Another week and another guessing game with the Eagle Farm track. It is gradually getting better with racing and there has been no significant rain this week. Provided we don't get an unexpected storm we might actually get a fairer racing surface. The rail is out five metres the whole way which should make no difference. One thing that is clear about Eagle Farm is that horses don't seem to be able to charge home and win. They grind home, which means you need a fit horse to win there. In summary, the track should be fairer but would still keep away from the inside until it shows it is not a mine field.
R1 12.07pm Country Music Raceday Open Handicap 2230m
A hard race to line up as there appears to be only one leader in BRAVE ALI, who is a 10-year-old and not racing all that well.
REDNAV is racing very well and made it three wins in a row at Doomben last start. He only goes up half a kilo here and doesn't look harshly weighted as a recent Grafton Cup winner.
BEST CASE was far too good for an open handicap field over 1800m at Eagle Farm last week. He was placed in a South Australian Derby at 2500m so nicely placed here. Now he has struck form it might pay to follow.
METEOROLOGIST ran last at Eagle Farm last time at 1800m but forgive the run. He was caught on the inside, which was about three lengths slower than off the fence where the winner came. He has won up to 2200m, so must be respected.
BLACK JAG makes his return to Brisbane after racing in Sydney for the past few years. Dour old stayer but this is so weak he has to be rated a chance to break a drought from the winners' circle here. He might even challenge for the early lead and if he got an easy time would win.
SELECTIONS: NO1 REDNAV, NO3 BEST CASE, NO5 METEOROLOGIST, NO2 BLACK JAG.
VALUE RUNNER: NO5 METEOROLOGIST.
R2 12.42pm Cascade No Metro Wins Handicap 1000m
STICK WITH ME ran a very fast time for the final 600m when winning at the Gold Coast. She has a claim here and there should be enough pace early to suit her, despite it being a harder race.
MEET GEORGE JETSON has finally started to live up to the wraps on him as a two-year -old when he was rated a future star. He got bad interference in one of his early races and it has taken time for him to get over it. He has a lot of pace and provided the inside isn't a minefield, looks to be a major player here.
HI I'M BACK has been very consistent in midweek races and is drawn to get the perfect run here. A few of these have a lot of convictions so wise to stick with an honest horse.
ABRACADASH has come back from serious injury to be flying at the moment with three wins in midweek class. This isn't much harder and with the claim gets in here very nicely.
Don't leave out MR JETSET, who has won first-up and raced against superstar Buffering at his start before a spell. On his day would run over the top of these and has been kept fresh with no official trial.
WIGGLESWORTH has been running at 1050m of late and finding the final 50m a bit beyond him. Back to 1000m might sneak a win here at big odds and looks the value bet.
SELECTIONS: NO12 STICK WITH ME, NO4 MEET GEORGE JETSON, NO2 HI I'M BACK, NO6 ABRACADASH.
VALUE RUNNER: NO10 WIGGLESWORTH.
R3 1.17pm Hamilton Hotel QTIS Three-Years-Old Handicap 1200m
O'REILLY CYRUS is a class filly and had no luck when fifth first-up. She rattled home late and ran a very fast final sectional. The additional distance and the bigger track are in her favour. She needs to win this to get into better races in the spring carnival.
DAPPER ONE was a good third at Doomben at 1000m last start and is better suited at this trip. Has a nice barrier draw and should get the run of the race.
RED HANDLE has again drawn poorly but has always shown a lot of promise. He should be able to get across and get cover from this start and it is D Day for him. He needs to show he is up to top class here.
SMART DEVIL was an impressive Gold Coast winner last start and although this is tougher looks a horse with plenty of potential. Horses from this stable usually improve as their campaigns get longer, so he is a real chance.
MISHANI SLEUTH had no luck from a wide barrier last start and again drawn off the track. But wide barriers don't mean as much here and he is a class act on his day. Looks the value here with an apprentice's claim.
SELECTIONS: NO12 O'REILLY CYRUS, NO9 DAPPER ONE, NO7 RED HANDLE, NO4 SMART DEVIL.
VALUE RUNNER: NO1 MISHANI SLEUTH.
R4 1.52pm Ubet Benchmark 85 Handicap 1200m
ROYAL OCCASION flew home last start but couldn't catch the winner who had a light weight. He is out to 1200m here and this is a race where there appears to be a lot of early pace. He has raced well in much better company and looks very hard to beat. One word of warning: he can be off his game on occasions but provided he is switched-on he should be the one to beat.
SONY LEGEND is a good first-up horse who can sit just off the pace which he should do from barrier three. He has had a freshen-up here and should be suited by this track where he has never raced before.
DIVINE SERVICE showed a lot of pace to lead in an open company race last start. He can be bad tempered before the start but when he jumps and runs, always gives the opposition something to run down. By the time of this race we should know if leaders can win.
The key to this race is HARDLINE, who won the Karaka Million as a two-year-old and is very smart on his day. He has had two wind operations and isn't the same horse these days. He ran last in a recent trial but was not asked to do much. At his best can win but that is a big if.
CROOKED BLAZE was well beaten in Sydney last start but his soft track record is terrible. On his previous form looks a real value hope in this as he isn't far off top country horses who usually race well here.
SELECTIONS: NO6 ROYAL OCCASION, NO9 SONY LEGEND, NO5 DIVINE SERVICE, NO1 HARDLINE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO3 CROOKED BLAZE.
R5 2.32pm XXXX Summer Class 3 Plate 1200m
These races have turned out to be good betting affairs because they are so open.
MAN OF HIS WORD has a horror barrier draw but with his racing style it might not be a total disaster. He got home very well last start after giving a big start and Eagle Farm should suit his racing pattern. If he has any luck expect him to be in the finish.
OBERLAND missed a start last week when an emergency. His two recent starts have been very good and he gets in here with a 3kgs claim. Another who can be hard to ride because you have to time his run perfectly. But again with luck will be hard to beat.
SLYDINI had good Sydney form on wet tracks and raced well last start at debut this area. He is down in weight with a claim and looks suited here. He will also just need a shade of luck in this big field.
QUICK KETCH is down in class after tackling a couple of very strong three-year-old races. He needs a strong pace in his races and will get that here. Look for a major improvement.
ZIGGY WILLIE has been going okay in NSW races. He has been out of the places only once at this distance and has the inside barrier. We should know by this race if the inside is a no go zone so provided things are okay he is a real chance at big odds.
SELECTIONS: NO3 MAN OF HIS WORD, NO5 OBERLAND, NO8 SLYDINI, NO6 QUICK KETCH.
VALUE RUNNER: NO11 ZIGGY WILLIE.
R6 3.12pm Moet and Chandon Chairman’s Club Open Handicap 1400m
It looks a smart move to have claimed on FLAMBOYER as he gets into the race with 56.5kgs. He has been slaughtered at the weights for winning just one open company race (albeit a Listed race). He likes to roll along on the pace and he likes the Eagle Farm 1400m. He looks a good each-way bet as he should lead or at least be sitting on the lead and can plot the best course in the straight.
ANGEL DANCER is a big and impressive mare who has won her past three starts in restricted race company. She is in open company now but looks as though she will be hard to beat on the minimum weight.
Interestingly, premier jockey Jeff Lloyd chose to ride ZIN ZAN EDDIE instead of ANGEL DANCER. ZIN ZAN EDDIE is a stakes winning horse in Sydney with most of his best form on wet tracks. Eagle Farm will be soft-ish but will it be soft enough? ZIN ZAN EDDIE is also entered in Sydney but at this stage is expected to run in Brisbane.
BECKHAM has been up for a while this campaign but he is still performing well. He can lead or take a sit, which is an advantage from the tricky barrier. He can also handle all type of tracks.
ROCKY KING was once rated the best 1000m horse in Queensland but has been struggling against the speedsters of late. He has won a couple of 1270m trials in good fashion recently and if he was to get an easy lead he might surprise these as he is in well with a claim.
R7 3.52pm Spring Racing Carnival One Metro Win Handicap 1400m
A lot of chances in this race so there will be plenty of value.
ONE INCH PUNCH is in peak form and is not harshly weighted here as the winner of past two starts although one was on a bog track. The barrier is no luxury but as we keep saying being deep may not be a worry by this time of the day.
FREE BILLY was our roughie bet last start and he finished a most unlucky fourth. He should have nearly won. A big strong horse he will be able to lump the big weight. We'll again take the gamble being drawn off the track is no real worry at this time of the day.
COLINELLE is a promising horse and had no luck at last start. He is one of the few chances who is well drawn in the conventional sense. He gets back in his races but there should be pace here early. He is a horse which should go all the way to stakes class.
TOTAL AUTHORITY was good in open company last start and seems well weighted on the minimum here. Should be able to race on the pace and will be nice odds.
MERCURIAN was a good winner last start in Sydney and has been good in similar races to this on occasions. Not the worst here despite very ordinary barrier draw especially if the track is soft-ish.
SELECTIONS: NO3 ONE INCH PUNCH, NO2 FREE BILLY, NO11 COLINELLE, NO9 TOTAL AUTHORITY.
VALUE RUNNER: NO6 MERCURIAN.
R8 4.32pm Trackside Open Air Cinema Class 6 Handicap 1600m
Another race with a stack of chances. Best to stick with an honest horse and they don't come more honest than MR EPIC. He is starting to get up in the weights where it really hurts but with Matt McGuren to ride him he won't carry much dead weight. An each-way special on a normal track but who would know here.
DESERT GENERAL is overdue for a win. He looked home last start but just got bogged down on the heavy track in the final 100m. This looks an ideal race for him.
YOHO probably should have won last start and is another who gets his chance here. He has a claim and has got right down in the weights. He can also race handy and that might help.
SEA RED has failed this track on a few occasions when well fancied. In fact, has never run a place here at Eagle Farm. But she is a class horse on her day and she was good first up when running home fast. She should get cover and then get to the outside where she will be finishing on.
OLD SMOKEY is a funny horse as he needs everything to go right in his races. But on his day he does have a big finish and his two recent runs this track have been good.
SELECTIONS: NO2 MR EPIC, NO7 DESERT GENERAL, NO8 YOHO, NO5 SEA RED.
VALUE RUNNER: NO12 OLD SMOKEY.