The third week of the Brisbane winter carnival saw racing shift to Eagle Farm, with two Group 1s headlining the meeting. The big stables dominated the features, with Tony Gollan training the quinella in the Kingsford-Smith Cup, while it was a photo finish between two Chris Waller runners in the Queensland Derby. It was Kukeracha who ended up getting the verdict in the Derby, but the day’s talking point was the remarkable winning ride of Jamie Kah aboard Vega One in the Kingsford-Smith.
In Melbourne, it was a fairly stock-standard winter card at Caulfield, though we did see a couple of smart types.
Tim Geers and Trent Crebbin continue their weekly reviews below, with their runners to follow from both meetings, as well as those to avoid moving forward.
Decent number of horses that can be forgiven from this meeting, with the inside section of the straight seemingly inferior to the outside part of the track. There were several horses caught wide without cover in races with big fields which also ran admirably.
HORSES TO FOLLOW
Snitch (R2) – Good run first up from a spell from the Tony Gollan 6YO. He settled close enough to last with the 3kg apprentice on and then stuck to the inside section in the straight. He was held up about 150m from home just as he was getting warm and probably finishes much closer with even luck. He’s only ever run a place once from six starts when first up, so this was a good effort and he can be followed in his next few starts. Look for a senior jockey going on.
Amish Boy (R3) – He was in my ‘horses to follow’ file a few weeks back after his run in Sydney. He then went to the Gold Coast, where he had zero luck, and his run on the weekend was huge. He settled last, flew home along the rail (potentially inferior ground) and recorded the fastest final 600m of the entire meeting. He’s flying this horse.
Lord Belvedere (R5) – Not sure where he goes next but he’s been slaughtered in his past two starts now. He sat three-wide without cover from barrier 4 two starts ago, they sacked Mark Zahra and replaced him with Jye McNeil on the weekend, for the same result. He sat wide without cover again and he looked gone at the top of the straight, but to his credit he fought on very bravely to finish 5th. Very good effort and likely to be over the odds next start.
Converge / Port Louis (R6) – The two flashing lights runs in the 2YO race were from the two placegetters. Converge settled back in the field, which many didn’t predict, and he absolutely flew home once he eventually got clear. It was the run of the race and there’s a small argument to be made that if he got clear sooner he would have won. He’s shown he has another string to his bow now and he should be a major player in the JJ Atkins on the back of that.
Port Louis also settled back in the field and had to slice his way through runners in the straight. We saw how big his run was in the Champagne Stakes and he proved once again on the weekend that he’s a very good colt. Might have just peaked on his run the last 50m, but I’m sure he’s going to improve plenty off that ahead of the Group 1.
HORSES TO SACK
Superium (R2) – Made him my best bet on the weekend so this may be some pocket talk, but he had every conceivable chance from the inside gate. He got a suck run, Ryan Maloney got him off the rail at the top of the straight and he was just fair to the line. He doesn’t run poorly very often but he also doesn’t win. Happy to sack him.
Brimham Rocks (R5) – Looked a good set up for him on the weekend with blinkers back on, fourth up and up to 2400m, but he was only average. He definitely didn’t do anything to suggest he is improving so happy to oppose him going forward now.
HORSES TO FOLLOW
The Difference (R3) – Market told us he might need the run and I thought this was a sneaky hidden run. He was taken back and got quite keen in the run, running on well to be beaten just over 3L. The race shape and track didn’t suit and he’ll be better over 1400m.
Parmie (R4) – Solid return from this mare, who never runs very well first up. Her final 200m was the meeting’s fastest and she was huge 2nd up last prep when wide. In for a good prep and around 1200-1400m I think she’ll win a mare’s race soon.
Riot And Rose (R8) – Unbeaten in three starts now and just keeps raising the bar. Got a good run midfield but this was a strong field, and she did it easily. Can continue to be followed.
HORSES TO SACK
Another Dollar (R6) – No idea why she started $3.70 here. She hasn’t shown much in a long time and was beaten soundly again when seemingly having every chance.
First Accused (R8) – Gave him a big chance but this was disappointing. Firm in the market and had every chance on speed, with the $41 leader sticking on much better. Was a strong race but might not be up to it.