Round four of the Eagle Farm comeback and let us hope the track plays a little more truly. It has been a nightmare for punters on occasions as often horses drawn on the inside barriers are the ones disadvantaged. To make things really tricky the rail is back in the true position on Saturday so again let us hope some jockeys actually go to the rails. It hasn't been tested at all since the first day of the new track opening when jockeys declared it a no go zone. But rain is predicted, so all that could go out the window. In other words, you should step warily until the race pattern is tested. Not even the jockeys have a clue how it will play - and we have asked plenty.
QUADDIES (Races: 5-6-7-8)
WIDE QUADDIE 1-5-10-14-16/2-4-6-11/5-7-12-15/4-5-6-15
SKINNY QUADDIE 1-5-10-14-16/4-11/7,15/5,8
R1 12.17pm Two-Years-Old handicap 1200m
The Sydney two-year-olds are usually stronger than Brisbane's youngsters so GUARD OF HONOUR looks the one to beat here. He has a top jockey in Damian Browne and a good barrier in number five. He won two trials before his last start Warwick Farm victory so this suits.
HAPPY EVENT has had a lot of racing but continues to do well. She was too strong last start but even with the 3kgs claim she goes up in weight.
DOWNLOADING is Buffering's younger three quarter brother and shows promise. He was unlucky when beaten last time and he should get cover from his barrier.
RARE OCCURENCE is starting to get back to her best form and she was good last start. But again has drawn badly and will need a bit of luck.
TRAMPERS was a good winner at the Gold Coast last start. She is down on the minimum and drawn well so rates a value chance. Also TAY SWIFT was very green at her only start and should have won. She has blinkers on Saturday but we couldn't find a spot for her in top tips.
SELECTIONS: NO 2 GUARD OF HONOUR, NO1 HAPPY EVENT, NO4 DOWNLOADING, NO6 RARE OCCURRENCE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO14 TRAMPERS.
R2 12.52pm Class 3 Plate 1800m
ARTIBAI is struggling to win a race but gets his chance here. At his last start he wasn't far behind Amexed who has gone on to win a stakes race. On the old Eagle Farm track it was vital to be drawn inside barrier six so it will be interesting to see how it now plays out. This start is virtually on a bend and horses can get caught deep the whole way.
DON'T TELL MAMA is in a purple patch of form but faces the toughest task of the current campaign. Josh Oliver claims 3kgs here so does look well in at the weights.
IN THE KITTY will be at good odds but has been looking for this distance. She has the premiership leading jockey and has a good barrier and no weight making her the value chance of the race.
COLLETRAL was a good last start winner and while not well off at the Plate conditions has been honest.
SELECTIONS: NO1 ARTIBAI, NO8 DON'T TELL MAMA, NO14 IN THE KITTY, NO3 COLLETRAL.
VALUE RUNNER: NO14 IN THE KITTY.
R3 1.30pm Open Handicap 1400m
This is a tricky race because there is a lot of pace here in a small field. Probably the way to go is TRUBIA who has had no luck this winter since winning first up in April. His last few starts have been in Group or Listed races and he has had no luck at all. Not certain barrier two is a plus for him but with luck in the straight he should be in the finish.
LUCKY TOM was terrible in the Rockhampton Newmarket but the track was too hard. He is much better placed here, especially if the other pace in the race gives up the lead to him. But he doesn't have to lead and he is drawn to get a sit if need be. A softer track is the key.
SALUTER has been very good in his last two starts in tougher races and has a 3kgs claim. The only slight doubt is him running a strong 1400m but he is another who will be on the pace.
BEATNIKS ran some good races against class mares in the winter and if the pace is genuine she will be running home hard. She probably wants a wet track but might get that here.
SELECTIONS: NO3 TRUBIA, NO7 LUCKY TOM, NO1 SALUTER, NO4 BEATNIKS.
VALUE RUNNER: NO4 BEATNIKS.
R4 2.07pm Queensland Cup 3200m
There have been worse Queensland Cups but not many. (Does that sound familiar about staying races this winter?)
MURPHY'S DELIGHT has been racing well enough in Sydney and is one of the few who hasn't been crucified at the weights. The gelding has shown he can run 3200m and is from a top stable. His jockey Jim Byrne has a good record in the Cup making him the top pick.
TUNES ran second in the Adelaide Cup and was caught in the wrong part of the track when well beaten last time. At least you know he should run a strong 3200m but he doesn't want it too wet.
JIAYUGUAN has also been racing well enough in Sydney. But she has 57kgs here which is not an easy weight. She is yet to be tried at 3200m but the stable missed the Grafton Cup to run her here.
The same can be said for INSTRUMENTALIST who has been very good in stakes company his past two starts. But he has been lumbered with an extra 5kgs here and he is also not at his best in the wet. There has been an outcry about Queensland's system of weighting horses and he is another example of why people are upset.
POP N SCOTCH has been terrible recently but he seems to always go well in this race having run seconds at his past two attempts. He couldn't be recommended on form but looks value on his overall 3200m race form.
SELECTIONS: NO4 MURPHY’S DELIGHT, NO3 TUNES, NO2 JIAYUGUAN, NO1 INSTRUMENTALIST.
VALUE RUNNER: NO6 POP N SCOTCH.
R5 2.47pm No Metro Wins Handicap 1400m
A headache race for punters with a big field and many chances drawn off the track which might or might not even be an advantage.
SANKARA SPIRIT was backed for a stack at Ipswich and was gone on the home turn before finishing last. He did engage in a stupid two horse war in the lead so there was an excuse. A 3kgs claim will help him here and his previous form was solid for a race like this one. He will be good odds.
ONE INCH PUNCH was a good recent winner and he does show potential. He should get cover the way he races and he does have a big finish.
NICKED AND COURT has had plenty of chances but got to the line well when fourth at the Sunshine Coast. Eagle Farm should suit and again should be good value here. A wet track would be no worry.
BRACTEATE has some very good Sydney form for a race like this. He is not harshly weighted and is well drawn. One of many who just needs a bit of luck.
UMGENI has won his past two starts in very good fashion. But he is drawn right off the track and even with a claim would need plenty of luck. Still, he will be a good price here and has to be respected.
SELECTION: NO14 SANKARA SPIRIT, NO5 ONE INCH PUNCH, NO10 NICKED AND COURT, NO7 BRACTEATE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO1 UMGENI.
R6 3.27pm Three-Years-Old Plate 1500m
SAGARONNE showed she wasn't far off a return to form with her last start fourth. She was placed at Group One level as a two year old but has had a few problems since. However, she gets the best of the weights here and has the rails.
SALMANAZAR has been racing well and was placed behind a top filly recently. He will need luck from his draw but the 1500m looks ideal for him. Another not worried by a wet track.
ARTHUR LE ROI finished very hard to win his last start and the step up to the 1500m looks ideal for him. This is a bit harder but he should get the run of the race.
TIME TO TORQUE drops back a grade here and he likes the sting out of the track. Jockey Michael Cahill has stuck with him and he deserves another chance.
LEGAL PROCEDURE is from central Queensland where his form is good. He has raced well without winning this area in January but looks an ideal type for Eagle Farm. Interesting that Damian Browne has agreed to ride him. The stable rarely brings anything south that does not have a genuine chance and watch for him finishing hard late.
SELECTIONS: NO1 SAGARONNE, NO5 SALMANAZAR, NO4 ARTHUR LE ROI, NO6 TIME TO TORQUE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO2 LEGAL PROCEDURE.
R7 4.07pm Class 6 Plate 1200m
MOST IMPORTANT has looked far more relaxed since he has been gelded. Early in his career he sweated very badly in the parade before his races. Some days he looked as though a bucket of suds had been thrown on him but he is far more relaxed and has always looked like being a top class horse. He gets his chance for another win here. He should be near the lead and with no weight will take a lot of running down.
MANU MANU surprised when he shared the lead in an open company race last time but not surprisingly dropped out. This is easier, he has a claim and should take a sit here.
ASSERTORY was scratched from Doomben on Wednesday. She was handy first up and has won twice second up.
BUDGET BENDER has always shown ability and he has trialled okay a couple of times. The barrier appears no help but he can go forward in his races to look for a position just off the pace.
WHERE'S THAT DRAGON is an honest galloper who won at his last start before a spell. No trial and usually better after a few runs but this track might suit and not the roughest here, especially in the wet.
SELECTIONS: NO15 MOST IMPORTANT, NO7 MANU MANU, NO12 ASSERTORY, NO5 BUDGET BENDER.
VALUE RUNNER: NO9 WHERE'S THAT DRAGON.
R8 4.43pm Class 6 Plate 1600m
OUTRAGED had no luck at all in the straight last start at the Sunshine Coast when he failed but was still a bit disappointing. Gets his chance to atone here and Damian Browne has stuck with him.
DECONSTRUCTED has always shown ability and gave a glimpse of it last time when third. If he was anywhere near his best he would win this.
TOP TONE looked like he was ready to run in the Oakleigh Plate and not a 1600m race last start. Led to the 250m and collapsed but a lot fitter now and has a 3kgs claim. Another with a bad barrier but should be able to cross this field and race on the pace.
SABKHAT was very good his only start this area and should be a lot better for it. On his best southern form would test this lot.
TOPENDING will be huge odds but his last few runs are better than they look on paper. The 1600m looks ideal for him now.
SELECTIONS: NO5 OUTRAGED, NO4 DECONSTRUCTED, NO8 TOP TONE, NO6 SABKHAT.
VALUE RUNNER: NO15 TOPENDING.