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

Steve Bennett in Blackbookers 14 Jan 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 January 12

Fresh off an 18-week spell, this Team Hawkes gelding lined up in a maiden worth $250K (Gold Coast, Race 1) and from gate 15 (of 16) had it all to do. Never on the track, McEvoy tried to cross but was held out by traffic inside him. Travelling three-deep to the turn, McEvoy had him the widest runner (looking for clean air) and once he hit top gear he finished better than any of the others. Spotting race favourite and winner, Terminology six lengths passing the 300m mark, the Pierro three-year-old finished second, within a length of the winner. That was first-up, and jumping from the car park, covering the 1200m in 1:08.6.  Watch this fellow real closely.

Listed as one of our tips for Saturday, the Tony Gollan-trained gelding was well supported ($12 into $7.50) and he almost pulled it off (Gold Coast, Race 3). Drawn well, he was slow to begin and drifted well back after the first 200 metres. Jockey Jeff Lloyd had to work him early to keep in touch with the pack and nearing the turn, he was mid-field spotting the leaders around six lengths. Once Lloyd had crossed heels and saw daylight, he was trailing race favourite (and winner) Chapter And Verse but was four lengths adrift passing the 200m mark. Gollan’s four-year-old clearly had the faster last 200m as he reduced the margin to less than a length on the line. That was his fourth run this preparation and he will win again this campaign on his current form.

Earned the tag of MM Classic favourite after his solid win last week, beating home a very talented field, to qualify for a start in the Two-Year-Old Classic (Gold Coast, Race 8). Ridden in stark contrast to last week, Kerrin McEvoy had the Godolphin filly back in the field, in fact passing the 800m she was third-last spotting the leaders at least eight lengths. Still six lengths from the front runners passing the 300m, McEvoy had the Snitzel filly in the middle of the track and when asked, she responded well to hard riding. She finished far too good for the rest, grabbing Dubious near the line to win by almost a length in the end. Latest reports suggest trainer James Cummings looks likely to head straight to the Group Two Riesling Slipper Stakes then on to the Golden Slipper in March. She could very well win both with her flexibility in racing patterns. Black Book this little girl.

This Toby Edmonds-trained gelding covered more ground than Bourke & Wills on Saturday (Gold Coast, Race 9), and was entitled to finish nearer last than first, but he defied all the odds and despite covering so much extra ground, he still claimed the $45,000 fourth prize on the day which really was a mighty effort. Coming off a hat-trick of wins, he drew wide here (gate 10), and being caught out deep, jockey Brett Prebble decided to push forward, which turned out to be a bad move. As he pushed forward, so did runners inside him and he ended up four-wide approaching the turn. On straightening, he was six-deep and under heavy pressure. Nearing the 200m, he bumped with Shogun Sun and had to be steadied. He finished the race just over a length behind winner Redouble, and really had no right to finish top four. He is six starts into this preparation but I’m sure we will see at least one or two more wins come from him.

Horses To Follow From the Gold Coast and Ipswich January 5

While all eyes were on Acqume (who, as expected went on to win the event), the ‘eye-catcher’ was produced by this four-year-old mare having just her ninth race start. She left the gates stone last (Gold Coast, Race 1). On straightening, she was still back near the tail, spotting the leader at least four lengths. Passing the 300m, the mare checked off the heels of Metis and was severely hampered at that point. After regaining her balance (and momentum), she hit the line as good as any other, and finished third, within a length of Acqume. It was the run that may have gone unnoticed. If you black book Acqume, you really should have this mare written right alongside his name.

One of several juveniles who were trying to qualify for the MM Classic and this colt did just that. He is, however, the fifth emergency for the big race and will more than likely miss a start. In this event he was just as impressive as the winner (Exhilarates), finishing solidly to grab second prize (Gold Coast, Race 6). He settled mid-field early, but did his best work in the run home. He trailed Exhilarates the entire race and once he pulled out wide he chased the Godolphin filly all the way home. His final 100 metres was most impressive. Watch for him over 1200m-1400m. I think the extra trip will suit him better.

Having his fourth run back, he missed the start and settled last (Gold Coast, Race 8). He turned for home still at the rear and the widest of all runners. Simply put, he gave them far too much start but did run home solidly. He was six lengths adrift passing the 200m but pulled the deficit back to just over two lengths crossing the line. I think he’s worth following for one or two more runs.

Now wasn’t this a run and a half. Jumping from a wide gate (Ipswich, Race 5), this Eurozone filly was trapped three-wide to the turn. Passing the 200m, she was six lengths behind the leaders and in the middle of the track. Over the final 100 metres, she was travelling two to their one, and finished second, just two lengths off the winner (The Black Tide) who enjoyed a dream run throughout. This filly is very close to breaking her maiden.

Horses To Follow From Doomben and Gold Coast December 29

Resuming from a five-month spell and no real first-up form on the books, this Tony Gollan-trained gelding surprised a few when coming from near last to win (Doomben, Race 1). He started slow and travelled well back the entire trip. Turning for home, he was the widest runner and raced ungenerously (inclined to hang in) to the 200m mark. Then Jackson Murphy had him focused and he hit the line brilliantly to score by more than a length. That’s now five wins (and four second placings) from his 16 career starts and he should be black booked for this campaign. 

Had everything go against her (Doomben, Race 6) and it all began at the starting gates where she drew the car park and jumped from the outside gate (14). Even leaving the gates, Magic Fox (drawn in gate 13) took a left turn and bumped ‘Barbie’ which gave Jim Byrne more work to do from the outset. He then tried to push forward but Orman (on Magic Fox) kept him out wide. Given no choice, Byrne dropped back find a spot closer to the fence. No sooner did he do that, then passing the 600m, Jackson Murphy came off Granny Red Shoes which caused interference to several runners including Outback Barbie who was checked and pushed wide again. In the run home, Byrne had nowhere to go, with a wall of horses in front of him. Given no choice (again), Byrne checked off the heels of The Fire Trap and lost balance. Only seeing daylight in the final 50 metres, the Spirit Of Boom filly hit the line hard and finished as good as any other. Considering Boomsara finished 4.5 lengths in front of the field, Outback Barbie’s effort to get within six lengths of the winner was outstanding, considering what she went through in the run. Best advice here is simple, forget that run completely. Keep her inked in your black books and now that she has eased in early betting for the MM Three-Year-Old Guineas (now second elect at $4.60 with Sportsbet), consider taking a piece of that action now. If she draws a gate, she will be mighty hard to beat.

Part of the Godolphin empire, this Exceed And Excel mare has been sparingly raced but did a job on her rivals here (Doomben, Race 9), first-up since April. Jumping from the middle of the field (8), she quickly settled outside the leader (Our Crown Mistress) and tormented her to the turn. Passing the 200m mark, it was all over as the mare dashed away leaving the rest to argue over the minors, with stablemate Demerara getting up for second prize. Her winning margin was 1.5 lengths (eased over the line) and with a time of 1:09 it puts even more gloss on her first-up victory. Watch this little lady closely.

This three-year-old was having his first race start (Gold Coast, Race 5) and things got off to a bad start. Drawing the outside gate (12), he was slow to begin and passing the 1200m, settled second-last, six of the pace. Still there on the turn, Glen Colless pulled the whip and sticking to the fence he made up some ground. Responding to Colless’s riding, he did his best work over the final 100 metres. It was an inspiring run on debut. I would black book this Top Echelon gelding and look for him over further ground. He looks to me like a real miler in the making.

Horses To Follow From Doomben and Gold Coast December 22

This is one very promising filly from the Michael Costa stable. She lined up in an outside gate (Eagle Farm, Race 1), and sat near the rear of the field to the turn. While race winner Dubious was receiving most of the accolades (and it was a solid performance), Devine Factor’s effort was at least as good (if not better). She also travelled wide in the run, and was spotting Dubious at least three lengths passing the 300m mark. She was clearly finishing the better and got within half a length of Dubious on the line. I thought her performance over the 1000m demanded more attention with the Magic Millions coming up and I believe this filly will run a stronger 1200m. Keep her safe.

Just about the run of the day but the attention was focused on the exciting finish (Eagle Farm, Race 4) where four hit the line together. However, high flying right on their heels was this Jet Spur colt who was resuming from an eight-week let-up. He drew the car park (11) and was eased at the start to find a spot closer to the fence. After 200 metres he was spotting the front runners a good dozen lengths and really had his work cut out for him from there. An exciting finish with this guy’s finish standing out the run of the race. Already a second-up winner, jot him down in the black book for his next start.

Having just his fourth race start, this Smart Missile horse will be even smarter with a bit more experience. Crossing from gate 12 (of 16) Michael Costa did a great job to have him sitting fifth, one off the fence with cover passing the 1200m mark. He did everything right until heading up for the run home. He loomed up as a threat but tended to hang in behind Al’s Kingdom which cost him ground. He may not have won the race (with Surprise Bullet finishing too good along the fence) but the runner-up cheque was there for grabs. Still a little green but a big effort against the older horses in a big field brings him under notice for future racing.

First-up since August, the Magic Albert mare put in a big performance here (Gold Coast, Race 3) and is one to watch around the provincials. Inside the 900m mark, she was sitting third-last, ten lengths off the pace. She took the turn the widest runner and really motored home only to be grabbed by Decoder who scored a rails-run over the final 100 metres. Watch for her second-up.

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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

Looking for horses to black book each Saturday? We pick out the best each week from the metropolitan meetings in Queensland.

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