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Punter's Guide to Thoroughbred Tracks
By Isaac Murphy
Mother nature couldn't spoil G2 TAB Hollindale Stakes Day at the Gold Coast Turf Club on Saturday, despite her best attempts.
Persistent rain saw the meeting finish on a Heavy 10 track.
Chris Waller continued his fine start to the TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival when Life Less Ordinary handled the conditions best to win the Hollindale from stablemate Mister Sea Wolf and a brave Hallelujah Boy.
See a full wrap of the day including race replays below.
Race 1 - 11:25AM ATTWOOD MARSHALL LAWYERS BM 75 Handicap (1800 METRES)
1st - The Candy Man - Barry Baldwin - Michael Cahill
2nd - Gold Ambition - Michael Costa - Blake Shinn
3rd - Red Colour - Les Tilley - Les Ross
The Candy Man has produced a trademark finish in the Benchmark 75 over 1800m to make it three from three this prep for Barry Baldwin.
The lightly raced five-year-old drifted back to the second half of the field, but found plenty when produced in the straight by in form hoop Michael Cahill.
Baldwin said today's step up to 1800 metres was a natural progression towards longer races in the Winter Carnival.
"To see him run out a strong 1800 on a Heavy track really opens up some options for us going forward," Baldwin said.
"He's given every indication he can get further, we've got to find a nice Black Type race for him soon because he's airbourne at the moment."
Michael Cahill brought up his eleventh winner in the past two weeks with a patient ride on the unbeaten horse.
"We were able to come from well back last start, so I wasn't too worried when we got back," Cahill said.
"It was a real war with Gold Ambition in the straight but he's got a real will to win at the moment."
"The track is a genuine heavy 9 at the moment, it will be interesting to see how it plays throughout the day."
ATTWOOD MARSHALL LAWYERS BENCHMARK 75 Handicap 1800m
Race 2 - 12:00PM HEINEKEN GOLD COAST CUP (2400 METRES)
1st - The Lord Mayor - Chris Waller - James McDonald
2nd - Vaucluse Bay - Chris Waller - Robbie Fradd
3rd - Sir Barnabus - Jason Edwards - Michael Cahill
Class prevailed in The Gold Coast Cup as last start Toowoomba Cup winner The Lord Mayor powered through the heavy 10 to add another win to his growing resume for the Waller Stable.
Waller pair Xebec and Vaucluse Bay went one, two for the majority of the 2400 metre trip, but gun hoop James McDonald got the best out of the four-year-old stayer late, a Waller quinella with Vaucluse Bay holding second.
Assistant trainer Paul Shailer said the trip and track conditions were a query today, but the performance showed The Lord Mayor was bound for a big Winter.
"He came through the Toowoomba Cup in great condition, but that's a fair effort to win on a heavy track over that trip," Shailer said.
"After that performance we'll send him towards The Brisbane Cup, he's a quality animal."
HEINEKEN GOLD COAST CUP 2400m
Race 3 - 12:35PM TAB KEN RUSSELL MEMORIAL CLASSIC (1200 METRES)
1st - Stronger - P&P Snowden - Blake Shinn
2nd - Accession - Chris Waller - James McDonald
3rd - Take Tea - Dan Griffin - Les Kelly
Stronger proved just that in the Group Three Ken Russell Memorial, stalking race favourite Accession before finishing the better for Team Snowden.
The colt paired off with the Waller trained two-year-old for the last hundred metres, getting home by a half head to add a Group race to his resume after a tough run in Sydney.
"He's been a little bit of an unlucky horse in the Sydney Carnival, he got dragged back a few times through bad barriers and lost a bit of confidence," Paul Snowden said.
"Completely different story today he handled the going brilliantly and we always wanted to follow Accession and have last crack at him and we were too good."
"He's rock hard fit which was a huge tick and he didn't have any trouble making up ground when Blake (Shinn) found the right part of the track."
Hoop Blake Shinn has had six winners since landing in Brisbane a week ago and said a pre-race chat with Snowden gave him a clear idea on how to ride the colt.
"Speaking with Paul (Snowden) pre-race he said don't worry where you get too, just find the back of the favourite," Shinn said.
"He's a good trainer and it panned out perfectly, we found the best ground out wide in the straight as well."
TAB KEN RUSSELL MEMORIAL CLASSIC 1200m
Race 4 - 1:10PM JOHNNIE WALKER GOLD COAST BRACELET (1800 METRES)
1st - Winning Ways - Gary Newnham - Matthew McGillivray
2nd - Word for Word - Chris Waller - Kerrin McEvoy
3rd - Etana - Maher&Eustace - Clayton Douglas
Winning Ways boasted a three for three record over her home track and trip 1800 metres at Aquis Gold Coast Park, but she had never tackled a field as strong as the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet, though it proved no barrier as the progressive filly claimed her first listed race.
Local trainer Newnham said he had an out and out stayer in the three-year-old filly and his only concern was the drop back in trip.
"My only worry today was coming back in distance, the further she goes the better she goes, but she also loves the wet," Newnham said.
"Matthew (McGillivray) rode her an absoloute treat at the 400 she was travelling so easy."
"I'll take her down the Roses and Oaks path now."
McGillivray said if it was solely up to him he wouldn't ridden the filly cold, but Newnham's home track knowledge got it just right.
"With the big field I would have thought the plan would be to go back, but I had a talk with Gary (Newnham) before the race and he said go forward and we found a nice spot sixth one off the rail," McGillivray said.
"I could tell she was travelling when I pulled her out at the 600, the way she let down was super impressive."
JOHNNIE WALKER GOLD COAST BRACELET 1800m
Race 5 - 1:50PM GOLD COAST HARLEY-DAVIDSON® BAT OUT OF HELL (900 METRES)
1st - Tycoon Ace - Tony Sears - Michael Cahill
2nd - Spurcraft - Charlotte White - Les Tilley
3rd - Boom Chicka Boom - Les Kelly - Dan Griffin
Tycoon Ace has an affinity with Aquis Park Gold Coast racking up win number five in The Bat Out of Hell 900 metre dash for Tony Sears.
The consistent gelding overcome the heavy track and the drop back to 900 metres after racing second in the Weetwood Classic over 1200 in Toowoomba last start.
Sears said the win was well deserved on the back of a number of game runs.
"He's been going extremely well, I thought he was really game in the Weetwood," Sears said.
"A lot of credit has to go to Kevin Thomas we sent him away for some pre-training for a couple of weeks and he's come up trumps."
Michael Cahill brought up a riding double saving ground on the rail to get the horse home.
"We missed that start slightly and over a 900 metre race I had no choice than to ride for luck on the rail," Cahill said.
"Fortunately most of them drifted off and I was able to cut the corner and then get him to the outside."
GOLD COAST HARLEY-DAVIDSON BAT OUT OF HELL 900m
Race 6 - 2:30PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB TROPHY (1400 METRES)
1st - Coldstone - Tony Gollan - James McDonald
2nd - Music Magnate - Bjorn Baker - Hugh Bowman
3rd - Malvern Estate - Desleigh Forster - Robbie Fradd
A calcuted training preparation by Queensland's top trainer Tony Gollan has seen Coldstone shake off his heavy track form to win the Listed Australian Turf Club Trophy.
Gollan admitted he'd made an error in seven-year-old geldings last prep, but had him cherry ripe this time round.
"I made a bit of a mistake with him last prep and ran him on speed first up which he really didn't appreciate," Gollan said.
"This time round I made sure I gave him a cold run first up to have him set for today."
"That's a really gutsy win, he hates the wet this horse and James (McDonald) got everything out of him today."
McDonald grabbed a riding double for the day and gave the horse a big wrap the way he finished off.
"He didn't like it when we were boxed in with horses around us, but once he found clear running you could feel him winding up, he'll win some good races up to the mile," McDonald said.
AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB TROPHY 1400m
Race 7 - 3:10PM BRANDONS GOLD COAST GUINEAS (1200 METRES)
1st - Pennino - Darryl Hansen - Matthew McGillivray
2nd - Defence Missile - Les Ross - Taylor Marshall
3rd - Million - Thomas Lunney - Jordan Grob
Darryl Hansen's rain dance has worked, with noted wet tracker Pennino plowing through the ground to win the Group Three Gold Coast Guineas at $11 TAB fixed price.
At the start of the day the race was billed as a battle between Tony Gollan's unbeaten Zoustyle and Chris Munce's three-year-old Magic Millions winner Boomsara, that was before the rain intervened Zoustyle scratched and Boomsara unable to handle the going.
Hansen said the whole team had been praying for the heavens to open and the three-year-old filly now added a Group Three to her resume.
"She's out of Easy Rocking and gets through the heavy with no trouble at all, I'd be lying if I said we weren't ecstatic when the rain came," Hansen said.
"She's a bit underrated this filly, she's so consistent with a Stakes win under her belt and now a Group Three as a three-year-old her best is hopefully in front of her."
"I've decided to bypass The Oaks so we'll just let the dust settle and see where we go next."
BRANDONS GOLD COAST GUINEAS 1200m
Race 8 - 3:50PM TAB A.D. HOLLINDALE STAKES (1800 METRES)
1st - Life Less Ordinary - Chris Waller - Jason Collett
2nd - Mister Sea Wolf - Chris Waller - James McDonald
3rd - Hallelujah Boy - Kris Lees - Matthew McGillivray
The Waller stable is a presence across Australia, but today Life Less Ordinary delievered a Group Two Hollindale Stakes win at the stables Queensland base Aquis Park, Waller rapt to win a race of this calibre in his home away from home.
"We've made a really big effort to establish the stable in Queensland and it's for races like this, a Group Two for $500,000 is a big deal and if we can keep producing races like this the quality is only going to get better," Waller said.
"Regarding the geliding, he's a quality horse, he ran really well in the Cantala Stakes over a similar distance last prep so we came here knowing he could run a race and he's done just that."
Jockey Jason Collett said he made an asserted effort to stay away from the tough going on the inside giving the gelding every chance.
"I was three wide most of the trip but had cover and he travelled well, it was a big advantage to be away from the fence," Collett said.
"His form was outstanding a slowly run Doncaster and he made really nice ground, the only question mark was the track and he loved it."
TAB A.D. HOLLINDALE STAKES 1800m
Race 9 - 4:30PM ATTWOOD MARSHALL LAWYERS SILK STOCKING (1200 METRES)
1st - Demerara - James Cummings - Jason Collett
2nd - Qualista - P&P Snowden - Blake Shinn
3rd - Cymbalism - Chris Meagher - Ron Stewart
Demerara has kicked off her Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign in style winning The Listed Gold Coast Silk Stocking for James Cummings.
The four-year-old mare comes to Queensland with an impressive thirteen start six win ratio and couldn't have started on a better note making light work of the Heavy 10.
The mare is set to feature throughout the Winter Carnival with Cummings to take stock before planning her next move.
ATTWOOD MARSHALL LAWYERS SILK STOCKING 1200m