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Horses To Follow (QLD) - Blackbookers from Saturday's Queensland racing

Steve Bennett in Blackbookers 18 Feb 2019
  • Blackbookers to catch the eye in Queensland Our latest horses to follow from Queensland racing

Saturday racing in Queensland produces several blackbookers to take forward into coming weeks and we pick out the best each week.

From winners of feature races to unlucky loses and first up gallopers outrunning expectations, we select three or four horses each week to add to your blackbook from Queensland's Saturday racing.

Horses To Follow From Doomben, February 16

Scratchings reduced the field to just five runners, but that aside. The win by this I Am Invincible filly (Doomben, Race 2) was something to see. She flew the gates and landed in front and that’s where she stayed. Ridden a treat by Brad Stewart, the filly hugged the fence the entire trip and in the run home showed a solid turn of foot to leave the other four to fight over the minor money. She covered the 1110m in a slick 1:04.9 which is notable considering she set the pace. Watching the replay several times, this filly shows she has a ‘hunger’ to run and her racing style supports this. Trainer Tony Gollan was quick to announce the two-year-old is Sydney bound with the Golden Slipper a number one priority. Her next start (in Sydney) will paint an even clearer picture but even at this stage, and despite sitting at $51 in early markets at the moment, she must be respected as a chance to be the first QLD horse since Phelan Ready (2009) to win the Golden Slipper.

The Kris Lees-trained mare was resuming here and looked good from barrier rise (Doomben, Race 5). Michael Cahill had her sitting in fourth spot just off the pace which wasn’t all that quick. The four-year-old took a while to warm up in the run home but her 100m was encouraging for future races. Being a So You Think mare, she will be looking for further than the 1110m hit-out here. She finished a whisker behind Raiden in second place but will now be looking at 1300m and beyond.

Drawn wide, jockey Mark Du Plessis dropped back to tail the field early (Doomben, Race 8). He sat eight lengths off the pace to the turn where he was forced to pull very wide. All the attention was up front where a three-horse war was developing. The Real Sage six-year-old took a ton of ground off them in the run home, finishing just two lengths from the winner. That was the gelding’s second run back from a seven-month break. He has very good third-up stats and is worth following from here on.

What could have been here. A certainty beaten? I believe so. On barrier rise (Gold Coast, Race 1), the three-year-old maiden reared badly and settled three lengths last, spotting the leaders eight lengths. He did improve slightly to the turn but was still well back on the corner. Luke Dittman kept pushing him and he finished very strongly to beat home all but Ligreb (with the 2.5kgs difference telling in the end). The Per Incanto gelding hasn’t seen too much luck of late but persistence will pay off and a win isn’t too far away.

Horses To Follow From Doomben, February 9

This Kris Lees-trained filly was having her third race start (Doomben, Race 1) and considering the work she did during the run, it was a very impressive win. She jumped from the outside gate (8) and jockey Jeff Lloyd was determined to have her on the pace and near the fence. He had her doing a lot of work early to achieve that goal and passing the 800m he had her box-seating. Lloyd then had the job of taking the field up to the tearaway leader (Guntantes) who had a three-length advantage up front. In the run home, the filly soon took over and was never really in any danger of losing the race. It was a very eye-catching performance and I see no reason why she couldn’t handle even more ground. She covered more territory than the early explorers and still won comfortably in the end. Definitely one to watch.

This is one very smart three-year-old and Boris Thornton rode him a treat (Doomben, Race 2). Third-up, he was sitting fifth (on the fence) passing the 1200m mark and jumping from gate one. It’s fair to say he had a cushy run and had little to no work to do to the turn, but he still had to run the trip better than the rest, which he did. Passing the 200m he quickly put paid to the leading group, cruising in the end to win by 2.5 lengths eased over the line. The Choisir gelding has now won three of his four 1600m starts and looks primed to improve even more. 

The Jet Spur gelding was having his fourth start after an 18-week spell. The six-year-old jumped well enough (Doomben, Race 5) but soon dropped back, lacking early dash. Passing the 600m, he was near last and still trapped three-deep. Most eyes were on the winner, One Stryke who finished over the top of the leader (Whycatchim) who was stopping quickly after setting a hot pace. However, finishing even better than the winner was Jetsonic who was spotting the leader eight to nine lengths on straightening, and in the run home, whittled that deficit down to the three lengths on the line. Conceding such a huge start while carting 60.5kgs on his back, Jetsonic did a mighty job to get as close as he did. Look for him over a little further next time.

Better Than Ready filly having her first race start. She left the blocks with them (Gold Coast, Race 1) but was trapped four-deep and never improved from there. It mattered not, as she soon took over and passing the 200m mark, was two lengths clear and there she remained. None of her rivals looked like taking ground off her as she hit the line more than a length ahead of the rest, eased on the line. She trialled at Toowoomba in September last year where she put more than five lengths on the field that day. She appears to be a very promising filly and has plenty of upside. Jot her name down in the book.

Horses To Follow From Eagle Farm, February 2

Trainer Tony Gollan had two runners here (Eagle Farm, Race 2) and managed to supply the quinella in the race. While winner Garibaldi was impressive in taking out the race, it was his stablemate who stole the show in finishing runner-up. This Better Than Ready gelding was on debut and really caught the eye. He couldn’t go the early speed so Brad Stewart was happy to settle off the speed but saving ground on the fence. The run home was where he lost the race. Pulling out from behind the leader, he looked to have a clear run until Centrefire (on his outside) shifted in and ‘sandwiched’ him, costing him any chance of winning. By the time Stewart had him re-balanced and focused again, stablemate Garibaldi (full of running) had already put two lengths on him. Given a clear run to the line, the result could have been different. One to watch next start.

Second-up, the Real Saga mare lacked early dash and was back at the rear on settling (Eagle Farm, Race 5). Racing inside race favourite (and eventual winner) Skate To Paris on the turn, jockey Guthmann-Chester decided to look for run on the inside which didn’t happen. He was forced to stop riding and check off the heels of several runners and switch to the outside where Skate To Paris had stayed. Seeing daylight (finally), he was four lengths adrift of Skate To Paris and did a mighty job to grab fifth prize money, finishing as good as any other. Ridden a little closer to the speed, and fitter, the mare will improve greatly from that run.

One of our tips for the day, he was another who was slowly away (Eagle Farm, Race 6) and it cost him dearly. Passing the 1000m mark, he was back third-last, a good 10 lengths off the pace. On the turn, he was the widest runner and still five lengths behind the leaders. He was hampered several times in the run home by eventual winner Macewen who tended to shift out on ‘Leroy’. The three-year-old grey hit the line well over the final 100 metres and he is another who deserves another chance.

Our last tip for the day, and he didn’t let us down (Eagle Farm, Race 9). A NSW visitor, trained by Tony Newing of Gosford, he franked his fast finishing, last start second at Eagle Farm two weeks ago and went one better this time. He was another who found himself well back at the start, jumping second-last in the big field. Jockey Matthew McGuren remained calm and kept the Charge Forward gelding on the fence, improving his on his slow start. On straightening, McGuren eased him to the outside and found clean air. Passing the 300m, he still four lengths adrift but finished strongly to grab the front runners right on the line. He is in great touch this time in and can only strip fitter from those two runs. That’s seven wins from just 14 starts and he should be winning again.

Horses To Follow From the Sunshine Coast January 26

A huge run from this two-year-old filly who was having just her second race start. She drew the outside gate (Sunshine Coast, Race 3), and Les Tilley had no choice but to drop back and save some ground. The filly never settled and then overraced to the turn. In the run home, Tilley ran into traffic trying to secure a split which forced him to cross heels and go wide. Losing momentum and a length or two as well, he did a mighty job to get the filly home in second place, beaten just over a length. This filly will improve even more with further experience. Jot her down. 

One of tips on Saturday, she was always going to prove a handful for race favourite Barefoot, with that 4.5kg weight advantage and a far better barrier as well. Jockey Ryan Wiggins rode her a treat. He settled a little worse than mid-field on the fence (Sunshine Coast, Race 4), and had a pace set to suit. Wiggins saw daylight at the 200m mark and finished the better to beat home Barefoot (who to her credit was gallant in defeat). However, Dawson Diva was third-up and appears set for a successful campaign. She is one for the books.

This lightly-raced three-year-old put on the performance of the day. The Steven O’Dea-trained filly was resuming from an 18-week spell and having just her third start.  She missed the jump and was two lengths last soon after the start (Sunshine Coast, Race 5). Jockey, Mark Du Plessis kept her near the fence to save ground but turning for home was still eight lengths off the pace. He shifted off the fence passing the 200m mark and she hit the line full of running, beating all but Archer’s Paradox home. One hop past the post, she wins. This Sizzling filly has plenty of upside and should followed at all costs.

While everyone was talking about Spurcraft’s impressive win, spare a thought for the runner-up who’s run was far more promising. Drifting back to the tail early, the Time Thief mare was spotting the leaders 10 lengths or more (Sunshine Coast, Race 6) and faced a forlorn task as the field passed the 600m mark. Passing the 400m mark she was still eight lengths behind Spurcraft with no chance of winning. The seven-year-old mare took six lengths off the winner to finish runner-up here, beaten less than a length. Her first-up record remains intact with four wins and now two runner-up cheques from six starts when resuming. She went winless last campaign finishing that preparation with three runner-up prizes. Expect that to change this time in.

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MORE HORSES TO FOLLOW: Our latest blackbookers from Victoria and the latest horses to follow from New South Wales.

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Horses To Follow (QLD) - Blackbookers from Saturday's Queensland racing

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