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Punter's Guide to Thoroughbred Tracks
By Isaac Murphy
While the world stopped to watch Winx win her final outing in Sydney on the weekend, there was plenty of action happening at Eagle Farm as the 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival continues to heat up.
RACE 1 - QTIS Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings 1000 Metres
1st - Devil's Temptation - Tony Sears - Emma Ljung
2nd - Couldn't Refuse - Desleigh Forster - Mark Du Plessis
3rd - Ready to Humble - Matthew Dunn - Ryan Maloney
The Tony Sears, Emma Ljung combination continues to flourish, backing up last weeks QTIS Three-Year-Old's win with Rock Beat with another professional performance by two-year-old gelding Devil's Temptation landing the prize in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Colts & Geldings.
Sears said the gelding gone around with Rock Beat at track work holding his own and after four promising trials was too fit for them after jumping to the lead.
"He's got an old head on his shoulders," Sears said.
"We've really taken our time with him and it showed today he was very professional and relaxed in the mounting yards and flew the gates, it was a top debut."
"He's been up for a while now I'll probably tip him out."
Jockey Emma Ljung said the horse made her job easy.
"He left and got to the front no problem and relaxed under me quite quickly," Ljung said.
"It takes a talented horse to switch off then sprint when asked for an effort."
JIM BEAM BLACK CARNIVAL BALL QTIS Two-Years-Old Colts and Geldings Han 1000m
RACE 2 - QTIS Two-Year-Old Fillies Handicap 1000 Metres
1st - Longbottom - Brett Cavanough - Ryan Maloney
2nd - Epaumada - Baylee Nothdurft - Tony Gollan
3rd - Written With Ease - Stuart Kendrick - James Orman
The trip up from Scone to Eagle Farm has paid dividens for Brett Cavanough with promsing filly Longbottom taking out the QTIS Two-Year-Old Fillies Handicap, wearing down the well performed Epaumada to remain unbeaten.
The filly won her maiden on a wet track south of the border and Cavanough lauded the fillies ability to win under different conditions and singled out The Inglis Two-Year-Old Classic at Scone as a target.
"That's a really good effort to win today, her debut was on a heavy track much closer to home at Muswellbrook, she handled the travel an the track no problem," Cavanough said.
"She's eligable for a $100,000 race at Scone, so that's where we'll be going next, beyond that we'll see how she's travelling and access from there."
Hoop Ryan Maloney said the key to the race was not letting the Gollan trained Epaumada to get an early lead and succeeded in getting a cosy run third the fence.
"She jumped well and we were able to put a bit of pressure on the favourite and make it work," Maloney said.
"We had last crack at them and that superior run just behind them probably got us home."
TAB QTIS Two-Years-Old Fillies Handicap 1000m
RACE 3 - Benchmark 75 Handicap 2200 Metres
1st - Winning Ways - Gary Newham - Matthew McGillivray
2nd - High Opinion - Kris Lees - Ryan Maloney
3rd - Wu Gok - Chris Waller - Jeff Lloyd
Gold Coast trainer Gary Newham may only have a small team of four in work, but its quality not quantity for the stable with three-year-old filly Winning Ways continuing to rise in stock after winning the Benchmark 75 over 2200 metres at Eagle Farm.
The chestnut filly had not been beyond 1800 metres until today, but a strong tempo allowed Matthew McGillivray to bury the filly away before presenting her 300 out.
Newham said the filly was giving his training career new life and had high hopes for her future.
"I only starting training again three years ago and to have a filly like this come along it reinvigorates you," Newham said.
"Now I've seen she can handle the 2200 metres, I'll be taking her towards The Oaks."
McGillivray said he found a nice spot in the run and kept her tucked away as long as possible before producing her.
"First time over the distance I wanted to give her plenty of cover, which we found and the nice tempo brought us into the race," he said.
"That's only her tenth start she'll only take benefit from that it'll be an interesting campaign."
BRISBANE RACING CARNIVAL 2019 BenchMark 75 Handicap 2200m
RACE 4 - Class 3 Plate 1200 Metres
1st - Spin - P&P Snowden - Larry Cassidy
2nd - New Horizons - Chris Meagher - Teagan Harrison
3rd - Totally Charmed - Steven O'Dea - Robbie Fradd
Spin has lived up to his strong form lines scoring comfortably for the Snowden stable in the Class 3 Plate over the 1200 metres at Eagle Farm.
The three-year-old gelding drifted back at the start, but hoop Larry Cassidy said he was able to take the gaps and class prevailed.
"I was quite surprised he showed no speed whatsoever at the start which had me a bit worried, but once they started rolling along I relaxed a bit," Cassidy said.
"I got a nice run up, Robbie (Fradd) popped off the fence in front of me and I took up his spot and was able to angle to the outside and he had them covered a long way out."
Despite only winning once race in his career before today Cassidy said the company he had been racing in was far stronger than today's field.
"He's entitled to do what he did today he's Group Two placed in The Roman Consul and got in well at the weights, you want to see them winning like that," he said.
"When a horse hasn't been winning and they get up it's like jockeys we grow in confidence."
ARTISAN CARNIVAL HIGH TEA Class 3 Plate 1200m
RACE 5 - Class 3 Plate 1200 Metres
1st - River Racer - Les Ross - Robbie Fradd
2nd - Hold The Line - David Vandyke - Ryan Maloney
3rd - Bachelor's Art - Andrew Williamson - Jeff Lloyd
Less Ross has had a rollercoaster ride with the temperamental River Racer, but it seems the mare has come good at the right time letting down brilliantly in the Class 3 Plate over 1100 metres at Eagle Farm on the eve of the Winter Carnival.
A relieved Ross was happy to see signs of her best after a mediocre prep thus far.
"It's been a long time since we've won a race with her, but hopefully she's back," Ross said.
"She struggles for condition a bit, she was carrying a lot of extra weight at the start of this prep it's taken her a few runs to tighten up."
Ross said today's performance was critical to River Racer's winter campaign.
"If she didn't go well today I was going to put a line through her for the Winter Carnival, but that's her first win since she had a knee issue, fingers crossed that's behind her," he said.
Jockey Robbie Fradd said it took him a while to get into the clear and had to stoke the mare up to find her sprint.
"She takes some hard riding to get her going, but once she flicks that switch boy she let down well," Fradd said.
ROBERT JOHN WALLIS Class 3 Plate 1200m
RACE 6 - QTIS Three-Year-Old Plate 1400 Metres
1st - Racecourse Road - Chris Munce - Jeff Lloyd
2nd - Trusty Lad - Matt Kropp - Jimmy Orman
3rd - Defence Missile - Anthony Allen - Les Ross
Racecourse Road was crunched from $5.50 into $2.50 and the money was spot on for Chris Munce's three-year-old gelding, leading them all the way in the QTIS 3YO Plate home by 2 and 1/4 lengths.
Munce said the horse liked to get along in front and was just too quick for them over the 1400 metres.
"He's a bit of a free striding horse and I must admit from the 800 to the 40 I was a little concerned, but Jeff (Lloyd) got him across fairly easily early and once he relaxed i knew he would sustain a very strong gallop," Munce said.
"If horses tried to keep up with him over the 1400 they'd probably come unstuck, he's got a high cruising speed and 1350-1400 he'll be tough to beat anywhere."
"Now he's won a race like that and with a bit of fitness still up his sleeve I think we can find him some nice Black Type in Winter."
CALEB QTIS Three-Years-Old Plate 1400m
RACE 7 - Class 6 Handicap 1600 Metres
1st - Le Juge - Chris Waller - Robbie Fradd
2nd - Tunero - Chris Waller - Larry Cassidy
3rd - Gold Ambition - Michael Costa - Matthew McGillivray
Le Juge is one of the most in form horses in Queensland, the waller gelding making it five wins from his last seven starts in the Class 6 Handicap over 1600 metres.
Robbie Fradd rode the horse patiently back in the field and despite carrying the big weight was able to lift him for a length and a quarter victory over stable mate Tunero.
Waller Stable Assistant Trainer Paul Shailer said the horse couldn't be travelling better and earned herself a crack at bigger races.
"He's racing in trememdous form since coming to Queensland, he was right up in the weights today and still managed to get there," Shailer said.
"Chris' plans are to keep him here for the carnival to target what race I'm not sure, but he's probably earned the chance to have a crack at a half decent race after his recent efforts."
"Robbie Fradd has a great affinity with him, he could get a little aggressive in his racing, but since Robbie's been on he's brought out the best in him."
BECOME A BRC MEMBER Class 6 Handicap 1600m
RACE 8 - Open Handicap 1000 Metres
1st - From Within - Toby Edmonds - Jeff Lloyd
2nd - Guard of Honour - Kris Lees - Larry Cassidy
3rd - Cool Sequence - Steven O'Dea - Michael Cahill
From Within has run in some quality races with some class horses this prep, close behind Spurcraft at The Sunshine Coast and six lengths off Booker in the Oakleigh Plate she was battled hardened lining up from the Open Handicap over 1000 metres at Eagle Farm.
The Toby Edmonds trained mare begun like a rocket from the sticky 1000 metre start at Eagle Farm and Jeff Lloyd was able to rate her all the way to a 3/4 length win eased down.
Edmonds stable rep Ben MaCartney said despite talk to riding the mare off speed during the week, she was at her best going to the front.
"As soon as she jumped any notion of going back went out the window, she was quite dominant I thought," MaCartney said.
"The plan is to push on with her, I know Toby is very keen to get some Black Type form for her."
Jockey Jeff Lloyd has built a good asscociation with the mare riding her at work and on raceday and believed a Tuesday chat with Edmonds may have proved the difference.
"I think the winning move today was taking the ear muffs off, we had a chat about it and she worked without them on Tuesday and she was more like her old self which shone through today," Lloyd said.
SPORTING CHANCE FOUNDATION FAMILY RACEDAY OPEN Handicap 1400m
RACE 9 - Open Handicap 1400 Metres
1st - Scallopini - Steven O'Dea - Matthew McGillivray
2nd - Shogun Sun - Kelly Schweida - Mark Du Plessis
3rd - Zamex - Matthew Dunn - Jeff Lloyd
Scallopini has continued his impressive prep for Steven O'Dea, the well backed gelding unleashing down the middle of the track for an eye catching victory in the Open Handicap over 1400 metres.
The race shaped as a two way battle between Matthew Smith's Tonsor and Scallopini, but it was the latter that got the back of the favourite to race away.
"He was in a little bit of an awkward spot early three of four wide, but ended up in a really nice spot seventh one off the fence on the back of the other good chance in the race and let go well," O'Dea said.
"He's come back brilliantly this prep two wins and a close second in his three runs and he's really starting to reach the level we thought he would get to."
"There's a listed race on the Gold Coast over the 1400 metres in three weeks time we'll head towards which will give us a guide to where he fits in."
McGillivray said he thought he might be forced to ride the gelding cold, but somehow found his way one off the fence mid field.
"I was in the cheap seats early, fortunately I managed to find the back of Tonsor and he brought us into the race beautifully," McGillivray said.
"I knew we were travelling well, but when she let down it was really something, she put it to bed very quickly."
WWW.BRC.COM.AU No Metro Wins Handicap 1400m
RACE 10 - No Metro Wins Handicap 1400 Metres
1st - Mymming - Stuart Kendrick - Sean Cormack
2nd - Park Chinois - Kelly Schweida - Larry Cassidy
3rd - Whodunnit - Les Ross - Luke Tarrant
Mymming is a Metropolitan winner and Sunshine Coast trainer Stuart Kendrick says their is no mare more deserving than the perrenial place getting Mymming, who got their just in time in the No Metro Wins 1400m.
The mare got well back in the field and it took a tactical ride from Sean Cormack to manoeuvre his way through the field getting the head down to pip Park Chinois on the post.
"She's such an honest mare, I never expected her to be a world beater but always knew she was saturday grade, now she's delivered," Kendrick said.
"Ten out of ten ride from Sean to give her a passage, he could have panicked and pulled to the outside, but waited on the runs and hit the line hard."