The folly of placing early bets was again exposed at the Gold Coast at its Wednesday meeting this week. There had been plenty of rain and the track was expected to be soft. But the wind got up and the track dried quickly and then played lightning fast, with even restricted class horses running 1.8.33 for 1200m - that is stakes company time. The track should have some give in it Saturday but be careful if betting early.
QUADDIES (races 5-6-7-8)
Skinny Play: 2,3/1,8/1,4/1,7
Wide Play: 2,3,7,9/1,3,4,8/1,2,3,4/1,2,3,7
BEST BET: R2 – 6. DARKTOWN STRUTTER
Next Best Bet: R4 – 2. FRENCH DESCENT
Best Roughie: R8 – 7. LEGAL COUNSEL
No2 SHE IS FIERCE At first run back from a spell started a big price but won like an odds-on pop this course in a maiden. Three runs to date have all been good.
No1 HAND OF FAITH Had four trials before first-up effort when too strong for a maiden field this track at first start. This isn't that much harder.
No4 MIZARU Form is only fair and doesn't win very often. But getting out to the right distance and has been placed twice this track and distance.
No7 HOLBROOK Yet to run a place in seven starts but not a bad effort in a far stronger race at Doomben last start and this distance should suit.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 HOLBROOK
No6 DARKTOWN STRUTTER (BEST BET) Far too good first-up in a three year old this track and distance. Very fast mare who just needs a dry track to show her best. The one to beat.
No1 DESERT COWBOY Honest gelding who has won two of his past three starts both at Toowoomba. Stable has been having a lot of luck travelling to the Gold Coast.
No2 CALLIGRAPHER Was disappointing last start but there were excuses. Record this track and distance is very good.
No7 SNITZEL'S JOY Smart but injury prone mare who is resuming here. All of her best form is when she is fresh. Definite a hope.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 DESERT COWBOY
No4 BEL CLASSICO No star but goes well this distance and well-drawn here. Handy effort last time when third in a tougher race at the Sunshine Coast.
No1 MANDELA DREAMING Rarely runs a bad race and won Toowoomba two starts back before good second most recent run there. Always an each-way hope.
No6 HOWICK Good win first-up in a Grafton maiden and this isn't much tougher. Another who is consistent.
No2 JELLYBEAN Only win was on a heavy track but handy fifth at the Sunshine Coast last start in a harder race gives her a hope here.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 HOWICK
No2 FRENCH DESCENT (NEXT BEST BET) Forget last-start failure this track when had excuses. Previous run very good when second this track behind a very smart horse. If he repeats the first-up run he will win this as it is a weak maiden.
No3 INVINCIBOY Has always shown potential and flew home for second at big odds first-up this track. The 1400m suits him now.
No7 SPUR ME PURPLE Forget last-start failure at Murwillumbah when had no luck at all. Minor placed previous two starts.
No9 NICCONI PASQUALE Two runs have been okay and this is very weak. Getting better with racing.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 INVINCIBOY
No2 FORTUNATELY Maidens don't come much weaker than this one and has been racing well enough to win this. No luck last time and good second here previous start.
No3 KITTY SOFTPAWS Last two runs with a placing at the Sunshine Coast followed by handy fourth in Rockhampton last time. Has to be a chance here.
No9 NICQUILITY Had four trials before first-up ordinary seventh in a maiden this track. Wasn't beaten that far and has some claims here.
No7 VERILY Trialled very well and backed in favouritism for last start when went like a camel. Reportedly much better than that and give another chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 VERILY
No4 COULTHARD Sydney form was handy before first run this area when too strong in a Class 2 this track last start. This is no harder and looks the one to beat again.
No1 GO THE GANTRY Has been very consistent with yet another second last start this track. Doesn't win often but always an each-way hope.
No3 SAME OLD Strong at the finish when winner this track and distance last start. Up slightly in class but has a definite hope.
No8 NIVO She has been a disappointment this campaign but not bad when midfield at the Sunshine Coast last time when not much went right. Can improve here.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 NIVO
No2 OUR BOY PENDLES Rockhampton form with two wins that track before a break. Has run second in a trial to prepare for this and looks nicely placed here.
No1 MAGIC PANTHER Form is just fair since coming north but trialled very well at Deagon recently and stable is in form.
No4 STELLAR POWER Toowoomba winner three starts back and not a bad fourth this type of race this track last start. Each-way claims.
No3 OUR ROCKY Doesn't win too often but usually about the place and should have nearly won when fourth at Murwillumbah last start.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 STELLAR POWER
No2 DESMON'S PRIDE Has won his past two starts this track like a very good horse. Has got up in the weights but remains the one to beat.
No7 LEGAL COUNSEL (BEST ROUGHIE) Saves his very best form for this track and winner two runs back before good last start third here. Probably 1200m is a shade short but racing well enough to win this at value odds.
No1 RHYME NOR RHYTHM Good winner this track two starts back and then didn't handle the sand in the Roma Cup when fifth. Much better placed here with a 3kgs claim.
No3 SHADOW LORD Getting expensive with recent failures but his runs have been just good enough to keep giving him a chance. If he ever strikes his old Sydney form would win this.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 LEGAL COUNSEL