The first real meeting of the Brisbane carnival is set down for the Gold Coast on Saturday. The major race is the Hollindale Cup run over 1800m.
Race 6 is a terrific race with some really classy horses competing and no real dominant favourite. Karuta Queen (race 6 number 2) will be near the lead for the entire race and can still run out a strong 1200m when she chooses to. If there is an early speed battle which is almost guaranteed to occur then Karuta Queen should be better late than the other front runners. Luke Nolen may even cuddle her a touch and sit just behind the pace. If the leaders do cut each to pieces then perhaps Emotional Circus (race 6 number 12) will be the one that runs over the top. This mare likes to get right to the back in her races then she is usually too far back to really threaten. However, with the Pumper Cassidy on, she may not be allowed to drift so far back. If she was to find a midfield position she could potentially camp of the back of the leaders and get momentum before the turn then sling-shot past the field.
Race 7 includes the honourable non-winning-for-four years Phelan Ready. He will probably be well supported and storm home for a three-inch second! Steel Zip (race 7 number 7) on the other hand is a winner. He seems to go bad when he is expected to win in easy company then he wins in good company when not given a chance. Well we will call his bluff and give him a big chance this week. Another grey horse in the race is Fire Up Fifi (race 7 number 13) is a wonderful mare. She always gives her best and can really mix it with some good horses. She was chopped out when looking for a gap last start and before that she had beaten some really good horses. She never finishes too far away and Saturday should be no exception.
Solzhenitsyn (race 8 number 5) is a Group One winner and a third placegetter to Pierro and More Joyous. He saves his best for his home state and despite the presence of Lights Of Heaven, Solzhenitsyn looks the safest each way bet of the day. That is unless the track is wet. If it is dry he is a bet but if it is wet he is a lay. Simple right!
Sizzling (race 9 number 1) is another who is Group One winner who also saves his best for QLD. He has such a big class edge on this field and should he get a nice run he will be extremely hard to beat.
By Zeb Armstrong