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

Steve Bennett in Blackbookers 17 Mar 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 The Gold Coast and Toowoomba March 16

Third-up last Saturday (Gold Coast, Race 1) and he had just about all the elements going against him. He drew wide (gate 12) and has a terrible wet-track record. Matt McGillivray eased him at the start to cross and sit last, 12 lengths from the leader on settling. From the 900m mark, he was three and four deep trying to make up ground. Turning for home, he was the widest runner and still eight off the pace. He passed six in the run home and finished just over three lengths from the winner. A solid effort considering the circumstances. With that run now behind him, watch for him on a dry track and possibly a little further ground.

Another who was third-up on the weekend (Gold Coast, Race 3) and didn’t have much luck in running. He sat in the back half of the field and was hard at it over the 900m sprint. He had to be eased on the turn to avoid weakening horses. In the run home, he had two splits close quickly on him and was forced to pull around heels to secure a clear run. He was taking ground off the leading two in the final 100 metres and wasn’t disgraced finishing fourth, beaten less than a length. He is another with no wet-track form to speak of and should be kept under notice on a drier track and up to 1200m.

This four-year-old just can’t catch a break at barrier draws. He has drawn wide at his past nine starts, dating back to February last year and last Saturday was no different. Drawing gate 12 (Gold Coast, Race 4), he travelled three and four-deep to the turn in the 1200m event. Then turning for home, he took the lead but was run down soon after by eventual winner Cabeirian and Cool Drafts but fought on like a caged tiger to hang onto third prize. He was first-up and wide the whole way. If lady luck shines his way and he can draw a decent gate, he will be winning again. 

A very promising Rothesay filly from the Gollan stable, she jumped like a gazelle and gave nothing else a chance (Toowoomba, Race 1). She settled early and dictated the pace. Stable rider, Alannah Fancourt controlled the race well from the front. On straightening, she gave the filly a little encouragement and the rest of the field were left to fight out the minors. She covered the 1050m trip in 1:02.3 just outside the course record of 1:01.5 set by Hard Stride in February last year. This filly has plenty of upside and will be competitive even in city class company. Two wins and two runner-up finishes from four starts paints a bright future for her.

Horses To Follow From Eagle Farm and Gold Coast, March 9

A Steven O’Dea-trained gelding, he was first-up (Eagle Farm, Race 2) and jumped poorly. He then had to work hard early to make up the lost ground. He did save on real estate by sticking to the fence, but then in the run home, paid the penalty and was hampered most of the way by eventual winner Crusher. He still hit the line well to finish second, beaten less than a length. The I Am Invincible four-year-old can only improve from this hit-out and is well worth watching.

Odds-on favourite Shalwa threw rider Jeff Lloyd, leaving second-pick, Manaya as the one to beat (Eagle Farm, Race 4), but the Michael Costa-trained mare turned out to be the most impressive winner of the day. She began fairly, but settled worse than mid-field. Turning for home however, she showed an amazing turn of foot and carrying 59.5kgs while second-up, she exploded away to win by more than four lengths. This was a huge performance and while she will start short wherever she races next, the Hinchinbrook mare should be followed just the same.

This was a run and a half. Trapped three-deep without cover (Eagle Farm, Race 7), the Iffraaj gelding did it tough to the turn, but then refused throw the sponge in. In a blanket finish, the five-year-old had to settle for fourth prize but finished less than half a length away from Tumbler who took out the event (who had three runs under his belt). Order Again was first-up here and had to concede Tumbler 4kgs as well. He has won four of 14 to date and commands respect. Make sure this chap is locked in the black book.

Another who was resuming and while his effort will probably go unnoticed, he totally deserves a spot in the black book. He jumped only fairly (Gold Coast, Race 6) and soon after had drifted back to near last. Nearing the turn, he was still spotting the leader more than 10 lengths. Turning for home, rider Shannon Doyle hooked him out to the centre of the track but passing the 200m mark, chose to go back inside. At that stage he was still six lengths adrift and the eventual winner (Super Kids) had the race parcelled-up. Fast Dealer’s last 100 metres was most impressive as he hit the line hard and took ground off those in front of him. He finished fifth, beaten less than three lengths, which first-up, sitting where he was in the run, was a super effort. Keep him under notice because he won’t be a maiden for much longer.

Horses To Follow From Doomben and Gold Coast, March 2

A promising filly from the Tony Gollan stable, she won her maiden on debut in impressive fashion, putting four lengths on her rivals that day. Here, she jumped well and had the run of the race (Doomben, Race 4) but when the whips were cracking, she took an eternity to get going. Meanwhile, her stablemate Niedorp landed in front and there she remained, leading all the way to win. Perudo started to take ground off the winner inside the final 100 metres which leads me to thinking she may be better suited over further. One for the black book just the same.

A similar story to Perdu’s run here only this three-year-old son of Love Conquers All was having his third run back from a three-month break. He sat in the box seat trailing race favourite Mishani Hustler (Doomben, Race 5), and looked a real threat on the turn. Jockey Jeff Lloyd threw everything at him and he responded well but just couldn’t quite bridge the gap and finished a gallant second, beaten less than a length. Now with three runs under his belt, he should be set next start to produce his best.

The third of a Ben Currie treble on Saturday with this Show A Heart mare being the most impressive of the day. Freshened off a nine-week break, she drew the car park in gate 18 (jumping from 11 after scratchings), and basically embarrassed her opposition with the ease of her win. Due to her wide draw, Jeff Lloyd eased her back to tail the field and was spotting the leaders a good eight lengths after the first 200 metres (Doomben, Race 9). Lloyd asked her for an effort nearing the turn and the mare responded (although very wide). She simply finished too well for her rivals and blew them away, going on to win by more than two lengths, beating home the two ‘money’ horses Constant Flight ($2.70 fav) and Langhro ($3.70). Last campaign she finished top two in all but one race from her five starts and she looks primed to at least match those stats this preparation.

Punters were on the money here as they sent this Bel Esprit filly out a $3.70 favourite (Gold Coast, Race 4). Second-up after an 18-week break, the Tony Gollan-trained three-year-old demolished this class one field and did it in style. Gollan removed the blinkers for the first time and she seemed to appreciate it as she jumped perfectly and sat right on the leader’s heels until straightening. From there, it was just a procession. Alannah Fancourt gave her a slap with the whip and she found another gear, did a road runner (beep, beep), and left the rest to squabble over the minors, winning by more than three lengths, eased on the line if you please. She even gave the 11-year-old track record a bit of a fright covering the 900 metres in 50:43sec on a soft track as well. (The record stands at 49:66 set by Tornado Alley in 2008). We may not see any flash price about her next start, but don’t let her slip under your guard. 

Horses To Follow From Eagle Farm, February 23

Jumping from the car park (gate 13 of 14), the Chris Munce-trained filly had every excuse not to win here. Jockey Ryan Wiggins held her back at the start to save ground and find a spot nearer the fence (Eagle Farm, Race 2). Passing the 1000m mark, she was whipping them in back at the tail. On the turn, she was spotting the leader eight lengths and had to come the widest to see daylight. Passing the 300m mark, she was still six lengths adrift with Wiggins asking her to give more. She showed a ton of dash in the final 100 metres and did enough to get up and grab Ella Divine near the line to score a very impressive win. The Zoustar three-year-old is now unbeaten this preparation with four straight wins and there looks like being more to come based on that performance.

Jumped with them and settled mid-field near the fence (Eagle Farm, Race 6). Passing the 800m, the Fastnet Rock filly was tightened for room as she tried to move around race favourite Dawson Diva, which cost her some ground. She lost nearly three lengths and was back near the tail on the turn. Robbie Fradd drew a second effort out of her but had to come wide in the run home to catch some clean air. Spotting a wall of horses around four lengths passing the 300m, she showed amazing speed to finish off a rough and tough run grabbing second prize in a big effort. Worth noting, after the interference, she was spotting Dawson Diva around three lengths and finished two lengths ahead of the Falvelon filly on the line. That was just her fourth career start and another win is not far away.
9 MARCH: WON (Eagle Farm)  $2.70

Started well and just wanted to run (Eagle Farm, Race 8) then began to pull badly with Jeff Lloyd trying to restrain the Hidden Dragon mare. Lloyd finally won the battle and had her settled passing the 600m. Still four lengths adrift passing the 300m, Lloyd shock her up and although taking a bit of time to respond, she hit the line hard in the concluding 100 metres, missing third prize by a whisker. She was second-up and drew wide (gate 11). Hard to believe the mare has only won two of her 24 starts to date. With an effort like this, she can’t be far from her third win.

Second-up, the Magic Albert gelding was a little slow away (Gold Coast, Race 5) and eventually settled back last, six lengths off the pace. Dan Griffin pulled out to be the widest runner on the turn and was spotting the leader five lengths which proved to be too much in the end. However, the final 100 metres was where he let go and was finishing all over the top of them, crossing the line just behind the placegetters. He had numerous gear changes to deal with as well but still finished the race better than any other. Third-up could be the go with him.

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.
9 MARCH: 3RD (Randwick)

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.

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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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