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 DOOMBEN MARCH 28

Finished third on debut over 1200m when trying to lead all the way. Lined up on Saturday (Doomben, Race 1) and from a wide gate (8 of 9), settled last, eight lengths from the leader. Passing the 300m mark, still last and looking for clean air, Michael Cahill soon found room and passing the 200m mark finished strongly to grab odds-on favourite Snappy Reply right on the line. Trainer Robert Heathcote applied the different racing tactics which appeared to work. More wins coming for this filly.

Very consistent Love Conquers All mare was resuming after finishing her previous campaign with a hat-trick of wins. Took her place in the outside gate (12) being passed fit to run by the track after a float injury on route to the course. Trapped wide early, Larry Cassidy eased her back to sit in the second half of the field (Doomben, Race 5). Third-last and wide on the turn, she did her best work over the final 200 metres, taking a ton of ground off the leading group. She did enough to grab second prize on the line, beaten a half length behind One Stryke who ran the fastest last 600 (33:76) at Doomben for the day. She looks like she’s lost nothing from that spell. A two-time winner when second-up, watch her next start.

Coming off a last start win at Eagle Farm, the Smart Missile gelding also drew wide in gate 10, (Doomben, Race 9), and was eased back after jumping to save ground early. Settled third-last to the turn, then had to cross heels of several runners before seeing daylight. Passing the 200m mark, still third-last, he was spotting race favourite Command ‘n’ Conquer six lengths. He hit the line hard to finish fourth, reducing the gap to just two lengths on the line. That’s three starts back now. If he draws a decent gate, he goes close to winning. Keep him in the black book for a few more runs yet.

Was making his debut as a three-year-old (Gold Coast, Race 1) and really left his mark on the race. The Better Than Ready gelding did it the hard way where after jumping, suffered interference and dropped out to last, spotting the leader 10 lengths on settling. Brad Pengelly had to steer the gelding wide on the turn where he still found plenty in the tank. Still five lengths adrift of race favourite Hidden Hail passing the 200m mark, he overpowered the leader to get up on the line, with still plenty left. He ran the fastest last 600m of the day, clocking 33:24 in his run to the line. This fellow looks very promising and is a must for the black book.



Horses To Follow From EAGLE FARM MARCH 21

The five-year-old was second-up on Saturday although you would be forgiven not to believe that after watching his performance (Eagle Farm, Race 5). Trainer Tony Gollan had him in top condition and he delivered accordingly. He was first to leave the gates but then headed by several others. Despite being under a tight hold, he still managed to pull his way back to the lead and that was all she wrote. On the turn, the rest of the field were all off the bit in pursuit of him, when Baylee Nothdurft gave him full rein and he went on to win by more than four lengths. He is unbeaten third-up, so keep him under guard.

Garnett Taylor has a smart one here. First-up this preparation, he reared at Toowoomba and refused to settle, being pulled-up. Then next start, he was trapped wide most of the way when a fast finishing second to Class Of Royalty. On Saturday, he jumped well (Eagle Farm, Race 6) and battled with two others up front to the turn. On straightening, he still had plenty in reserve and with Mark Du Plessis keeping him going, he ran away from them in the end to win comfortably. He still has plenty more to offer, being ‘technically’ just two starts into this preparation (forgetting the Toowoomba run). Lock him in the book.

I was dumbfounded to see this fellow sent out at $2.80 on Saturday with so much going against him, (Eagle Farm, Race 8). He drew the car park in gate 11 (of 12) and at the 1800m start at the Farm, you don’t want to be out there with such a short run to the first turn. (The rail being out 9 metres just added to his woes). As expected, he was caught three and four deep for the first 600m before he found the fence, at which point he was eight lengths off the lead. He turned for home nearer the outside fence but still charged home to finish fourth, beaten 1.5 lengths on the line. A huge effort considering the ground he covered. That was his ninth start this preparation and he is yet to finish worse than fourth. He still has something to offer, he just needs some luck (and a better gate).



Horses To Follow From GOLD COAST MARCH 14

Was first-up off a 10-week break and from the outside gate (15) miss the jump badly (Gold Coast, Race 3) and settled three lengths last in the big field of 15. The mare spent the first half of the race just tacking on to the field and on the turn was spotting the leaders 10 lengths. Moonshine Lady blitzed them in the end but Red Stina finished strongly to grab sixth place and with a decent start, could have finished a lot closer. She will benefit greatly from that run and is a winner when second-up. Watch for her over more ground, possibly 1600m or further.

Resuming from a 12-week spell, he was a little slow to begin and was tightened for room after 200 metres then began to overrace (Gold Coast, Race 6). He took the turn 10 deep and was having trouble getting through the wet ground on the corner. Passing the 200m mark, Sean Cormack found drier ground down the middle of the track where the six-year-old got going and stormed home to finish third, beaten just half a length on the line. Fitter and over a little more ground, he will be winning again soon.

Resuming off an eight-week break, the seven-year-old was also slow to begin and sat back at the rear to the turn (Gold Coast, Race 8). Jockey Larry Cassidy found similar dry ground as Removal did in Race 6 and his last 200 metres saw him storm home to also finish third, beaten just 1.5 lengths on the line. He was finishing better than any in the run home. Ironically, the first three past the post drew the three widest gates in the race. Based on that fresh run, he has another win or two left in him and should be kept safe for now.


Horses To Follow From EAGLE FARm march 7

This Nicconi mare has a solid strike rate boasting 13 top-three finishes from her 19 career starts. Coming off a lengthy six-month break, she trialled twice before resuming, winning the last of those at the Gold Coast. First-up on Saturday (Eagle Farm, Race 7), she jumped from the outside gate (12) and Matty McGillivray did a super job getting her settled mid-field with cover. Spotting the leaders five lengths on straightening, she ran home strongly to grab third prize, beaten just two lengths on the line. A superb effort first-up drawn the car park. Watch for her next start.

Give him a dry track and a couple of runs under his belt and this Deep Field gelding will give you a winning performance. In his final race last preparation, he won a three-year-old Hcp, beating home Ruuca (3rd) at Eagle Farm over 1000m. Six months later, he was third-up on Saturday (Eagle Farm, Race 4) and repeated that effort with Ruuca sent out a $1.55 favourite. Go Deep settled in front and on straightening, found another gear and went on to score an effortless win. That was win number three from just eight starts and there should be plenty more on the horizon.

Brad Stewart rides Go Deep to victory  (PA Images)


Did it tough when first-up at Eagle Farm off a six-month break. Drew wide (gate 10 of 11) and settled back in the field. Travelled three-deep no cover to the turn. Was the widest on straightening and still motored home to grab second prize. On Saturday, the Jet Spur gelding drew much better but was slow out of the gates (Eagle Farm, Race 9) and drifted back to the tail. Then, lost momentum on the turn, (avoiding heels in front of him), and at the 200m mark was five lengths off the leaders. He hit the line full of running, doing his best work over the final 100 metres to finish a close-up fourth, beaten just half a length on the line. Keep him well under notice.



Horses To Follow From DOOMBEN February 29

Second-up on Saturday (Doomben, Race 1), he looked back to his best, complimented by one of the most patient rides I have seen from Jimmy Orman who rode him an absolute treat. He jumped last and settled there to the home turn where Orman had to pull him the widest to make his run. He was shadowed in the run home by Steph Thornton on Malawi Gold but Orman got the better of that battle and drew away in the end. Now two starts into this preparation, he can only improve on that.

This Bel Esprit filly was very impressive on debut, winning her maiden by 7.5 lengths at Toowoomba. Next start, she couldn’t get near the promising Rothfire, beaten 4.5 lengths in finishing second to the Rothesay gelding. On Saturday (Doomben, Race 4), she franked that runner-up effort by blitzing her rivals in the Fillies Plate (1110m), putting more than four lengths on race favourite Redoute’s Image. That’s two from three now and there appears to be many more to come.

This Spirit Of Boom three-year-old has been a bridesmaid at four of his seven starts after yet again falling just short of victory. On Saturday, he was beaten for early speed (Doomben, Race 6) but settled nicely just behind the pace. Turning for home he was spotting The Odyssey at least four lengths, then after a bumping duel with the Chris Munce-trained Stampe (finished third), he stormed home to fall a whisker short of victory, taking home the silver medal again. The Tony Gollan-trained gelding is not far off bringing up his second win.


Horses To Follow From EAGLE FARM February 22

This Rothesay filly was one of our blackbookers two weeks ago (Feb,8). It was no surprise to see her win on Saturday (Eagle Farm, Race 1), but she took an eternity to get going in the run home. Just five runners in the field on settling, Robbie Fradd had her box-seating behind the leaders. Straightening for home and Fradd had to pull her wide to find clean air and passing the 300m mark, she was spotting the three in front of her at least two lengths. It wasn’t until the final 100 metres where she knuckled down and hit the line hard to get up and win by a length. She gives me the impression that the mile isn’t far away. She has more wins in her yet.

This three-year-old gelding has shown plenty of promise with six top-three finishes from his seven race starts to date. Listed as an emergency on Saturday (Eagle Farm, Race 5), he gained a start with Steph Thornton jumping aboard. Jumping only moderately, he settled mid-field some five lengths off the pace. Passing the 300m mark, Thornton eased him off the fence, found a gap and that was all she wrote. With just 56.5kgs on his back, The son of Better Than Ready ran them ragged to record a solid 1.5 length victory. That was his third, first-up effort and he has now won twice when resuming. He will be winning again soon.

This three-year-old ran a solid second to the brilliant Alligator Blood three starts back which had him lining up on Saturday (Eagle Farm, Race 8) an odds-on favourite and on paper at least, looked like becoming Steph Thornton’s second winner for the day. However, in what ended up a strangely-run race, he finished a half-length second to the outsider in the field, Naval Strike ($41). He began well enough, however, Thornton eased him off the speed and passing the 800m mark, he was sitting second last. Thornton then pulled him three-wide and started skirting the field and by the 200m mark, they were stretched across the track. With a 5kg pull in the weights, and the better run in the race, Naval Strike simply outsprinted them to the line. This Dundeel gelding is better than that and maybe now with three runs under his belt, he will be ready to fire next start.



Horses To Follow From EAGLE FARM February 15

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.

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.

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.




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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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