.

DESPATCH- As mentioned he looks like being the leader here at a moderate tempo and he should be able to control this race even more than he did in the Goodwood. Add to that fact he is 3/3 first up and he really does look a massive chance of taking this out. There was so much merit in the wins he had before the Goodwood, as he had to sit wide and still won in three consecutive race. The class was the only query that day, and he handled it with aplomb before going to Brisbane and being a very unlucky runner in the Stradbroke from the same barrier he jumps from in this. My only query is whether or not the form has really worked out from the Goodwood, and (he only beat Hard Empire by one and a half lengths and that horse has done little since. That is probably being picky though and he couldn’t really have found a more suitable race.

WAGING WAR- He has a good record here and has drawn a good barrier, but the distance looks too short against this calibre of horse. A more recent run leading in would also have been more advantageous.

HARD EMPIRE- He goes very well at this track and distance and can be considered in Trifectas and First 4’s but he has drawn out wide which makes his task ultimately more difficult. He doesn’t look quite up to it class wise but could run a bold race fresh if Despatch gives up the lead and he can get across from that wide barrier early.

BROWN BEN- He is clearly tested in this class at this distance against these. I do quite like him at around a mile but this looks a stretch.

BEAUTIFUL FLYER- She is a very in form and hard fit mare who was a tragedy beaten at M/Valley recently against lesser quality than she meets here. The weight scale isn’t in her favour but the wet track is, along with distance.  She is not hopeless in this looking at recent winners, and I definitely have her in my top four (just hard to see her winning). Twenty five starts at the track and distance for her so she basically knows every blade of glass underneath her.

FREEHEARTED- In winning form but she looks hopelessly outclassed against these.

KABINI- Even moreso her and she does seem to be making up the numbers from a wide barrier.

DALASAN- I’m a bit ashamed to admit I didn’t know anything about this three year ood until I watched his replays last night, but I’m fairly convinced he is top drawer material. He might not win this, but I’m expecting him to be very competitive on what he has done so far. All three runs have been pretty much the same, with the impressive part being his tenacity and ability to finish hard late. It doesn’t look as though the speed of the race will suit, but that hasn’t bothered him thus far in at least one of his races, and not being a big horse, he now has a weight that s should enable him to accelerate quickly in the straight. He hasn’t raced on soft ground yet but he is a son of an English horse and his Mother did win on rain affected tracks.



At the $7 on offer I’m happy to speculate on the three year old  Dalasan getting the job done here. If he wins this he really does look a future star, but it won’t be easy given the experience he is giving away to more experienced rivals. Despatch looks very hard to beat providing he gets clear galloping room from that inside barrier and it’s very hard to knock the winning chances of Scales Of Justice. I just don’t see any real value in backing the latter two horses.  Beautiful Flyer could surprise by filling a place, but I rather fancy her to round out the First Four which would be a career best.


Ipswich Quaddie 15/06

Not sure how much use this is going to be but I’ve tried to have a decent look at this Quaddie.

Race 6. There looks to be a massive amount of speed here and I thought it would suit something that can sit midfield or just behind the pace. I love the get back off the pace types first up that have won fresh so WINTER PASSAGE was an easy pick for me and she has been quite well backed. The draw makes things just that little bit easier hopefully. BOOMTOWN LASS led last start but it seems she doesn’t need to and it would be incredibly wise not to bother here. She has a good formline thorough Malahide who was runner up in a harder race last week. DESERT DIGBY might be the best roughie. Not much luck first up, has won here and is perfectly drawn. Add to that he too can sit just off the pace. GYPSY TOFF is 3/3 first up and resumes again today. I’ve left if out though fearing the amount of speed and the last 50m which might test. Obviously a few very good horses I have had to leave out here including the topweight which might have a class edge. She is another speed runner though drawn wide and I’ve had to go with those who can come off the pace. She could win though with a sensible ride that doesn’t take too much out of her early.

Race 7- Gee this is a nearly impossible Ipswich Cup to get your head around. Decided to go with BERGERAC as I did mention his fourth up record last week, and to watch out for him next time. Well I didn’t expect to see him in this week stepping up 550m in distance. He had very little luck in the straight last week and is very on paced which does suggest to me that he could run the trip out today. Blinkers come off but he will need a sensible ride from the apprentice. Just cannot afford to be posted from the wide barrier at any stage of this race. HIGH OPINION looks the obvious one on his form this preparation, and he comes out of a much harder race although well beaten last start. The 2400m was probably a bridge too far in that race. Outside of these two you could just about pick anything. FIRST CRUSH was placed in this last year and his trainer reckons he just doesn’t handle Eagle Farm for some reason. He did run very well at Doomben though in between two shockers at that track. He is an on pacer drawn well.  I have risked the favourite FIGHTING TEO only because of the shortish price really, and the fact High Opinion did beat him home comfortably a few starts back. He has the better draw though and comes into the race with winning form, unlike most of these. MORENDI could be the big improver. His run last start wasn’t that bad and the Winkers go on here. That happened over three years ago when he bolted in his Maiden at this track. Needs to improve but this isn’t that tough a race in reality.

Race 8- Another tough race but I was happy to go with VIOLATE as first pick given his runs are being spaced, and he wasn’t fully tested in the straight last start when he should have finished a lot closer. Most of his wins have been first up but I’m imagining the trainer has taken it very easy on him coming into this which would suit. MAN BOOKER has been heavily backed today and his Stradbroke run was okay off a wide run. He had the better of I’M A RIPPA there but again draws much worse than that horse today. No back up form for him but the Perth horses generally do handle it in their own state and the betting support does seem to mean that the stable us confident he will. One at a massive price with some hope is BEL BURGESS. He should peak third up (arguably won third up last prep), and he likes to draw well away from the rail (5/9 barriers 7-9!). If he gets the right sort of run he could surprise but leading on his own generally is his caper, and that probably won’t happen today. MR MARBELLOUZ with the Blinkers on looks a live chance if he sits off the speed and CHAPTER AND VERSE would probably win if he produced his effort first up this preparation. I do think there is enough speed to bring him into the race. The form around that first up win and some other runs just doesn’t seem to have stacked up but today will tell us more. GAULOIS is a bit hard to catch but the speed on up front probably suits him too. PETROLOGY (the Caulfield duffer!) looks some hope too from a good barrier but you just want to see him win before you back him. Today could be the day.

Race 9-  I Pretty much shut up shop after I saw the win of MANAYA last week given she has helped me out with a decent win at odds before. There has been an avalanche of money for her overnight and the Blinkers go on today which has been a winning recipe in the past. Hopefully they help her settle from the inside alley. The word from the jockey seems to be that she will get back but I can’t really understand that given she led in a race last July and beat all bar Princess Posh that day which is outstanding form. If she goes forward she probably sits off READY TO PROPHET which would be perfect. Her back up record is suspect at 0/2, both unplaced efforts, but the Blinkers on and the ease of her win last week give you enough encouragement. She is a half sister to former top liner HOT DANISH and is hopefully starting to realise her potential now.  It looks a two horse race with ORGANZA the obvious one to beat with probably stronger Sydney form coming in. They might not want to leave RTP alone up front though. Distance looks a query for her and I didn’t like her last week over 1200m because the race had so much speed. That might not be the case in this.

I actually don’t hold out too much hope of getting this with a big field first leg of three year olds, and a horrid Ipswich Cup thereafter. The Eye Liner doesn’t appear much easier either so you probably need to take multiple runners in the first three legs. Knowing I have a shortie in the last leg I’ve gambled on a bit of value in the other legs. I went this way- 7,11,12/2,3,6/1,3,14/4. At least it won’t cost me a fortune!

Stradbroke Day preview 2019

This looks a tough meeting highlighted by the great sprint race which is easily the hardest race of the day to get your head around.

Race 1- The way I see it four of the more favoured runners in this are a risk at the distance (Plague Stone, Hostwin Suprme, Ready To Prophet, Humma Mumma). Conversely SIGNORE FOX comes back in distance but to a trip that probably suits. Remarkably he is only 1/10 beyond 1300m but 3/6 between 1200m and 1300m. James McDonald is 2/2 aboard and both have been big margin wins. This horse looks the way to go given the favourite is very short in the market, and has to back up and win at a distance he hasn’t stretched to yet. An interesting stat with Hostwin Supreme who has only had two runs from seven career starts  with a Tongue Tie off. He has won them both.

Race 2- I was quite impressed with the last start win of CON TE PARTIRO although I’d only seen the vision today. She was very strong at the end of it and Gai Waterhouse just might have an affinity with Ex American horses. She had great success with another called Secret Savings many years ago. Maybe I’m only remembering the successes though? This mare will be up on the pace which means the likes the favoured Outback Barbie are going to be giving her a start. Not totally convinced she will run out a strong 1400m at Eagle Farm either which might give Con the edge. Look for an improvement from INVINCIBELLA at odds with the Blinkers going on first time. At her best she would go close. She did beat Osborne Bulls one day fair and square, not that she would get near him now. Prompt Response ran very well last start in harder class, but I can’t catch her, and just not sure why she was so far off the pace last start. There was good money for her too that day.

R3 Not sure I like this race but I’ll go with the Eagle Farm specialist ORDER AGAIN who has actually won his last four starts at this track at 1500m and beyond. The other two starts here at this distance were both runner up slots beaten 0.2L and 0.9L. I should back up on NICCANOVA because I thought he would have won last week from a better draw, Slightly awkward draw again here though and maybe his stablemate BERGERAC has the edge form a better draw after two good runs this time in. Third up he goes well but fourth up his stats are stellar. Something to keep in mind for next start! Mister Sea Wolf has drawn very wide but had with a better barrier and wet track he would be first pick. Deserves serious thought though if it does rain tomorrow.

R4 Hard to go past NOBLE BOY here at the weights given his upside and his 5/5 record at the distance. Drawn perfectly and one to anchor in Multis. Not too much value in his price I have to say. Victorem is twice the price and not too sure that should be the case. Handicapper ratings say he has a slight edge. Just maybe he would prefer more than the 1200m of this race at this stage of his preparation?

R5 Not a lot of pace in this race and that might give the up and comer KOLDING the edge given he can race near the lead. He is 3/3 this preparation since being Gelded, and the 1600m should be advantageous looking at his win last start. He ran one of the fastest 1500m times ever last start, although the track was basically on fire looking at some of the other race times on that day.

R6 Every man and his dog seems to be tipping PRINCE FAWAZ here at perceived value odds. I got on @ $15 after he was beaten at odds on at Newcastle two starts back so am hoping like hell he does win. The Blinkers then went on last start and he blitzed them at Randwick. He should relish the 1600m here, but it is still a class rise which has to be respected. ACCESSION really impressed the way he finished off last start and looms as the one to beat and we now have Chris Waller saying RELOADED was ridden too close last start and is rated right up there with last years winner The Autumn Sun at the same time. James Mcdonald has jumped off Accession to ride him. They will be the three horses I take in the first leg of the Quaddie.

R7 Derby-  The fillies have had it over the Males this Autumn and they may just have a mortgage on this Derby too. I couldn’t split them here so had to go with the one at the best price and that is ALIFEROUS who was very unlucky last week in the Oaks. She continues to hit the line hard and should be suited on the bigger track.  RE EDIT was stellar last week in the Brisbane Cup where they ran a lot quicker last 600m although the overall time was not that different and the Oaks runners had 2.5kg more, so I’m kind of dismissing the talk she definitely would have won the Oaks has she run in that instead. Nevertheless she can win this from the better draw of the three of them. Could GRAND BOUQUET be the knockout.?She ran home quite well in a good form race at the Gold Coast  behind the eventual Oaks winner and Baccarat Baby who has placed behind Military Zone since. She has won her 2 starts in weaker class since and her mother was an ATC Oaks winner so the 2400m looks suitable. How odd would it be for unheralded Matt McGilvray to ride an Oaks winner and a Derby winner in consecutive weeks? You can take upward of $50 to find out. Nobu has to be respected with a win over Re Edit but I don’t like the looks of his breeding which suggests 2000m might be as far as he wants. Mr Quickie looks a good hope but he got thrashed by a filly in the SA Derby? A drier track might assist though.

R8 Stradbroke- Very hard to pick the winner here and I’ve had just about enough of thinking about the race. I have The Bostonian in futures bets @ $15 but I could not back him at the current price despite his 5/5 here and the fact he is actually dropping in weight off two WFA wins. History suggests a backmarker should win this but that may not happen if we see a repeat of the bias from two weeks ago. The meeting prior to that looked like the old Eagle Farm though, and this race used to favour the younger horses ( or those dropping in weight from WFA races) down in the weights that could finish off hard from a wide barrier. Also if there is any on pace bias today you would think that by R8 most jockeys will be making haste to find the front which should assist the run on horses as it did in the last race two weeks ago here. That would suggest a horse like ENCRYPTION could cause a blowout here, but I stress he would probably have to be ridden ‘cold’. A look at a few of his replays suggest he can finish off very hard when allowed to get back in his races. He was ridden too close last start in the Kingsford Smith and wilted a bit late off a five week break. 3yo filly PRETTY IN PINK looks a good historical fit and she might be the one peaking at the right time. I just wish she had drawn out a bit because she will get back in the race and is going to need a lot of luck to get out from there . DESPATCH is an interesting runner. I should have done my homework properly before the Goodwood because he had won three races in a row off very wide runs in transit, albeit in weaker class.I can’t think of too many horses that have ever achieved that, and it is a sign of a very good horse normally. Could  he be the next Northerly/Better Loosen Up? Today might tell but again I don’t like the fact he has drawn barrier 1 given he has seen so much ‘clear air’ at his past four starts. Yes he could lead, but with a lot of other speed around him it is going to make it that much harder for him to win going to this distance for the first time. No surprise though if he overcomes all adversity to win, and ironically the barrier might enable him to run the 1400m, if he gets the breaks at the right time, and is the stalker, and not the stalked!

In the end I’ve had to settle on the Queenslander TYZONE. If he repeats his performance from last start I doubt anything can beat him with a 4.5kg weight drop. He has won 16 of 31 races which is phenomenal really, and the fact he ran the 1350m out strongly last start augurs well for him in this. I have to say I’ve been swayed by an article I read yesterday with his trainer saying the Blinkers have made a big difference this preparation, and he had always though he could win a race at 1600m. His record 15 days plus between runs is remarkable . He is only 2/10 with 0-14 days between runs which means he is 14/21 otherwise. The three weeks between runs today looks ideal. Tommy Berry can pretend he is on Chatauqua (well maybe not ridden quite that cold!) and ride him to hit the line hard late. He should have  beaten Trekking and Brave Song at Randwick two starts ago, and is pretty close to being the fittest horse in the race. Many other top rate chances and it seems that the get back and run home Widgee Turf is the latest market mover. Blinkers on first time for it today and what might that produce?

Race 9 Brisbane Cup- Can’t say I’m overly keen on this race but have settled on one at value who gets to her grand final today. OUR LIBRETTO needs to find her absolute best but she gets her chance on what I hope is a less biased track than she raced on last start. She had no hope there well back in the field and wide. Considering that she did a fair job and she has a half sister (Epingle) that won at this trip a couple of times. The 53kg today looks a luxury when you couple it with the barrier. I thought the class was a query here but if you go back to the Spring, she was only beaten 1.5L by Kenedna carrying the same weight and ran third in a WFA Group 2 race behind The Taj Mahal at this distance. That form is good enough to be competitive here. GREY LION is an interesting horse because he is 5/9 on right handed tracks and only 2/23 on left handed ones. Those two wins were in his first two career races in France. Just maybe the 56.5kg today finds him out, but he has been freshened up by his new trainer who might have found the key to him (2/3 since joining the stable). Sixties Groove looks the one they all have to beat dropping in weight off two very good WFA performances. I just have to risk him from the wide barrier given he is yet to win at 2400m. Promising though that he did win very easily in Melbourne off a 7 day backup last Winter. How can you also not include The Candy Man? He has won eight races in succession and came through the class rise with flying colours last time. This is another step up with a bit more weight,and having to come from a wide barrier. The distance should be no problems though given his half brother Phrases has won to 2600m. The chances don’t end there unfortunately.

Best of luck to all today, and hopefully I’ve managed to pinpoint a few things that punters might not have realised .

Goodwood Handicap 2019

The Goodwood is Race 7  at Morphettville on Saturday run over a distance of 1200m. It is a famous old Sprint race of the Australian Turf conceived in 1881.

It was made a set weights and penalties race in 2007 (previously a handicap) which attracted the high calibre likes of Takeover Target and Black Caviar, who duly won at very short odds. But apart from those two results, taking Handicap status away from the race hasn’t stopped the upset results coming.

So to say it has been a bit of a nightmare race for punters would be somewhat of an understatement. Below are the last 11 winners  (including age,  gender and weight carried) since the race became a set weights and penalties race in 2007.

2018 SANTA ANA LANE 5g 58.5kg

2017 VEGA MAGIC 4g 56.5kg

2016 BLACK HEART BART 5g 57kg

2015 FLAMBERGE 5g 58.5kg
2014 SMOKIN’ JOEY 6g 56kg
2013 PLATELET 4m 56.5kg
2012 BLACK CAVIAR 5m 57kg
2011 LONE ROCK 3f 52kg
2010 VELOCITEA 4m 54kg
2009 TAKEOVER TARGET 9g 58.5kg
2008 SHADOWAYS 5g 54kg
2007 LET GO THOMMO 6g 55.5kg


Recent History tells us:
– Six of the last eleven winners started $20 or better, and four of those have been $31 or better.
– 15 of the last 18 winners have been trained in Victoria.
– 13 of the last 16 had started at 1100m or 1200m last start.


– Wider barriers appear to be no real disadvantage with 7 of the last 16 winners drawing in the second half of the field. Four of those drew a double-digit barrier.
– A filly or mare has won four of the past eight editions, and five of the past 14. In the past 28 years, eight have won, representing a strike rate of over 30 per cent.
– Four year olds have the most prolific record winning 11 of the past 28 editions, but oddly

Only one four-year-old male horse has won since the year 2000 (Vega Magic last year), and only four have won since 1990. Eight of the last ten winners have been aged 5 or over, with five of them aged 5.


-Only 2 of last 12 winners have carried more weight than at their prior start- Black Caviar (+0.5kg) and Shaodoways (+2kg), the latter still only having to carry 54kg to victory.


-The last 7 winners have carried 56kg or more, and 9 of the last 12 winners have carried 55.5kg or more.


-7 of last 12 winners came out of a Group 1 race last start.



-Before Santa Ana Lane won last year the last horse to come out of the DC Mackay Stakes to win this was Super Elegant in 2004. The last horse to win that race before these two this was Boardwalk Angel in 1989.


-14 of last 19 winners won or placed at their prior start to winning this. 8 of 12 since the weight scale has changed.


– Only one horse has managed to win this first up in the new millennium (Vega Magic). -All the fillies and mares that have won this race since the new millennium have won or placed at their previous start. Flamberge came close to winning first up in 2015 coming off a 55 day break. He is/was a notable first up performer.


This does look one of the weakest editions of this race for some time (as was the TAB Classic for the Fillies and Mares two weeks ago), and handicapper ratings tend to suggest we should be looking at three horses only- BOOKER, SPRIGHT and COOL PASSION. They are all mares and the latter two come out of the TAB Classic which was run in considerably quicker time than the 3yo race called the Euclase won by VALOUR ROAD at the same distance that day. The former race was run much quicker earlier though (34.85 for first 600m compared to 36.22). Out of those two races the horse that probably beat the speed bias was COOL PASSION who led in the TAB Classic and was pressured by the three year old filly Thrillster who notably dropped right out of the race. Historically I think it’s hard to go past the favourite Spright but you could also make a reasonable case for Booker also.

This race looks to have a more similar look to the TAB Classic tempo wise with the likes of Cool Passion, Inn Keeper, Valour Road and Jamaican Rain, and possibly Casino Wizard likely to make sure it is truly run. Hard Empire and Gytrash might not be too far off them either. I won’t review the whole field but will just attempt to assess what look to be the better chances.

  1. BOOKER- The wide draw is probably no assistance to her but then again she has performed well from the outer barriers in big races before. First up isn’t a great historical precedent but that is how she races best. She is one of only two G1 winners in the race and a solid pace up front won’t harm her chances. 1200m is probably as far as she wants at this level and likely tempo, but if Spright doesn’t perform to her best she will be ready to take advantage. She has the “Winter Bride” formline which Spright also has, and I also mentioned that in regard to The Bostonian last week before the Doomben 10000. Add to that the “I Am Excited” formline (Beat Redzel at WFA recently) and you can see she represents class.

2. SPRIGHT- She only has to repeat her last start effort to win this in all probability and she has the same weight so is going to finish just as hard as she did last time off likely similar tempo .This is her best distance and she just might be a better horse on the counter clockwise tracks in Melbourne and Adelaide. She too has drawn very wide which in reality is probably giving us a better price. I can’t really see how that is going to impact her because she will drop out to last anyway. The only negative for me is can she perform to the same level again, after doing quite a bit of racing in recent times. And there is probably a slight negative there in regard to the break between runs. She is only 1-5/10 with this sort of respite. That’s probably being a little picky though as she nearly won a WFA race two starts ago off a 13 day break. She is the one they all have to beat ann anything over $3.50 is probably good value.

3. DESPATCH- Could entertain on his strike rate but yet to extend to 1200m and he has enough weight given the class of races he has won.

7. VALOUR ROAD- He is flying this preparation and is a live chance in the race but ideally you’e like to have seen him draw a bit better (does he get posted wide?),  and with less weight. He is still a 3yo and it’s difficult for that age group to give weight to older horses at this level and beat them. The positives are this isn’t a vintage Goodwood and there might be a change of tactics from last start. If her were mine I’d try to ride him midfield or worse and hope that the tempo is strong enough to allow him to slot in with some cover.

8. COOL PASSION- She must be a big hope here receiving 2kg from Spright from the TAB Classic run. She was so game there after having led the field up and she has drawn an inside barrier again. She has never really been a first up horse so second up here off a two week break is definitely a better scenario for her I feel. Just how much pressure up front she has to endure is probably going to be the difference between a win and a loss for her. She almost looks a lock to run a place that’s for sure.

9. MALIBU STYLE- I’m actually giving this horse a solid hope even though the distance and barrier don’t look great for him statistically after analysing his form. The thing is th he is the kind of horse that defies statistics and his finishing burst at 1200m last start, and his win from barrier 10 five starts back are evidence of that. He has been lumbering big weights in decent form races for quite some time now, and hasn’t carried less than 56.5kg in his past eleven starts. I have no doubt he is going as well as he ever has, and he does meet I Am Someone 4kg better for what I consider an unlucky defeat in the Wangoom at Warnambool last start. The question is can he win at G1 level? You’d say no 9 times out of 10 but this isn’t the strongest G1 ever and he does look weighted to run a career best.

10. ICONOCLASM- It’s very hard to knock a horse with 8 wins from 16 career starts and it was a mighty win first up at Caulfield for his new stable recently. He was there to be run down for sure but was the performance flattered a little by the fact he beat two mares that really don’t see out 1200m? The time that day was also slower than what the 3yo’s posted at the same distance. Just not sure 1200m is his best distance either but on the other hand his strength at 1400m might enable him to endure the wide run he is likely to get from an awkward draw here. That’s all well and good but you also have to be able to accelerate quickly against this quality of opposition. A light weight is in his favour so I think if he is ridden aggressively it would give him his best chance of a win. I think he has to gain a few lengths break on the likes of Spright before turning for home. Not too many have won this at the age of 4 in recent times but he does have a similar strike rate to the horse that did it (Vega Magic), most recently.

11. I AM SOMEONE- His trainer is a bit of a miracle worker and he comes into this off  a win. He just seems poorly weighted to me though and needs to go to a new level here. His best form is probably on wetter tracks than this but at least he will get a similar tempo to what he had last start. The barrier is okay for him.

12. INN KEEPER- He is a very decent horse but like I Am Someone he just looks to be poorly weighted in this race. And he won’t get a soft lead which he would probably need to be a winning hope.

14. JAMICAN RAIN- She is a good first up mare but her wet track form is an even better statistic and it probably won’t be wet enough here. Add the wide barrier and the likely tempo up front and there isn’t enough to like.

15. GYTRASH- He is a very decent 3yo who could turn the tables on Valour Road from last start with a 2.5kg weight pull. He should get a more suitable pace here but only if he runs out a strong 1200m which still hasn’t been proved yet, and this might not be the level of race to find out. With his racing pattern a wide barrier in this race is going to make things tough for him. Interesting that his sire Lope De Vega has sired the last two winners of this race. At least his half sister Kiss Chasey has won to 1300m, and his Mother had relatives who won beyond that trip.

16. BEHEMOTH- Another handy 3yo who just had no hope the way the Euclase Stakes was run when he was wide and just too far back. I just would have liked to see him do a little bit more over the last 200m and his credentials to win at this level right now are definitely in question. He has drawn the inside barrier this time though and has won his only start from barrier 1. The distance is no problem for him.


The mares might have this in their grasp but just which one is the question? I think you have to believe your eyes and go with Spright off her win last start, with history suggesting she is the one. Booker looks the better value of the two though and she might just run the Quinella. Hard to ignore Cool Passion though who is going to look the winner in the straight. My best roughie is Malibu Style and I’m keen to back him at the odds avaiable especially after that win by The Bostonian last week. That proves just about anything can happen in these big races. Interested to see whether Gytrash can make it three straight Goodwood’s for his sire Lope De Vega too.

  2. Booker
  3. Cool Passion
  4. Malibu Style





The Hollindale Stakes is Race 8 at the Gold Coast on Saturday. It signals the start of the Winter Carnival in Queensland, even though it is still autumn.

Originally known as the Southport Cup, it has adopted the name of the former Gold Coast Turf Club chairman Alan Hollindale since 1992. He stood as chairman for more than 20 years and was the creator of the now famous Magic Millions.

The race is a Group 2 event run over 1800 metres, and under weight-for-age conditions. There are some famous names on the honour roll, including dual winners Rough Habit and Shogun Lodge. But maybe the most famous of all was Caulfield and Melbourne Cup winner Might And Power who took out this event in 1998.

Below are the last 14 winners of the race with relevant statistics, including age, gender, barrier draw and starting price.


2018 Oregon’s Day 4m (7) $6

2017 It’s Somewhat 6g (3) $2.30

2016 Leebaz 6g (6) $31

2015: Leebaz – 5g (4) $8

2014: Streama – 5m (4) $4.25
2013: Lights of Heaven – 5m (9) $3.25
2012: Shez Sinsational – 4m (13) $5
2011: My Kingdom of Fife – 6g (7) $3.25
2010: Metal Bender – 4g (6) $5.50
2009: Fulmonti – 6g (2) $21
2008: Scenic Shot – 5g (4)$3.25
2007: Coalesce – 6g (10) $13
2006: Above Deck – 4g (10) $5.50
2005: Platinum Scissors – 5g (10) $10
2004 This Manhood – 6g (3) $6.50
2003 Bush Padre – 5g (2) $4.75

A) 11/16 aged five or six.
B) 15/16 finished in first five placings last start.
C) 9/16 had 14 days between runs
D) 10/16 had at least placed at weight-for-age level beyond the age of three Five won to Group 3 level above the age of three.
E) 7/16 ran in a 2000-metre race last start.
F) 12/16 had last run interstate or in New Zealand. Seven via Sydney.
G) 13/16 were in first five early stages of race.
H) 11/16 started $6.50 or less

I) 15/16 drew barriers one through ten. The only horse to win from outside barrier ten did so on a heavy track.


I’m not going to go into great detail with this race and have done very little form analysis. Enough to say though that this is a gun race for an on pacer that ran well last start. For that reason I quite like MISS SISKA who should jump from barrier 10 after scratchings. She seems good value at around $10. She has only been with the Grahame Begg stable this preparation and might also be about to go to a new level.

That said KENEDNA is going to be very hard to beat the way she is savaging the line, if the breaks go her way. Barrier 2 and her get back style have me wary though at the price. MISS SISKA was not far behind her last start and should be better suited on a track that favours on pacers. The only thing I don’t want to see for her is a Heavy track which hopefully won’t eventuate. Others that can be up near the pace might be LUVALUVA and PLEIN CIEL who both look to have a hope. Not sure there is any value in the latter though. CONSENSUS another who will be right on pace but it’s hard to forgive her beaten margin last start. Just a word of caution that if the track does become very wet then the on pace statistics shown here might become worthless.





This race is a Group 1 fillies and mares race at weight-for-age level to be run at Morphettville racecourse in Adelaide on Saturday. Since its inception in 1983 it has changed names on numerous occasions.

Once again we have a race with an honour roll that impresses, the most notable of which are Black Caviar and Alinghi.

High quality mares with a high strike rate and/or consistent career record often win. Alinghi, Platelet, Universal Queen, Ellicorsam  Our Egyptian Reine and Miracles Of Life are ample proof of that being the case.

Below are the last 14 winners of the event with age, gender (filly or mare) and barrier draw in brackets.


2018 SHOALS 3f (15)

2017 SECRET AGENDA 4m (16)

2016 PRECIOUS GEM 6m (6)

2015 MIRACLES OF LIFE 4m (6)

2014 DRIEFONTEIN 4m (10)
2013 PLATELET 4m (11)
2012 BLACK CAVIAR 5m (3)
2011 RESPONSE 4m (9)
2010 ROSTOVA 3f (14)
2009 BEL MER 4m (13)
2008 JUSTE MOMENTE 4m (13)
2007 UNIVERSAL QUEEN 3f (10)
2006 ELLICORSAM 5m (6)
2005 ALINGHI 3f (9)
2004 FRENCH BID 3f (11)


The most relevant historical statistics are weighted, and collated in the table below.

12/16 drew barrier 9 or wider. 15/16 drew 6 or wider. Only Black Caviar has won inside barrier 6 and that was in a 10 horse (only) field.
B) 13/16 were aged either 3 or 4. Seven of last Eleven winners have been four years old.
C) 11/16 Finished in first or second place last start. At least 12/16 placed last start and 6 of the last 7 winners had won their last start ,which includes Precious Gem who managed to win this @ $20+. In fact of all those winners only Black Caviar started a very short price. The others were $12, $15, $21, $6.50 and $9. You could do worse than back a last start winner at a close to or double figure price.
D) 16/16 ran in a Group or Listed race last start.
8/16 ran in a Group 1 race.
E) 12/16 raced between 1000m and 1200m at their last start.
F) 11/16 raced against all sexes at previous start.
G) 13/16 raced on a left handed (anti-clockwise) track last start. BUT the last two winners (Shoals, Secret Agenda) have come off a win at Randwick, One at G1 level and the other at G2. 4 years ago Miracles Of Life came of a win at Randwick and a third at Rosehill (G1 level)

H) 7/16 either led or were in second place in the early stages of this race.
I) 9/16 started $8 or less.



This 2019 edition looks to be a little inferior class wise to those of recent years. Just not sure what the track condition will be but at time of writing the surface was still rated good. If you went on what the forecast says we can expect it to stay that way or maybe deteriorate to a Soft 5. However there is some rain around so I think we need to be wary and at least factor in some wet track analysis. There does seem to be enough speed in the race to suggest it will be truly run, which should give every runner a fair winning chance. Jamaican Rain, Cool Passion and Lady Cosmology could all lead the race with the likes of Bella Martini (Blinkers on first time) and Mamzelle Tess likely to push forward.


  1. SPRIGHT- She is the class horse of the race and would be giving them all a kilo or two if the race was a handicap, rather than a set weights race. She is one horse that needs it almost bone dry. She ran her usual honest race last start at Randwick which is a track she just doesn’t seem to excel at (1/11), although some might argue she was disappointing as favourite. The race just didn’t pan out for her though being on pace dominated and she seems to enjoy racing away from her home state. My concern though she started her campaign in Melbounre, went to Sydney,Then back to Melbourne , then back to Sydney, and now she is off to Adelaide. That’s a lot of travelling and her get back racing pattern is always a bit against her winning. Nevertheless this probably presents as being her best chance to win a Group 1 race and she may even go to Brisbane if she performs up to expectations. Having a prior start in Sydney has come up trumps in this race in recent years and her effort was certainly good enough to suggest she can win this.
  2. COOL PASSION- The former Perth mare also comes into this off a respectable run in Sydney last start and it was at G1 level. She beat home Brutal and Pierata that day which is some recommendation for this now given they have both won G1 races in recent weeks. She beat home stablemate Sunlight in a recent trial for his so looks primed for this. Her fourth up record reads 3/4 so there is no reason to suspect she can’t perform to a high level here from a good barrier draw. 1200m is perfect for her and she looks the one they all have to beat


  1. PRINCESS OF QUEENS- This mare went to a new level last preparation beaten only 2 lengths in a G2 WFA race before finishing off that campaign with a win. Barrier 2 looks perfect for her and she has already won two races here. Her first up record looks a little suspect but she led fresh last campaign which probably didn’t suit her and the preparation before that she was unlucky when resuming after being held up in the straight. I think we have to suspect she will perform to the level she did earlier this year, and she has had only two and a half months respite. Jamie Kah looks a key booking as she has ridden so many winner at this track and she did mention in a recent article that her manager sought out this ride some time ago. That suggests she has been prepared well to win this. At $26 she looks massive overs to me though I don’t want to see a Slow 6 or worse surface for her. Her best form clearly looks to be on drier tracks.


  1. ELLICAZOOM- She is a very hard mare to follow and similar to Spright she has some frequent flyer miles up this preparation. Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney and now Adelaide this prep. Two of her three wins have been first up and she needs a dry surface to show her best. It’s probably wise to forgive her last run which was not a race run to suit at Randwick. Her prior run at WFA was a career best. Interestingly her mother won this race in 2006 from the same barrier she has drawn. That’s about the best fact I can find for her in regard to winning this. She could do it on her best form but it doesn’t look likely statistically. Back to a left handed track might be the key to her?


  1. I’LL HAVE A BIT- If she could reproduce the form she had last year at this carnival she would probably win this race but she just isn’t the same horse since she went to Perth for the Summer carnival. What could turn her form around is a wet track as that is what she experienced here last year when she won a vital leadup to the Goodwood handicap and then was very unlucky not to run at least second in that race. The only two wins in her career have been at this track and distance also remembering she was also unlucky in her only other try here at a higher level than this. If the track does become rain affected she is a realistic chance at odds that will almost certainly be overs. Very hard to recommend her on a dry track though on what she has been doing of late.


  1. JAMAICAN RAIN- Top class mare who probably needs a wet surface to win this especially at this distance which is probably 200m short of her best. All her wins have been with more than two weeks between runs so the month or so break between her last start is a positive, as is the fact it was in Sydney (historically speaking). Certainly comes into the reckoning on a wet track but on a dry surface she might be outsprinted. A clear lead would be her best hope given that scenario but that probably won’t happen with other opposition up front.


  1. DIVINE QUALITY- She produced a career high to win first up in the Spring down the straight at Flemington but we haven’t really seen her reproduce that in two runs since. Having said that they were both at G1 level and she was only beaten 2.5L or so in one of those so perhaps I’m being harsh. This is her first start against her own sex since that devastating win where she left the subsequent Oakleigh plate winner for dead. The third horse that day was I Am Serious who ran down Redzel to win at WFA in Brisbane last week. No doubt she has the ability to win at this level , and a wide barrier like she had at Flemington isn’t going to hurt. She will be last into the straight and it just might suit her to come wide and try to do what she did at Flemington. That’s the query really- Can she reproduce that effort? If so she can win for sure ,and she is also another mare who has won all her races with more than two weeks between runs so looks suited on that score. And she is a specialist first up horse which is basically the case here.


  1. BELLA MARTINI- She is a mare that’s been very unlucky with barrier draws the past twelve months, but she has an ideal marble for this race. She too comes out of a failure in a Group 1 race in Sydney, and it was on an unsuitable surface for her. Blinkers go on first time which is encouraging also. I’m just not sure her best form is actually good enough to beat these so she needs to find a couple of lengths to be competitive. The Blinkers could provide that and it’s probably fair to say her best win is on a Soft 5 track, so some rain would be ideal. She is basically first up into this which isn’t her best statistic.


  1. MAMZELLE TESS- A last start winner which should stand her in good stead, but she is not well weighted in this race against higher quality mares. In a handicap race she would meet Spright 7kg better but they race at level weights here. Only one win from twelve starts at 1200m isn’t overly encouraging although she did win at 1100m last start and has won to 1400m. Her barrier draw looks awkward for her as she will probably settle midfield here. Not one of the better hopes in my opinion.


  1. EVERYDAY LADY- Capable Adelaide mare but she also looks outgraded in this race. A wide barrier also hinders her chances. What she does have though is a race under her belt two weeks ago which gives her a fitness edge on most of the runners in this race. Hard to see her winning but her trainer is capable and her jockey is a bit of a longshot king. She did shock a win at big odds here two starts back which was on a Soft 5 surface. Another one like that might bring out the best in her.


  1. GREY SHADOW- Surely she doesn’t run after failing at Warnambool on Wednesday? 1200m isn’t her best statistic either.


  1. MICA LIL- At her best she could win this as she did run third in a slightly stronger version of this race last year. We haven’t seen the best of her since. Her first up run was acceptable this preparation but the second up performance (not her best stat) was poor. She has won third up and a middle barrier looks statistically suitable for her. She needs to find her best form and maybe get a Soft 5 track to perform to her best but I don’t think she is a 100-1 shot either. Her best would be good enough to be very competitive as she showed last year.


  1. ANJANA- This three year old filly adds significant interest to the race. She is 3/3 on wet tracks and is 5/6 in the Autumn and Winter months. The only defeat was a narrow one here last start when dropping back 100m in distance. The negative are all her wins are when better drawn (0-0/4 wider than barrier 6) and she hasn’t won past third up thus far in her career. All her wins have also been in small fields. It’s worth noting four of her defeats are at 1400m and beyond though so it would pay not to underestimate her. Take those runs away and she only has one defeat below that distance. I think she probably has the ability to win on her formlines last Spring. We have seen the gun 3yo filly Mystic Journey beat the older horses this Autumn, and Brutal the 3 year old colt win the Doncaster. She carries that formline.


  1. THRILLSTER……As does this mare who comes out of similar races last Spring where she had the better of Anjana twice giving her 2kg on both occasions. She draws wide in this but is well and truly used to that. Importantly she is versatile in regard to field position and is 2/2 second up. She should have won first up after enduring a wide run only to be run down (as a sitting shot) late by a surprisingly fleet footed Graceful Storm who had 4kg less. It took a sensational performance to beat her last time and she has shown a fighting spirit quite a few times in the past. Stephen Baster rides her for the first time. At first glance a wide barrier doesn’t look ideal but the jockey has options, and this filly is due some luck. She looks the best weighted of the three year old fillies in this and is going to be very hard to beat with any luck in the race. She has no runs on wet tracks to date but her mother did win her Maiden on a Heavy track, and her sire Show A Heart is a son of a very good wet track mare.


15 LADY COSMOLOGY- Is the hardest horse to line up having raced  exclusively in Perth. But she has been a little disappointing this preparation and has drawn wide here. Surely she goes forward and adds some pace to the race but it’s not a factor that looks like really helping her chances. She has been very honest (2-5-2/10) thus far so it’s hard to knock her, but you’d just like to see her with a few more wins on the board stepping up to this class. Hard to know what her best distance is at this stage.


A lot might depend on the Weather, but regardless of track condition I’m putting the 3yo filly THRILLSTER on top in what looks another very hard race. Her barrier is  a bit of a query but given the recent winning barriers in this race It’s hard to say she isn’t going to overcome that factor. I’m thinking the price is about right but definitely don’t want to take under $5. Perhaps the value runners on a dry track are DIVINE QUALITY and PRINCESS OF QUEENS with ANJANA not too far behind and definitely promoted on a wet surface. COOL PASSION looks the one they might have to try and run down the last 100m and I’ve already had a speculator on Mica Lil at 100-1.


  1. THRILLSTER (thinking she can win dry or wet)
  2. PRINCESS OF QUEENS (only on dry)
  3. COOL PASSION (okay on any conditions)
  4. ANJANA (promote wet)


DIVINE QUALITY is dangerous but I suspect she either wins or misses the placings.

Leaving some really good quality mares (particularly Spright) out of my First 4, which is probably fatal as you can make a decent argument for any of them to win the race.





Flemington Anzac Day racing

Just looking to some value hopes on a day where it does kind of look to difficult to beat some of the shorter priced ones. Saturday also looks similar. Just need a bit of luck to get one or two of these home, but a couple will be on pace which often turns out to be advantageous.

R1. I’ve already backed the Williams horse BASS here at $2.80 when he was a lot shorter in some markets. He was scratched on Monday to run here and will probably win this if he repeats his outstanding debut run here. No other horse made ground that day and he was gobbling up the leader in the straight but the post came too soon. He has a win over Steel Prince in Europe and that horse is flying her with three straight wins of late. There is no value in backing him now and in reality he is probably a $3 minimum bet. Haing had a closer look at the race VALAC looks the value play. The distance is as far as he wants but he did run second to Steel Prince conceding that horse a lot of weight in one go at 2400m. He has carried 58kg and 57kg in his to 2400m runs and gets in here with 51kg after the claim, a 3kg pull on Bass. You’d say this horse on balance is a 2kg inferior animal to Steel Prince and Bass is a 1kg superior to that horse on their only meeting. Valac is a fitter horse and should get some cover from his barrier to see out the trip. The apprentice is 2-1-/3 aboard. No doubt Bass is the classier horse but Valac is twice the price and a fitter conveyance. Very hard to see the topweight conceding 7kg and 10kg to these two horses and he also meets Sin To Win 8.5kg worse off for beating it home 2.05L at Mornington. STW might be third best here, with no worries at the trip for him.

R5 The two hotpots look the ones they all have to beat here but I’d suggest MR EXCLUSIVE is the value horse in the race. On balance you’d say his Spring form was superior to that of Zoutori and he gets 1kg off that horse today. And he is going to be in front of both he and Big Night Out in the run. He comes off a first up win on the pace and this looks to be his pet distance. I thought he was the best roughie in the Caulfield Guineas after an eyecatcher in the Prelude but he might have peaked one run early. Barrier 1 should be an asset for him and the $10 looks enticing.

R6 I’m keen to take on the two favourites here and have opted to put BUDD FOX on top. He missed the main lead up run to this so had to go to Pakenham to at least maintain his fitness levels. He beat Transact fair and square the start prior after having a much tougher run the last 800m. He is very one paced which suggests the 2800m of this race is going to be right up his alley. At better than double figures he looks the best value chance and I like the fact he is one of the few not to have had a gut buster leading in. I also backed JENSTAR a couple of days ago @ $18 off her last run which was outstanding. She didn’t see the rail in the race too close on a fast pace but was battling it out with Transact late. He got the better of her but she didn’t give up over the last bit and maintained her position. Definitely a hope as is the Godolphin filly Rock Dove who chased a fast pace in the Adrian Knox. The winner of that was a well beaten third in the Oaks to the oustanding Verry Eleegant, still not bad form.  Admittedly Transact should get all favours here up on the pace and Gai Waterhouse has a good record in this race. He has to go in the Quaddie too. I’m risking SOC who hasn’t really found the line at his past two starts, albeit he looks well in at level weights.

R7 The Tassie horse ZATACLA will do me here at the odds. On his form down there recently he isn’t an inferior horse to Second Bullet and this is his type of distance range. he wasn’t far away from the Hobart and Launceston cup winner Eastender at WFA and franked that effort under the same weight scale being only a length from Hellova Street at a mile. He comes off an easy last start win and gets 3kg off SB and the logical pick Mantastic today. He should be ahead of both turning for home. 5 of his 8 wins have come in the Autumn and he strung four wins together March/April last year.

R8 Very hard to go past TEMPLE OF BEL here despite here drawing another awkward barrier. That’s 16/16, 14/15, 12/12,9/9 and 7/9 her past five runs. Today she draws 10/11. But seriously though she is better than these (2.5L away at G1 level!) and should have 3-4kg more on her best form. She could race wide and still win quite comfortably though I’d obviously prefer to see her get some cover. Perhaps the value in the race is the Adelaide visitor FLOP who hasn’t drawn a barrier in her past three starts either, but gets the inside marble here. She was well beaten by a decent horse last time (Handsome Return) who ran a bottler behind Sir Pippin last Saturday at Caulfield. She is honest and is one of the few to get weight off the favourite. I remember her mother Jaalippy quite well. She was decent as a younger filly and chalked up a win over Velocitea who eventually went on to win a Goodwood.  She is one to put in the Quaddie if you want one at odds.

I don’t like a couple of the other races but hope to at least land the Quaddie today.