Back to Eagle Farm on Saturday, where not even the trainers and jockeys have any idea how the new surface might play after 85mm of rain early in the week. On the first day of the new track two weeks ago, the inside cut up badly and there is no reason to think it will be any different this Saturday. A lot of jockeys said their mounts just didn't handle what turned out to be a sticky surface two weeks ago. All of which means, with the rail out six metres and relatively fine weather predicted, no one knows exactly what to expect. In other words, caution until we see what is happening.
QUADDIES (Races: 7-8-9-10)
WIDE QUADDIE 1,2,3,9,11/1,4,15/1,2,11/1,2,3,4,9
SKINNY QUADDIE 1,3,11/1,4/1,2/1,9
R1 11.00am 2YO Fillies Plate 1200m
REWARD FOR RICHES has been impressive winning at the provincial tracks in both her starts. This isn't much harder and she did beat a good field last time. She has drawn barrier 14, which normally would be a disadvantage but it may not be on Saturday.
GRACEFULLY CHIC is a city winner and her first up run was a lot better than it looks on paper. She has a good draw and should race on the pace.
RARE OCCURRENCE looked like being a top horse early in the season but she has had a few problems. Her last start was handy and at her best she would nearly win this.
TREASURE GALLERY probably wants further but she is big odds and might be an each way chance from her reasonable barrier.
SNOW FIELDS will be huge odds but, if she can reproduce some of her jump out form here, she would be a hope from barrier three with champion jockey Zac Purton. She looks the value runner here.
SELECTIONS: NO4 REWARD FOR RICHES, NO1 GRACEFULLY CHIC, NO2 RARE OCCURRENCE, NO9 TREASURE GALLERY.
VALUE RUNNER: NO13 SNOW FIELDS.
R2 11.32am Class 6 Plate 1400m
PUNTA NORTE should be in the Bookmakers' Hall of Fame, as he can be very hard to catch. But he does look placed here at 1400m with plenty of pace to ensure he doesn't pull.
GAMBLESTOWN has been racing fairly well in Sydney without much luck. He has Zac Purton to ride and that is a bonus against this lot.
DECONSTRUCTED was once tipped as a possible Stradbroke Hcp horse but his form has dropped right away. If he can regain anywhere near his best, he could figure. He is reportedly working well, so here is hoping.
GOTYACOVERED needs the sting out of the track but he has won in similar company to this and has a 3kgs claim.
FLAMBOYER is another who likes wet tracks but he is drawn to lead here and looms as the value bet.
SELECTIONS: NO5 PUNTA NORTE, NO7 GAMBLESTOWN, NO6 DECONSTRUCTED , NO4 GOTYACOVERED
VALUE RUNNER: NO3 FLAMBOYER.
R3 12.07pm Listed Spear Chief Stakes 1500m
BECKHAM looks like he will lead here and he was very good last start at a shorter trip. He isn't the most honest of horses but, if left alone in front, he can be hard to run down.
HOPFGARTEN is the class runner but has a very big weight here. It is the only thing which might stop him but he is racing very well.
AMOVATIO is also very honest and has a big weight. But, if there is a genuine pace, he will be the one rattling home.
BEWHATYOUWANNABE did not go one metre on the new track at Eagle Farm last start. But on his previous form, he would be very hard to beat here at the weights. He looks the value runner at the weights and with a run under his belt.
SELECTIONS: NO6 BECKHAM, NO1 HOPFGARTEN, NO2 AMOVATIO, NO4 BEWHATYOUWANNABE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO4 BEWHATYOUWANNABE.
R4 12.42pm Listed Open Handicap 1830m
PAJARO has been racing well but has paid the price with the handicapper. But this is not a strong field and he deserves to be one of the top picks.
TELEPATHIC is a class mare but wasn't outstanding first up. Gets in here well at the weights and deserves one more chance at this longer distance.
FELTRE needs a soft but not heavy track. Has had a recent change of stables and been fair without doing anything exciting. Forget his last start failure and give him one more chance this trip, which should suit.
DIAMANTINE has some strong kiwi form for a race like this. He is now with Brian Smith who seems to get the best out of ex-kiwi horses.
MY QUILTER is probably best at 1600m. But he might lead here and he does like soft tracks. The value bet.
SELECTIONS: NO1 PAJARO, NO10 TELEPATHIC, NO4 FELTRE, NO3 DIAMANTINE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO7 MY QUILTER.
R5 1.20pm Three-Years-Old Handicap 1200m
MADOTTI is a very good filly but has had a series of bad luck and injury during her career. She does go well fresh but is not at home on really wet tracks. Provided the conditions are right, she will be storming home from her good barrier.
WICKED INTENT will be boosted by the 3kgs claim for in-form apprentice Josh Oliver. He is also very well drawn and should lead or sit on the leader.
HARDLINE has had series of wind operations but did win the Karaka Million last year. At his best would win this but has a few things going against him. But too good to leave out after a first up third in a stakes race.
TAILLEVENT has been a consistent performer of late but doesn't win too many. He gets his chance here.
TARZAN has a stack of ability but a few head problems. The day the penny drops, he will win a race like this.
SELECTIONS: NO4 MADOTTI, NO1 WICKED INTENT, NO2 HARDLINE, NO9 TAILLEVENT.
VALUE RUNNER: NO10 TARZAN.
R6 1.57pm Group 3 – Tattersall’s Cup 2200m
BENZINI goes up sharply in the weights for winning the Brisbane Cup but should account for this lot. He is a very honest stayer.
TUCANCHOO has won his past three staying races in Sydney and Melbourne in restricted company. He gets in here on the minimum and this looks a perfect race for him.
MALICE has been running on in shorter races and this distance might suit. He has the in-form Damian Browne and looks a definite hope.
GESEMI is from a top kiwi stable noted for their stayers. On form would probably want some luck but this is not strong.
SELECTIONS: NO2 BENZINI, NO7 TUCANCHOO, NO4 MALICE, NO6 GESEMI.
VALUE RUNNER: NO6 GESEMI.
R7 2.37pm Wintergarden Stakes 1400m
CELLARMAN has a bit of wrap on him from Sydney and while he is a maiden he is suited at the set weights. The 1400m on a big track will be perfect.
CHARNLEY RIVER was Group One placed at his last start and it was a very good effort. He is still immature but getting better with racing, so hard to beat here.
IRISH SEA was a good NSW provincial winner before handy effort at last start at Eagle Farm. She looks as though 1400m will suit her very well.
SUGARPARMA is another who looks as though 1400m will suit. She has had plenty of chances but always tries.
ENDLESS DAYS will be big odds but he beat older horses last start when able to settle and run home. He is good on soft tracks and the 1400m will suit him. The best value chance.
SELECTIONS: NO3 CELLARMAN, NO1 CHARNLEY RIVER, NO11 IRISH SEA, NO9 SUGARPARMA.
VALUE RUNNER: NO2 ENDLESS DAYS.
R8 3.17pm Group One Tatts Tiara 1400m
AZKADELLIA was terrible when beaten as favourite in the Stradbroke Hcp last start. But she is much better than that and is drawn away from the rails, which is ideal for her racing style. She has to be given one more chance here.
CRADLE ME is extremely honest and will give 100 percent. This is probably her last start and a Group One win would be fitting.
BLUEBERRY HILL has always shown a lot of ability and she looks the best of the three year olds. She got home hard to win last start after the blinkers were taken off her. She has had a lot of problems but seems to be over them now.
DANISH TWIST has been very consistent in Sydney and this looks the ideal race for her. Again, it isn't the strongest Tatts Tiara on record and she is well suited to this distance.
MISS COVER GIRL looked likely to win at the 200m last start but ran out of puff. It was three weeks between runs and she will be a lot fitter here. Probably her best chance would be to race up on the pace and try to kick on the home turn.
SELECTIONS: NO1 AZKADELLIA, NO4 CRADLE ME, NO15 BLUEBERRY HILL, NO2 DANISH TWIST.
VALUE RUNNER: NO5 MISS COVER GIRL.
R9 3.57pm Group 3 – Healy Stakes 1200m
INTO THE RED has had a lot of injury problems but has a heap of ability. Forget his failure in the Lightning last start and go on his previous win.
MOGADOR has been handy lately without having back me next time written all over him. But this is weak for a Group race and gets a chance here.
THAT’S A GOOD IDEA has a big weight but is the quality horse here. From the good barrier, you would expect her to be in the finish.
SALUTER has had a lot of feet problems in recent weeks and has been scratched a few times. But on his day, he could win this.
ODYSSEY MOON has good enough Victorian form to be in the finish here but will need some luck from the outside barrier.
SELECTIONS: NO2 INTO THE RED, NO11 MOGADOR, NO1 THAT’S A GOOD IDEA, NO3 SALUTER.
VALUE RUNNER: NO8 ODYSSEY MOON.
R10 4.32pm Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes 1400m
TSARITSA won the Queensland Guineas and was one of the favourites for the Group One Tatts Tiara before it was decided to stick to her own age group. She is all class and has drawn the inside barrier, which might not be an advantage by race 10.
SOLD FOR SONG was third in the Guineas but turned in a huge run. She meets Tsaritsa better at the weights and the 1400m will suit her. The question is how the track will be playing because she will be giving away a start.
PERFECT DARE is a promising horse who needs a dry track. But he was good last start and hasn't had a lot of luck in stakes’ races to date.
SHOTACROSS THE BOW was tried as a stayer but the experiment failed. He has been freshened up, which will suit him, and he can finish very fast when the pace is right on in races.
SELECTIONS: NO1 TSARITSA, NO9 SOLD FOR SONG, NO3 PERFECT DARE, NO4 SHOTACROSS THE BOW.
VALUE RUNNER: NO4 SHOTACROSS THE BOW.