Horses To Follow (QLD) – Blackbookers from Saturday’s Queensland racing

  • 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 EAGLE FARM February 15

ROTHFIRE
Unbeaten Rothesay colt trained by Robert Heathcote. He made it three from three (Eagle Farm, Race 1) and again destroyed his opposition, winning the two-year-old Hcp by 4.5 lengths. Left the gates full of running and Robbie Fradd had a hard time containing the young colt. Leading to the turn, Fradd gave him more rein and he sprinted away from the rest, winning in a canter. This is one very promising colt and should be ‘etched’ in your black books.

EXONDABEACH
Another unbeaten galloper, this three-year-old filly should also be watched. A big winner on debut at the Sunshine Coast, she put nearly three lengths on her maiden rivals that day. Then on Saturday (Eagle Farm, Race 4), she drew the fence but missed the start and was beaten for early speed, drooping back to near last on settling. On straightening, she was still milling around with the tail-enders but Luke Tarrant found the gaps he needed (nearer the fence) and the Tycoon Ruler filly put her foot down and passing the 100m mark, exploded to the lead and went on to a big win. Watch this young lady real closely.

LASHONI
Second-up from the Tony Gollan stables, she drew wide and dropped back at the start (Eagle Farm, Race 7) to save some ground. She was a dozen lengths from the lead passing the 800m mark and still tailed off on straightening. Baylee Nothdurft looked for passage nearer the fence as they passed the 300m mark, and although never a winning chance, the Shamus Award mare really motored to the line to grab fifth spot. She won third-up last preparation and if she can draw a gate, she should strip fitter and be winning one soon.

 

 

Horses To Follow From EAGLE FARM February 8

BELLISSIMI AMICI
The first of our Eagle Farm tips on Saturday, the two-year-old filly was having just her second race start (after finishing fourth on debut at Doomben). She drew the outside gate (9) and missed the jump, tailing out to last on settling (Eagle Farm, Race 1). She trailed race favourite Mishani Machine to the turn. Pushed wide on the turn, she was the widest runner and was spotting the leader around eight lengths on straightening. She rattled home to finish third, beaten just 1.5 lengths on the line. A better start and gate could have seen a different result. This Rothesay filly is one for the black book.

CHAMPAGNE VEGA
Won first-up at Ballina this preparation then failed badly next start at Doomben. Missed the jump (Eagle Farm, Race 3) and settled last, a dozen lengths from the lead. Help up in the run home, Baylee Nothdurft got clear and the four-year-old hit the line strongly, doing his best work over the final 100 metres. He won a Maiden/Class 1 at Grafton over 2225m four starts back. Looking for further than Saturday’s 1840m journey now.

VANNA GIRL
The second of our Eagle Farm tips, she was coming off a good win at the Sunshine Coast over 1600m. Jumping from the inside gate, she enjoyed a cosy run just behind the pace (Eagle Farm, Race 4). On straightening, Matty McGillivray secured a rails run and that was all she wrote. She exploded to the lead and eased on the line, still won by 1.5 lengths with a further three lengths back to the third placegetter. The Husson filly carried 4.5kgs more than her Sunshine Coast win and yet still ran a faster time. That’s three wins from five starts now, and there appears to be many more to come for this talented lady.

BABY BOOMER
Tony Gollan’s three-year-old has finished the bridesmaid in two trials and now both runs this preparation and was the third of our Saturday tips. Spotting the smart Master Jamie seven to eight lengths in the run (Eagle Farm, Race 8), the Spirit Of Boom gelding was the widest runner on the turn and passed all but Master Jamie in the run home, succumbing to the winner by just a length on the line. His hoof is on the til, and he will be winning very soon.

 

 

Horses To Follow From EAGLE FARM February 1

UNCLE FRANK
This Falvelon two-year-old was having his fourth start and yet to miss a top-three finish. He drew the fence (Eagle Farm, Race 1), and shared the lead to the turn. He showed a solid turn of foot passing the 200m mark and drew clear to win easily, putting more than three lengths on the rest. Four starts for two wins and two runner-up prizes. He looks like a real handy type in the making.

UMBERTO
Fresh off a nine-week break, the Gollan-trained gelding missed the jump by two lengths (Eagle Farm, Race 5), and settled eight lengths last. Passing the 300m mark, he was still last, six off the lead and the widest runner. His stablemate (Pizonie) was three lengths ahead of him passing the 100m peg, and he wound up in fifth place, just over a length behind Pizonie (who went on to win the event). The 1000m trip was a little too short for him on Saturday however, he is a second-up winner and it will pay to watch for him over 1200m-1350m in the coming weeks.

IMPASSE
Our sole tip (at Eagle Farm) on Saturday (after two others were scratched). The Matthew Dunn-trained gelding finished a good second behind Pennino when first-up off a lengthy 23-week break. On Saturday (Eagle Farm, Race 6), he drew wide and settled back in the field. He came around them in the run home and hit the line strongly to win by more than a length. He appears to have returned a more mature galloper and looks set for a promising campaign.

STAR OF MICHELIN
Arguably the run of the day. The Jet Spur gelding was first-up off a 22-week stint in the paddock and had it all to do. Carrying top weight and drawing wide as well (Eagle Farm, Race 9), jockey Steph Thornton dropped back to find a sit, but was still trapped three-deep on settling. Never on the track, the three-year-old had to come down the centre of the track to avoid interference. Passing the 200m mark, he was still spotting the front runners three lengths and still hit the line hard and fast, coming within a neck of winning the race. He was doing his best work in the final 50 metres. He has won two of five to date and gave every indication his next win is just around the corner.

 

 

Horses To Follow From SUNSHINE COAST JANUARY 25

GALAXY GURU
History shows this son of Captain Sonador needs a bit of time to find his feet. He was second-up on Saturday (Sunshine Coast, Race 2), and jumping well enough, he still drifted back to be near the tail, spotting the leader some 10 lengths as they passed the 600m mark. Mark Du Plessis kept him on the fence and he showed plenty of dash in the run home to grab third prize. The six-year-old is unbeaten third-up and will be looking for a little more ground now.

COSMIC GOSSIP
Unwanted in the betting (after her third start failure at the Gold Coast), she lined up on Saturday (Sunshine Coast, Race 3) drawn the fence and on settling had dropped out to last. The pace was genuine up front, giving Matty McGillivray a dream run behind the pack. Turning for home he weaved a passage through the beaten brigade and despite spotting the favourite (Queen Kay) here lengths passing the 200m mark, passed her in a heartbeat and went on to win by two lengths in the end. The time was fairly slow at 1:13.1 for the 1200m but she is only a two-year-old and will improve as she matures. She is one well worth watching.

BABY BOOMER
A promising three-year-old from the Tony Gollan stable. He took his place in a three-year-old Hcp over 1000m (Sunshine Coast, Race 8), coming off a four-month spell. Jumping from the outside gate (10), Matty McGillivray eased him back at the start where he settled third-last. He tracked wide on the turn and was hampered several times (by Magic Trick). He was spotting the race favourite (Better Reflection) three lengths passing the 300m mark, and finished two to his one, failing to get the bob-in on the line. He was first-up and showed plenty in the run home. Keep him under notice.

VANNA GIRL
This Team Edmonds filly is really worth following. Nicely bred, by Husson out of a Redoute’s Choice mare, she was having just her fourth race start (Sunshine Coast, Race 10), and had to do it all from a wide draw (gate 10). Another ride for Matty McGillivray and from the wide gate, he eased the filly back to the tail of the field and was some 12 lengths behind the leader as they passed the 1200m mark. She found plenty in the run home, and finished best out wide to win the 1600m event. She shows plenty of promise and may also be better suited over further ground.

 

 

Horses To Follow From EAGLE FARM JANUARY 18

EMERALD KINGDOM
This lightly-raced five-year-old od Robert Heathcote’s has a promising future based on his efforts since resuming this time in. A first-up winner at Doomben, he lined-up on Saturday (Eagle Farm, Race 2) and drew gate seven (of nine) and was never closer than four horses from the fence. Carrying top weight, Robbie Fradd asked him for a final effort on straightening, and he just kept going, nosing out the others on the line. That was a big effort, second-up. Keep this fellow in the black book.

TWILIGHTER
This grey mare was first-up off an 18-week break. She also drew wide (gate 11) and was beaten for early speed, settling near the tail (Eagle Farm, Race 4). She had cover most of the way but was never closer that 10 lengths from the pace, to the turn. Mark Du Plessis pulled her wide across plenty of heels and although never close enough to be a winning chance, she hit the line as good as any in front of her, and finished up fourth, just over three lengths from the winner. She will improve on that run and looks like one to keep watching.

AKAGE
Not winning a race since December 2018, this Haradasun mare put in the run of the day, surprising punters everywhere with a scintillating performance, coming from last on the turn, to get up at big odds. To her credit, she did end her last campaign with a hat-trick of minor placings, she just hasn’t been able to cross that line ahead of the rest, until now. Yet another who jumped from a wide gate (11 of 11), Andrew Spinks didn’t hesitate to drop her back to the tail from the start (Eagle Farm, Race 8). Still last on the turn, (and looking 1000-1), she found something extra and kept coming, down the centre of the track. First-up, in Class 6 company, drawn the car park, this was another big effort and she should prove worthwhile following.

FREDDIE FOX TROT
Coming off a four-month spell, the Les Kelly-trained gelding tired badly in the Listed Falvelon Quality (1200m) when first-up. He lined-up here with a solid second-up record but from barrier rise, he was never closer than four off the fence (Eagle Farm, Race 9), and on the turn, was the widest runner. He took a while to get going, but really hit the line well over the final 200 metres. He did well to grab fourth prize in the big field (of 15) and fitter for those two runs now, he will be knocking on the door real soon.

WON  Gold Coast (Feb 15, Race 5)  $2.05

 

Horses To Follow From GOLD COAST JANUARY 11

GRESHAM 
The Chris Waller-trained gelding was third-up (Gold Coast, Race 2) and at barrier rise, reared and landed two lengths behind the rest of the field. He made up the lost ground and settled third-last, some eight lengths off the pace. In the run home, he was blocked for a run, and eventually had to cross the heels from behind the eventual second placegetter (Reckless Choice). He did a mighty job to finish where he did, doing his best work over the final 100 metres, where he grabbed fourth prize, beaten three lengths on the line. With an even start, he is fighting out the finish. Mark him down as one to consider next start.

(WON)  Eagle Farm (Feb 1, Race 3)  $4.80

ROMANI GIRL 
This Chris Waller-trained mare has been in great touch (other than a failed performance at Flemington). After a close-up fourth behind Taniko at Randwick just before Christmas, she lined up in the MM for fillies and mares (Gold Coast, Race 5) and escaped the limelight behind Invincibella’s win, but didn’t escape my eye. She jumped well enough, but drifted back early to settle worse than mid-field. Rounding the turn and Invincibella had gone past her and she left to track that mare home, whilst being the meat in the sandwich (jammed between runners), while tending to hang in on straightening. Once clear, Avdulla had her five lengths off the pace and two lengths behind Invincibella. Her final 100 metres was exceptional, as she was taking ground off the winner. Finishing third in that field, under those circumstances was an amazing effort. Watch for her in a smaller field.

(WON)  Randwick (Feb 1, Race 4)  $2.70

EXHILARATES
This Godolphin filly was my second selection for the MM Guineas and she didn’t disappoint, finishing third. Last year’s MM Classic winner lined up in the Guineas (Gold Coast, Race 6) and after jumping well, settled mid-field with cover. Tracking the odds-on favourite (Alligator Blood) throughout the race, she chased David Vandyke’s gelding all the way home and while no match for the $1.80 chance, she did well to finish third, beaten just over three lengths in the end. I also believe she may be looking for a mile now. The Snitzel filly was second-up on Saturday and does race well when fresh. She is a Group Three winner and should be respected in any race over 1400m and beyond.

CONCEITED
Talented and promising Godolphin colt who should have finished a lot closer on Saturday. He lined up in the two-year-old MM Classic (Gold Coast, Race 7) and jumping from gate 14, collided with Dusty Tycoon, costing him about two lengths. That saw him settle in the back half of the field and trapped four-deep to the turn. Damien Lane had no choice but to take the turn, via the cape, and on straightening, was spotting the front runners the best part of five lengths. Lane threw everything at the Brazen Beau colt who responded well and he hit the line hard to grab third prize, beaten just over two lengths in the end. He collided with several other runners during the race and it was a run worth taking note of in the end.

 

 

 

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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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