The middle leg of three consecutive Eagle Farm meetings to be held at the track in October. The much-maligned track surface is racing far better and there were two course records last Saturday (note: they were only for the new surface). It is a good sign for the future and with the rail out three metres it should again play fairly. There is the possibility of a few showers but the track should be good.
These races are always tricky because it is impossible to predict at what speed they will be run.
PERPLEXITY isn't getting any younger and he has a big weight, but he is versatile and he has won five times at 2200m. But he will be fitter for three runs from a spell and he has barrier (1), which means he should get cover and the run of the race.
LA SPIAGGA has been most consistent and is trying for the first time at 2200m. The stable isn't sure he will run it right out but he might even lead here and dictate the pace.
DENONINATOR has been racing for a long time this campaign and was beaten a long way from home last start. But he is back to 2200m and that is in his favour. Also, his form at Eagle Farm has been strong.
MY DIAMANTINE looked a future staying star in Queensland after a good run in the Queensland Cup in July, but she has been solid without winning in four starts since that run. If they do run along in front here, she will be a chance.
SELECTIONS: NO 1 PERPLEXITY, NO 3 LA SPIAGGA, NO 4 DENONINATOR, NO 5 MY DIAMANTINE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 5 MY DIAMANTINE.
Rarely would you see a better thing beaten than ROYAL MYTH at her first start when third at Doomben. It would take a page to explain what went wrong but she has been back to the trials and has gone well since then. Provided there isn't a superstar hidden among the first starters, she does look to be the winner.
DARKTOWN STRUTTER is by a boom sire in I Am Invincible and has reportedly jumped out okay. Has a tricky barrier here and will need some luck.
SETOKA was okay in a trial when fourth and is from a noted two-year-old stable. She has drawn the rails, which is a distinct advantage here.
ZINZI trialled well enough at the Gold Coast and looked as though she needed the hit out. Her stable mate RUN ALL NIGHT won her Gold Coast trial and would be a chance if she gets a start, but at the moment she is third emergency. Put in the chances if she gets a run.
SELECTIONS: NO 2 ROYAL MYTH, NO 5 DARKTOWN STRUTTER, NO 9 SETOKA, NO 12 ZINZI.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 9 SETOKA.
R3 1.52pm DPMA OPEN HANDICAP 1000m
There is a stack of pace here and it makes it hard because several of these are horses noted for not being able to win unless they lead.
WICKED INTENT has always shown potential and started as favourite in a Magic Millions Two- Year-Old Classic. He won in open company as a three-year-old, and is only one of three to do it in the past 15 years, so he is a quality galloper. He is down in the weights and has a good barrier so should get the run of the race.
The 3kgs claim for HARD STRIDE is important because he did look hard done by in the original weights with 59kgs. He is a Listed winner in Melbourne but he has won only once in two years. Provided he can get up near the lead from his barrier he is a real chance.
PROMPT RETURN usually goes best when he can lead and has a task against some of these from the barrier. But on best form is a real chance here.
KUDERO came back with a thick winter coat and is taking time to find best form, but he will be off the pace early and if they go too hard he might be ready to finish over the top of them.
SELECTIONS: No 3 WICKED INTENT, NO 1 HARD STRIDE, NO 6 PROMPT RETURN, NO 4 KUDERO.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 4 KUDERO.
R4 2.27pm KARTAWAY BENCHMARK 90 HANDICAP 1600m
LORD COCONUTS (NEXT BEST BET) looks to have come back a much more consistent horse. He was in the worst part of the track when second last start when stepping up to 1615m at his second start from a spell. This is a harder class on paper but in reality there aren't many better horses than last start. He has barrier (4), a light weight and an in-form jockey. He has won only once at the 1600m but has been second a further five times. This time in, he might be a stronger and more settled horse, which makes him something to bet on here.
SELECTIONS: NO 11 LORD COCONUTS, NO 1 TRANSPORTER, NO 7 CROOKED STICK, NO 8 BRAZEN MOSS.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 7 CROOKED STICK.
R5 3.03pm NUGROW CLASS 3 PLATE 1200m
BETTER LAND (BEST BET) has had a few stables but was once pretty competitive in far better races than this. If you go back through his form, it is littered with names of some very smart horses. For instance, at his second start, he was second to the extra smart Scissor Kick in a Listed race. He was then fourth in a Group race which was a lead up to the Group One Golden Rose in which he ran off the track. Even though he has had his share of problems it seems truly amazing he has won only three races. He is now with the in-form Toby Edmonds stable on the Gold Coast and has had two trials, winning the latest of them. It was a nice trial and a good pointer to this race. Leading jockey Jeff Lloyd has been booked to ride and he has barrier (4). The only worry is the 59kgs, but a few of the other chances also have big weights.
SELECTIONS: NO 2 BETTER LAND, NO 4 MAN OF DISTINCTION, NO 10 NILETTE, NO 5 POWERFUL SAGA.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 9 KATELETTE.
R6 3.43pm SUPERIOR PAK QTIS THREE-YEARS-OLD HANDICAP 1200m
SUPER SUAVE was a $360,000 buy and the tip is he could quickly recoup that amount on the racetrack. He was a good winner first-up and then impressive again in a BOBS bonus race at Lismore at his only other start. This is far harder than his two wins to date but it would surprise if he wasn't in the finish. There is already talk of him being a possible sire.
THUNDER RAIDER has won three of her last four starts. She sat deep last time but was still far too good at the finish. It's hard to knock winning form and she should be on the pace again here.
PINCH MOUNTAIN came from the outside barrier but broke 1.10 in winning at Doomben last start. Not many maiden winners get under 1.10 for 1200m at Doomben and the stable has a big wrap on him. He is drawn off the track again but with luck can be hard to beat.
NO ANNAMOSSITY is a three quarter brother to champion sprinter Buffering. He is no Buffering but he did win well at Eagle Farm last start and has a value hope here.
SELECTIONS: NO 2 SUPER SUAVE, NO 3 THUNDER RAIDER, NO 6 PINCH MOUNTAIN, NO 7 NO ANNAMOSSITY.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 7 NO ANNIMOSSITY.
R7 4.28pm TOXFREE BENCHMARK 75 HANDICAP 1200m
HANWRITTEN could not have been more impressive in his past two wins at Doomben and Randwick. He is sneaking up in the weights but has barrier two to offset that. He will probably want a touch of luck but should be hard to beat. One thing is there does not look to be a lot of horses capable of challenging him for the early lead, so he might be able to dictate.
BIDII BABE has been racing most consistently and this is no harder than last-start third this track. Has the perfect draw for her style of racing and well-weighted.
STELLA OMBRA hasn't had a lot of luck in his three starts since a spell. These races always generate a lot of pace, which will suit his racing style. Watch for him to be flashing home.
KALANDULA looked as though she would strip a lot fitter for her first-up run and that's how it panned out as she knocked up the last 100m. Fitter now and as the winner of seven races isn't badly placed this class.
DREAM OF SLIPS (BEST ROUGHIE) has generally been a disappointment but does have ability. It was a good fourth last start in better company, so give one more chance at odds.
SELECTIONS: NO 2 HANWRITTEN, NO 10 BIDII BABE, NO 11 STELLA OMBRA, NO 5 KALANDULA.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 7 DREAM OF SLIPS.
R8 5.10pm SUEZ CLASS 6 HANDICAP 1400m
PRIVLAKA was very good first-up when winning and then had the worse of the weights when beaten in a Plate race last start. Back in a handicap and out to 1400m looks nicely placed here.
PERA PERA has been very good in NSW country areas and then was a handy run when third behind two smart horses at Doomben last start. He again has plenty of weight and a tricky barrier but looks to be one of the main hopes.
BIG DECISION has been racing well at the midweeks and is back in Saturday class here. If he gets things his own way in front, he can be in the finish.
LEGENDARY LUKE looked like winning by lengths at the 200m but plodded when third over 1600m at his last start. Back to 1400m and down in the weights he can overcome a horror barrier draw here.
We will either look like fools or geniuses but ROMANARMA might go a lot better here. He was almost lapped last start at Doomben but he seems to hate that track and he has won three times at Eagle Farm. He is fitter now and has barrier (1). At enormous odds, he might be worth a few dollars each way.
SELECTIONS: NO 3 PRIVLAKA, NO 1 PERA PERA, NO 8 BIG DECISION, NO 12 LEGENDARY LUKE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 13 ROMANARMA.