Sydney racing will return to Rosehill this Saturday. The track was rated a Heavy 8 on Thursday and with fine weather forecast for the next two days, Rosehill could border between Dead/Slow on raceday.
The Queensland Oaks meeting will be held at Eagle Farm this weekend. The track was rated a Slow 7 on Thursday and with overcast weather in Brisbane, Eagle Farm could race on Dead/Slow range on raceday.
In the Bishop Kevin Manning Plate (Sydney Race 2, 1350m), it looks a race between the two 2nd up runners. Amovatio and Moderate were both 1st up winners. From the rail’s barrier, Schofield will push Amovatio up to race on pace whereas Jason Collett will settle Moderate just off the pace from barrier 4. There’s not a lot between the two youngsters. But the 2kg allowance would probably give Moderate an edge. And the trip (1350m) looks perfect for Moderate. I believe the $2.60 in the fixed odds market for Moderate is acceptable.
In the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (Brisbane Race 3, 2200m), defending champion Lights Of Heaven looks the horse to beat. The 5YO mare has an identical lead up to the Eagle Farm Cup as last year, running in the Hollindale Cup and the Doomben Cup. She won the Hollindale impressively and although she could only finish 5th in the Doomben Cup last start, she was only beaten 1.2 lengths. Her stablemate Manighar had put in his best performance this preparation, finishing 4th in the Doomben Cup last start. But I am not convinced he is quite back to his best. Hence I’ll stick with the form horse in Lights Of Heaven.
In the Channel 7 Bright Shadow Hcp (Brisbane Race 5, 1200), I like the Sydney visitor Bound To Blush. This John O’Shea-trained 4YO has a tremendous record over the 1200m winning all her 4 career victories over this distance. She ran a brave 2nd last start over 1350m and just got run over in the last little bit by Sookie. Back to 1200m on Saturday is a sensible move by O’Shea. From barrier 4, Tim Clark will take Bound To Blush to the front and be hard to catch.
The Group 1 race of the meeting the Queensland Oaks (Brisbane Race 7, 2400m), current race favourite is the VRC Oaks winner Dear Demi. But I believe there is nothing between her and the Pat Carey-trained Gondokoro. The last time these two fillies met was in the Doomben Roses (2000m) a fortnight ago. On that occasion, Dear Demi was out in the middle of the track with a clear run whereas Gondokoro was slightly block for a run in the inside. Though Gondokoro was beaten by a nose, she flew home and was in front one bound after the winning post. From barrier 1, Rhys McLeod will put Gondokoro to sleep along the fence. The spacious Eagle Farm and the longer straight would suit Gondokoro and she looks strong over the 2400m. Gondokoro will be the winner for the 2013 Queensland Oaks.
By Owens Wong, Editor