Queensland racing expert ‘The Professor’ previews the state’s next Group 1, the Kingsford Smith Cup.
Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup
The track is currently rated a Good 4 and with fine weather predicted up to and including Saturday I expect it will stay the same rating. The rail moves back to the true position after being out 10m at the last meeting. It’s the first time the rail has been true since the 23rd March and only the second time the rail has been true since the track reopened in December so it’s difficult to have a lot of confidence in the predicted bias. Though jockeys tend to ride the track as though off the fence is the better going there has been a high proportion of winners in this rail position that have come from on pace positions. This seemed a particularly strong pattern last time the rail was true. Obviously that’s only from a small sample of races, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
Don’t really ever expect Group 1 races to be run at a slow tempo and looks like we should get at least a genuine tempo here again, with Irithea the likely leader from barrier 3. The other runners that want to get up on the speed in Home Of The Brave, White Moss and Dollar For Dollar are all drawn out wide and should ensure a solid gallop.
#1 Redouble (B Baker / B Rawiller)
Barrier 2, 59kg
Not been beaten far by Trekking in two runs this prep, draws barrier 2 and gets the blinkers back on. Ratings suggest not at the level required to win a Group 1. Would be a surprise result.
#2 The Bostonian (A Pike / M Cahill)
Barrier 11, 59kg
Winner of the Doomben 10000 last start, knocking off some much more highly fancied runners in a very strong rating race. Looks to have improved considerably since last carnival. Slightly tricky draw but expect improvement with fitness. Major player.
#3 Victorem (J Graham / B Looker)
Barrier 5, 59kg
Didn’t set the world on fire in a Queensland prep last summer and this is a lot harder race than what he faced then. Does look like the type of horse that will enjoy Eagle Farm much more than Doomben and resumed with an eye catching second last start at Scone. With his turn of foot, if he can be close to the speed from barrier 5 then he can win.
#4 Chapter And Verse (D Forster / M Du Plessis)
Barrier 13, 59kg
On the quick back-up after running fourth (beaten two lengths) in the BRC Sprint at Doomben last start. Was held up in the straight but no doubt the winner was going the better late. Does run better at Eagle Farm than Doomben but this is a step up in grade again. From the wide draw likely goes back and will have to run past some very good horses to win.
#5 Dollar For Dollar (T McEvoy / J Kah)
Barrier 12, 59kg
Didn’t rate him much of a winning chance in the Doomben 10,000 and he went around $41, but ran a very good race sitting outside the lead in a very fast run race. Only beaten narrowly in the shadows of the post. Will likely be outside lead again from barrier 12 which is not necessarily the worst spot here. Peaking in fitness and up to his preferred distance range. Expecting a good run again.
#6 Trekking (J Cummings / K Mc Evoy)
Barrier 1, 59kg
Don’t really understand why this horse is favourite – has won his last two starts which were a Group 3 and a Listed race but didn’t beat the top weight here by much on either of those occasions, and that runner is $51 in this market. Best ratings have been over shorter distances and faces a significant step up in grade here. Does get every possible chance from barrier 1 but I couldn’t be with him at the price.
#7 Home Of The Brave (J Cummings / T Berry)
Barrier 17, 59kg
Disappointing in the Theo Marks when beaten 1.1 lengths by Trekking when led and appeared to have every possible chance. Prior to that each of three runs in Australia had been outstanding. If returns to that form will be right in the contest but does have to overcome barrier 17 with plenty of pace inside him. Likely just has to keep trying to roll forward and is a chance of being caught wide.
#8 Endless Drama (A Pike / L Innes)
Barrier 18, 59kg
Was competitive enough last winter in this race – beaten three lengths after managing to race three-wide from barrier 3 – and in the Stradbroke. Best is good enough to win this race as he showed when winning the Apollo Stakes in Autumn last year. Is a last start Group 2 winner in NZ. Has had five weeks between runs but was well into NZ prep and trialled Tuesday winning in decent time. Tough ask to win from barrier 18 but is the type of roughie that you can see getting up.
#9 Man Booker (D Morton / J Bayliss)
Barrier 8, 59kg
Was a good run first up in the Doomben 10 000, when taken back to near last and three-wide in running. Went to the line nicely and should improve second-up. From a kinder draw can be closer to the speed and likely not three deep this time. Ratings in WA over Spring were very strong and I won’t be surprised to see this horse in the finish.
#10 Prompt Response (C Waller / R Fradd)
Barrier 7, 57kg
Never wild about horses with six weeks between runs. Does come out of strong form races beaten by Kenedna in the Queen Of The Turf last start and by Winx in the George Ryder the start before but does look like form has dropped off since winning the Tatt’s Tiara last winter, and I would be surprised if she was competitive here.
#11 Encryption (J Cummings / C Brown)
Barrier 4, 57kg
Though he didn’t break through for a win in his Sydney Autumn campaign thought he ran some nice races and returned some big ratings. Has trialled twice leading up to this and both were eye catching runs. Gets a nice draw here and can be closer to the speed than normal. Think the stable is motivated to get this colt a Group 1 win as a 3yo and expect him to run a good race here.
#12 I Am Excited (D Pfieffer / B Shinn)
Barrier 9, 57kg
Knocked off Redzel last start here over 1200m. Though Redzel may not have been at his best, it was still a fast run race and they cleared out from the other runners. Not wild about the four weeks between runs but has trialled nicely between. Looks like can get a soft run around midfield. Slight query on whether runs a strong 1300m but otherwise is a lot to like about this runner.
#13 Princess Posh (K Lees/ L Cassidy)
Barrier 10, 57kg
Unless gets huge improvement with the blinkers on, will need to start running now if she’s going to win.
#14 Ringerdingding (C Waller / J McDonald)
Barrier 6, 57kg
Form through Alizee and Mystic Journey does look good but not wild about the seven weeks between runs, and from a ratings perspective his best looks a level below what will be required to win this race. Well in the market but I’d be surprised to see him win here.
#15 Irithea (B Baker / J Orman)
Barrier 3, 57kg
One of the likely leaders from barrier 3. Comes off a win in the Hawkesbury Crown when led all the way and prior only beaten 0.8 lengths in the Sapphire Stakes, which is proving to be a very strong form race. Will be under pressure out front so the 28 days between runs might be a significant negative here and will need to be at her very best to win.
#16 White Moss (J Coyle / K O’Hara)
Barrier 15, 57kg
Hard to knock her for the Doomben 10000 run when sat on the hot speed just behind the leaders and was badly held up in the straight and never really recovering. Prior was the winner of the Sapphire Stakes which has produced plenty of winners. Does go from barrier 1 last start to barrier 15 here and with plenty of pace underneath her looks a good chance of being caught wide. Will need a lot to go right to be in the finish here.
#17 Outback Barbie (T Gollan / J Lloyd)
Barrier 16, 55kg
Was badly held up in the straight in the Doomben 10000 last start. Expect her to improve second-up, be better suited around Eagle Farm and goes up to a more suitable distance. Does go from barrier 2 to barrier 16 and will likely be dragged back to near last in the run. Is one that I can see getting supported here.
#18 Dubious ( C Maher & D Eustace / N Beriman)
Barrier 14, 48kg
The two-year-old has been thrown in the deep end here and though gets a significant weight advantage, I still don’t think is likely to be competitive against the older horses here.
Looks a really strong race and is wide open in my opinion – could make a strong case for at least five or six of them to win here. There are also a couple that I think are too short – Trekking in particular – and I’ll be looking to play around them.
I’ll be focusing largely on horses who ran well in the Doomben 10000 – The Bostonian (though looks like may be close to the right price), Dollar For Dollar, Man Booker and Outback Barbie all interest me at this stage. Should be an excellent race and the Stradbroke picture will be much clearer after this.
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