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Winx is the Queen of Australian racing, and indeed world racing, and her appearance in the $4 Million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Day Two of the Championships this Saturday highlights a fab card of racing. The weather is fine, the track is heavy (8) and the rail is out four metres from the 1600m-Winning Post; Out three metres for the remainder.




Race One (11:30) : Adina Apartment Hotels Fernhill Handicap 1600m:

Back Me: 9 Whispered Secret (Bet Now: $5.00) had confident market support when racing at Newcastle last time out over 1350m and for a few strides she looked in trouble getting clear, but once she did, she really attacked the line and finished off with purpose to get the win. Not much depth to this event, and she is the horse on the up and in form, like stablemate Prized Icon, who won this race last year.
Big Danger: 8 Earth Angel (Bet Now: $8.50) is a regally bred filly by Animal Kingdom out of star mare Miss Finland, and she kicked off her career in style at Ballarat. Looked in a bit of trouble early on in the straight, but once Oliver gave her clear air, she lengthened beautifully to get the win. Holy Mind ran second there and she ran second the start prior to Shoals, so that form ties in quite nicely and the mile second up looks ideal.
Long Shot: 2 All Too Huying (Bet Now: $12.00) worked home well first up at Rosehill behind Single Bullet in the Pago Pago before going to the Schweppervescence where he had market support at a price but the slow tempo was against him when finishing fifth to The Mission. I think the step up to the mile will really suit this colt and he did beat Whispered Secret in a race on Christmas Eve.



Race Two (12:10) : TCL South Pacific Classic 1400m:

Back Me: 8 Rosa Carolina (Bet Now: $9.00) had confident market support when racing over 1200m on her home track at Newcastle last time out where she was ridden a touch upside down on the pace but she found plenty under Penza and kicked hard for the win. That would have done her confidence the world of good and keep in mind that she ran well during the Melbourne Spring in blacktype company, so she has class. Gate is tricky, but stable should always be respected during big days.
Big Danger: 2 Bezel  (Bet Now: $11.00) is the very interesting runner here. Has done bugger all in two runs back from a break but has had excuses each time. Trials in between have been very good, the latest at Warwick Farm. If he brings his best form, he’s right in this as we saw in the Spring. Definite market watch.
Long Shot: 3 Peacock (Bet Now: $14.00) is another that intrigues me here. Stablemate of Bezel who ran a beauty first up in the Australia Stakes behind Malaguerra, but didn’t really fire a shot in two subsequent runs. Freshened up and trialled at Warwick Farm where he looked okay without setting the world on fire behind Postmaster General, who bolted up recently, so that form has been okay. Lone Randwick run was at this distance and he spanked them. He’s got the class to beat these.



Race Three (12:45) : IG Share Trading Percy Sykes Stakes 1200m:

Back Me: 4 Serena Bay (Bet Now: $4.40) on top for me here. Trialled up brilliantly on a couple of occasions on heavy tracks prior to resuming at Goulburn on what was officially a soft7 but it was heavy. She glided over the top of the surface and absolutely bolted in, beating Star Sensation, who was far from disgraced behind Frolic and She Will Reign the start prior. That is the right form for this and she does have the fresh legs.
Big Danger: 3 Shoals (Bet Now: $3.50) is a smart filly for Team Freedman. Didn’t think she beat much on debut at Seymour, but there was still a significant margin there. She then raced down the straight at Flemington where she was backed as if unbeatable and despite a few nervous moments at the 300m mark, she found when asked and ended up drawing clear to be Garrard, who has Catchy/Houtzen form. Form out of the Seymour race has been okay, and she hasn’t raced on these wet tracks in NSW. She has fresh legs.
Long Shot: 5 Villa Carlotta (Bet Now: $18.00) is yet to face a relatively firm surface so it will be interesting to see what she does here. Comes through the Schweppervescence where they really stacked up midrace and given she was back in the ruck, she had no hope when finishing down the track behind The Mission. Back to 1200m and onto a drying track are keys in her favour, and start prior she ran third to the Slipper quinella.



Race Four (13:20) : The Provincial Championships Final 1400m:

Back Me: 5 Calabasas (Bet Now: $12.00) for me here in a ripping edition of this race. Talented three year old for Kim Waugh who resumed on Feb 25 on the Beaumont track and was very good behind the above average Vigilance before being given a month break and racing in the Newcastle Qualifier where he was given every chance by Shinn but gave the perfect trail for the eventual winner Clevedon Bay. I think there is more upside with Calabasas and go back to the Spring he got within a neck of subsequent Carbine Club winner Acatour.
Big Danger: 9 Pomelo (Bet Now: $2.15) has to go in. She was the most dominant heat winner, which came on Slipper Day at Rosehill where she absolutely spanked her rivals after setting a hot speed. Tired late but was entitled to. 1400m is a different pain barrier though, and she won’t be winning if those tactics are adopted here. Still, she has the runs on the board and is a deserved favourite.
Long Shot: 3 Ziganui (Bet Now: $81.00) comes through the Kembla/Goulburn qualifier and I thought she was very good in defeat. Just got stuck near the middle of the track, which wasn’t the spot to be unlike out wide where the eventual winner Maryore swooped. Ziganui did well to get as close as she did. She was only second up there, so she should have upside left and some of her closing splits that she has previously produced would see her hard to beat here.



Race Five (13:55) : Arrowfield Sprint 1200m:

Back Me: 12 Spright (Bet Now: $8.00) for me here. Very good filly that found the 1400m a bridge too far in the Surround behind La Bella Diosa, so she has been freshened up with an eye towards this race. Trialled last week at Hawkesbury and was given a nice hitout by Corey Brown, asked for an effort and she responded. Classy filly when she is at her best, and she is very good when produced fresh, plus a fast run 1200m is right up her alley.
Big Danger: How many times can they go to the well with 11 Global Glamour? (Bet Now: $3.20) Well this is the last time this prep, and boy what a prep it has been. I thought it ended after she flopped in the Coolmore, but the way she trialled up last week at Rosehill indicates that she has done superbly since last start. Back to 1200m is a big tick for her and she has class/toughness on her side.
Long Shot: Best roughie all day for mine is 3 Defcon. (Bet Now: $16.00) Quality colt for Team Snowden who is first up here. He did trial in late January, so obviously something wasn’t right, so they waited for him and he trialled last week at Rosehill and though pushed out by Shinn, the turn of foot was there and was very good through the line. Saves his best for when he is produced fresh and he will have no trouble with a wet track. $51 is crazy odds.



Race Six (14:35) : James Boags Premium Australian Oaks 2400m:

Back Me: Bet of the day for me here in 3 Bonneval (Bet Now: $3.60). Star filly for the Baker/Forsman camp who comes down under off the back of a stunning win in the NZ Oaks (2400m) where she made her run 1000m out and was four/five wide from that point on, so she was entitled to perhaps weaken near the line, but it was the opposite. She ate it up and was strong to and through the line. I don’t think the fillies here are good enough, as we have seen in recent years, so I think it’s the kiwis again.
Big Danger: The best of the local hopes appears to be 4 Nurse Kitchen (Bet Now: $4.80). I was against her, and have been throughout the prep, but there was plenty to like about her last start effort in the Vinery Stud (2000m) when second to Montoya’s Secret. She got held up a touch early on in the straight and that probably cost her the win, as well as coming wide on the course, and out wide at Rosehill really isn’t the spot to be. 2400m is no issue for her I think and if we remain with a heavy track, big tick for her.
Long Shot: What do we make of 1 Lasqueti Spirit (Bet Now: $8.50). the surprise Oaks winner from the Spring. She has taken quite the unusual path leading in, taking on the WFA stars, including Winx and Jameka, and while she hasn’t won, she has been far from disgraced. My question is whether she is a tired horse now, because that last start effort would have broken her heart, running 12 and change splits throughout and getting beat a dozen lengths. How much zip is in the legs? Time will tell.



Race Seven (15:15) : Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2000m:

Back Me: Just sit back and watch something special with 9 Winx (Bet Now: $1.10). Didn’t think she could better her Cox Plate win in the Spring, but I think she did in the George Ryder (1500m) when absolutely spanking her rivals with absolute ease, beating Chautauqua, who of course has come out and won, and Mccreery and Hauraki both ran rippers in the Doncaster. Form franked, but it doesn’t need to be franked with this mare. She just wins.
Big Danger: Obvious second pick is 1 Hartnell (Bet Now: $13.00). Jury was well and truly out on him after his flop in the Chipping Norton (1600m) behind Winx, but he was much better in the Ranvet (2000m) when beating all bar a pure mudlark in Our Ivanhowe in a race that didn’t really suit his racing pattern. He has been ridden cold this time in. I’d love to see him ridden with aggression and get up near the speed. Not saying he will beat Winx, but he has to be given his chance and that won’t happen if he sits behind her. Has to be in front of her.
Long Shot: 4 The United States (Bet Now: $26.00) looks the third pick and clearly. He is a bit of a thinker and while the wraps on him are huge, keep in mind that he has only won four races from 21 race starts down under. Not the greatest winning strike rate, and he obviously won’t be winning here, but his Ranvet run was okay and he did run very well in this race last year.



Race Eight (15:55) : Schweppes Sydney Cup 3200m:

Back Me: For me it’s either Assign or Big Duke, and I think fresh legs are key here, so 5 Assign (Bet Now: $7.00) it is. Looked in need of the run fresh at Caulfield behind Boom Time before going to the Neville Sellwood (2000m) where he was given a lovely ride near the inside by Melham and that won him the race over Astronomos. Has he had the right grounding for the two miles? I do not know, but the stable love to target this race, he has fresh legs/upside and gets a significant weight drop. He’ll do me at around $6.
Big Danger: Obvious threat has to be 7 Big Duke (Bet Now: $2.45). Got the verdict in the stewards room in the Manion Cup (2400m) but won the race on his terms last week in the Chairmans (2600m) in what was a farcical contest given the very slow tempo in front, which suited this horse perfectly given he does have a turn of foot. That won’t happen here and he has been up for a very long time, but while he is up and about and in ripping form, why not run him, and Weir does have a remarkable knack of keeping these horses up in work for a long period of time.
Long Shot: Going to give 13 Vengeur Masque (Bet Now: $21.00) a look here at odds. He was a big flop two back in the Stony Creek Cup but was much better last time out in the Mornington Cup (2400m) where he attempted to lead all the way and he showed very good fight in the straight, only to be nutted on the post by Tally, who has form around Hartnell and Jameka. Ran well in a Caulfield Cup in the Spring and finished second to Francis Of Assisi. Don’t think the two miles will be an issue.



Race Nine (16:35) : Coolmore Legacy Stakes 1600m:

Back Me: Kris Lees rarely gets it wrong in Group l races, so I am with 7 Danish Twist (Bet Now: $11.00). She was 1500m back to 1200m when contesting the Star Kingdom a fortnight back and that was pretty much just a barrier trial for her. Tempo/track/distance was all against her yet despite that, gee I thought she worked to and through the line with purpose behind Jungle Edge. Crying out for the mile now, looks to be good speed engaged here and with cover and last say, I think she’ll run a beauty.
Big Danger: 6 Dixie Blossoms (Bet Now: $7.00) is a ripping mare for Ron Quinton. Had no luck in the Coolmore (1500m) before going to the Emancipation (1500m) where she was ridden awfully by Jason Collett. Was far too negative on her and pretty much rode her like it was a barrier trial. She did an amazing job to get as close as she did. Randwick mile looks perfect for her and she rates highly.
Long Shot: 5 Zanbagh (Bet Now: $14.00) won that Emancipation and that was no fluke. Given a gun ride from Bowman. She jumped well and he was positive on her, slotting into the 1/1 and from there it was pretty painless for those that were on. She will be much better when she is ridden a touch more quiet, so she can attack the line, and the wet track is definitely in her favour.



Race Ten (17:15) : TAB Sapphire Stakes 1200m:

Back Me: 2 Artistry (Bet Now: $5.50) might not have liked the wet track fresh in the Maurice McCarten but her class got her home when she overhauled stablemate Dothraki right on the peg. Has been given a little break since and trialled up well last week behind star filly Global Glamour. Keen to see what she does here.
Big Danger: Keen here each way on 3 Secret Agenda (Bet Now: $11.00). Very good mare for Mick Price who was one of the runs of the day IMHO when resuming in the Hareeba at Mornington given she was back on a leader dominated track and was racing on concrete, which is clearly not her go. Much better with give in the track, which she gets here, ran well in this race last year, and she has an outstanding second up record.
Long Shot: 9 Tempt Me Not (Bet Now: $21.00) trialled up very well prior to resuming in the Birthday Card where nothing went right for her behind Raiment. Got back in a slowly run race and was held up badly in the straight, so the run was inconclusive. Has since been back to the trials and won that, beating stablemate Tactical Advantage. Won the PJ Bell this time last year, so we know she can perform on the big stage. Don’t overlook her.



BEST BET: Race Six Number 3 Bonneval

NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 4 Serena Bay

VALUE: Race Nine Number 7 Danish Twist



Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):

Leg One: 9

Leg Two: 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14

Leg Three: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Leg Four: 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 15

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