We’ve reached the climax to an epic new Queensland winter Harness Racing carnival.
Six Group 1’s on a card littered with elite horse power and the best of the best in a driving and training sense. The new races – The Rising Sun and The Golden Girl – provided an enormous boost to the carnival but night three is the summit and I cannot wait to see what the night brings.
The $250,000 Blacks A Fake headlines the evening of racing but there’s a Queensland Trotters Cup, the Derby and Oaks for the three-year-olds as well as the babies going for Group 1 glory in the QBred Finals.
All in all, there is $880k on offer for those good enough to claim a victory on the night.
Here’s a snap preview on each of the big races plus my selections for the 10-race card which kicks off at 5:15pm.
CRUNCH TIME gets the chance to ignite off the arm and get to the top. My worry, is IF he cannot find the front it’s unlikely he can win. TOMMY LINCOLN (who was scratched last week) seems the safer winning pick as he can win from in front as well as behind the speed. MACH DA VINCI will all look to remain close to the speed in a race which could be dominated by horses up front, despite a decent level of pressure.
MAKE MINE HEAVEN is a class mare – and the highest rated horse in the event. Ray Green is having some sort of QLD carnival so providing TOMMY LINCOLN is all good despite last week’s withdrawal, he’s a nice pick in a pretty even race to open the card.
MY PLAY – 2 TOMMY LINCOLN win
The second event is basically a FFA event you’d see at any of the metropolitan venues from week-to-week. ELLMERS IMAGE is a 120 NR who draws gate one, so there’s a natural winning chance. BALRAJ gets a nice front row draw and is always dangerous when following the speed. SEND IT was heavily backed last week but could not strike a blow and OUR UNCLE SAM returned to some good form with a slashing 2nd.
Mare IOLANTA was unlucky in The Golden Girl and draws nicely whilst fellow mare, FAME ASSURED could also blow them out.
MY PLAY – 1 ELLMERS IMAGE win & 2 IOLANTA + 8 OUR UNCLE SAM each way.
RACE 3 – THE JC MCMULLEN (Group 3)
A 30k race for some more progressive types awaits here but locating a clear winner looks tricky.
KOWALSKI ANALYSIS is the class but begins from the car park after galloping in The Rising Sun. It’s uncertain whether he can do work in a race or he relies purely on his gate speed to set up a race.
UNCLE SHANK has been in excellent winning form, VIRGIL was a nice 3YO but is yet to come on as an older horse and ILIKEMEBETTOR is a quality colt from the McCarthy yard.
A very difficult tipping race and one I may be steering clear of on the bet.
MY PLAY – No bet!
RACE 4 – QUEENSLAND TROTTERS CUP (Group 1)
This Group 1 for the trotters requires one replay when doing form – last week’s trotting Group 1.
PINK GALAHS gave them a beating but when HUMBLE LADD had his momentum halted, it’s unclear in my mind whether he was going to be able to challenge the little pocket rocket from western Victoria.
Here, Humble Ladd gets the front row advantage so can Luke McCarthy kick clear and make Pink Galahs chase from a long way back?
Matthew Craven drives the mare amazingly well. He’s patient, understands how she needs to be driven and gives her every opportunity.
Should anything blow them both out, it could be MAJESTIC SIMON from gate one or TOUGH MONARCH who arrives in Queensland for another Group 1 gong.
MY PLAY – 7 HUMBLE LADD each way 1 x 3. and quinella with 11 PINK GALAHS.
RACE 5 – QUEENSLAND DERBY (Group 1)
When markets opened, I was desperate to get stuck into KRUG at $2.80. However I did not have the correct corporate account and had to wait… now, he’s $1.80 and is probably too short to back from gate 10. He does follow out Mr. Consistent AMERICAN DEALER which could be helpful.
Any kind of drift and I think I’ll be piling into KRUG.
BONDI LOCKDOWN was nowhere last week but gate one gives him a great each way chance and he is already a Group 1 winner although the form from that race must be. queried. BAR ROOM BANTA was actually sensational last week when the lead time was explosive and he just got weary in the last 100m.
CAPTAIN CRUSADER was steaming home last week at big odds and you’d be wise to follow him again here should the leaders go silly over the 2680m staying test.
MY PLAY – 10 KRUG at $2+ otherwise 1 BONDI LOCKDOWN, 5 BAR ROOM BANTA, 13 CAPTAIN CRUSADER each way.
RACE 6 – QUEENSLAND OAKS (Group 1)
An unbelievably even Oaks with a host of winning hopes.
SOHO BROADWAY was massive looping them and charging into third last week in the SE Oaks and she’s come up with the ace alley here. Does she lead all the way or hand up?
Jason Grimson has a couple of nice chances in this with CHRISSY CHIC drawn three and ISLAND FIRE DANCE drawn nine. Both can win this. TALENT TO SPARE is a handy filly with a winning record and Shannon Price’s filly SPORTY DANCER will be praying Mick Stanley chooses to lead so she gets the gun run.
MY PLAY – Not enough confidence to be getting involved.
RACE 7 – BLACKS A FAKE (Group 1)
KING OF SWING got the spoils at the barrier draw on Monday when connections chose the No. 1 marble. His Sunshine Sprint run was gigantic and he deserves to be every part of the $1.20 favourite he is with most agencies.
AMAZING DREAM gets back to open class where she can play her preferred role of stalking, so she’s a consideration each way whilst COPY THAT is in the mix after breezing and winning the Group 1 sprint last week.
EXPENSIVE EGO is the new blood on the scene as he watched his rivals endure a tough run so he may be the fresher horse over the last two furlongs and the 2680m trip should suit him down to the ground.
Anything else winning would be mind blowing.
MY PLAY – 8 TURN IT UP place., COLT THIRTY ONE place and pegs trifecta 1 from 8/9 from 8/9.
I’m not going to type up some flash preview of horses I have no idea about… no bet here and no opinion worth presenting.
A straightforward race to end the night – or so they say.
OHOKA CHOPPER draws to lead and SPORTY AZZ will be on his back. I’m happy to play those two in quinellas and back either one should they present genuine value.
BLUE MOON RISING and AJAY BREEZY ROSE have some claims in a race I’m not super keen on.
MY PLAY – 1 OHOKA CHOPPER win.
It’s an even night – aside from the main race – and one where nailing a few winners will see you rewarded handsomely.
Enjoy and good luck!!
Below are my best bets, value and a couple of roughies plus a quaddie.
BEST BET – KRUG ($2+), TURN IT UP place ($2), OHOKA CHOPPER.
BEST VALUE – HUMBLE LADD ($4.80)
BEST ROUGHIE – BAR ROOM BANTA ($20), CAPTAIN CRUSADER ($34)
Leg 1) 10 on its own or 1, 2, 5, 10, 13
Leg 2) 1, 3, 8, 9
Leg 3) 1
Leg 4) 1, 4, 8