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Stradbroke Day Preview – Can Love Conquer Woorim?

June 10, 2011

Queensland’s best raceday is suddenly upon us, with large fields and open races the order of the day.

Just Horse Racing’s Andrew Hawkins is heading to his first Stradbroke day this year, and he has done the form to give our readers the best possible leg-up ahead of tomorrow’s raceday.

Read on to get Andrew’s selections:

Race 1 – Listed Ambassador Travel Lancaster Stakes (1200m)

A nightmare race to start the day, with twenty four acceptors (18 + 6 EM) and more chances than you can count. There looks to be a bunch of pace in this race, but I have noticed a pattern recently over the sprint distances at Eagle Farm where they go flat out but yet the winner comes from the first half of the field – the backmarkers just get too far back. With that in mind, I’m going to have something on SETTHEWORLDONFIRE in this race. I don’t think she has to lead but I think she’ll still settle fairly handy. And although she didn’t beat much on debut, she still has to be a chance based on her four length victory on debut. Another unbeaten filly with improvement still in her is LITTLE MISS VICKY. Once again, didn’t beat much – but she has scope. She has a good jockey in Michael Rodd aboard, and she should get a lovely run from the gate. For third, go with what probably has the best form in the race. That is SARAMENHA. She won’t be able to control the race by any means and she may struggle to get across from the gate, but compared to what she has been meeting, there’s not a lot here. Also, the drop back in distance suits. For fourth, go with the fresh DOUG’S JET. Not sure how good she is but she has a good record, which a lot of these fillies don’t have. If they get runs, keep an eye out on EMPLUS (fourth behind Helmet two starts ago, as well as finishing around horses like Anevay and Disputes) and WARLADY (5L behind City of Song looks good now). Don’t know if they can win, but at big odds they could add value to the exotics.

18 – Settheworldonfire
12 – Little Miss Vicky
1 – Saramenha
3 – Doug’s Jet

Race 2 – Listed David Jones Lightning Handicap (1000m)

Another big field over 1000m, however this one looks a little bit more clear cut. TEMPLE OF BOOM will need to have an off day or something will have to show an incredible improvement to beat this track and distance specialist who flies fresh. He was beaten first up last prep by Carry the Clubs, who he meets once more. However, he was being prepared to peak in Melbourne last prep. Here, you’d say he’s going to be tuned up first up. It will take a good horse to beat him. If I was looking for one down in the weights I’d probably throw in WARRIOR GIRL. She’s still lightly raced and her first up win was good in weaker company. On her day, she is up to these – as her win in the Magic Millions Sprint (2010) showed. Keep her safe at good odds. FACILE TIGRE has a great first up record and loves it good/dead. He’ll most likely sit midfield and should get a perfect run. Might find it a touch short though. And despite a horrible first up run at Muswellbrook, if the filly PYROGRAPHY produces some of her best form, she can get into the placings at odds. Reckon the equal favourite Adebisi is a lay.

1 – Temple of Boom
11 – Warrior Girl
5 – Facile Tigre
15 – Pyrography

Race 3 – Listed XXXX Gold Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m)

An open field over 1600m. I was all set to tip Firebolt to make amends following his antics in this race last year, when he reared as the field was released. But now he’s been scratched, we look elsewhere. Going to go for a bit of an upset. WEB OF LOVE scored in an upset two starts back before a game run behind Steel Lips last time out. Unbeaten at this track and distance and gets a perfect draw. Should race handy and can spring another upset. However, it is no surprise that ST GERMAINE is favourite. Fantastic run in a hot race last week and she will appreciate getting back up to 1600m. Big chance. For third, go with WILLY JIMMY who has continually improved over the last year. This is about his class and he can win with the right run. I’ll throw in a horse that on his day can win but who has been so disappointing and so up and down it is not funny – FIFTEEN CARAT.

18 – Web of Love
16 – St Germaine
11 – Willy Jimmy
9 – Fifteen Carat

Race 4 – Group 2 Australian Special Metals Brisbane Cup (2400m)

Hmmm…this looks a bit disappointing this year. But the four winners of the race since it was brought back in distance have been Newport (subsequent Metropolitan winner), Viewed (subsequent Melbourne/Caulfield Cup winner), Scenic Shot (subsequent Mackinnon Stakes winner) and Crossthestart (injured in spring so hasn’t had much opportunity). Although I’m in favour of keeping these feature races at 3200m, that is still a pretty good honour list. So who will join them and become a potential Cups horse in the spring? Well, to be honest, the only one I can see measuring up as a good chance is GLASS HARMONIUM. This import for Mike Moroney is very promising and still looks to have scope. His last three runs have simply been better than the rest of the field and if he produces his Eagle Farm Cup run, he wins. He’s already second favourite for the Caulfield Cup, so he’d need to justify that by winning the Brisbane Cup. For second, go with IRONSTEIN. Probably the only other one I can see measuring up in the Cups, but more likely the Melbourne Cup. Good win last start, I think he’s been crying out for the distance and a firm surface. It was a good win over this distance last start and I think he’ll be in top shape. THE CHEVRON is either going to run in this race or the Queensland Derby (if he gets a run). If he gets a run here, the only query is lack of pace. But he has a lot of upside and I think that his two runs have been good. Has been crying out for the distance. Also in contention are VIKING HERO and at big odds STREETS AWAY. But I think I’ll be playing exotics with Glass Harmonium winning and Ironstein/The Chevron as runners up.

1 – Glass Harmonium
3 – Ironstein
12 – The Chevron
6 – Viking Hero
(if The Chevron is scratched) 11 – Streets Away

Race 5 – Group 1 Patinack Farm T. J. Smith (1600m)

I’m sorry, but this is a pretty pathetic Group 1. There are some horses here who I think will be nice horses in time, but they are pretty thin here. On class, Hot Snitzel looks the one but I’m not sure. I am not keen on the Snitzels at 1600m. He’ll get every chance in front but I think there may be other stronger chances near the front. However, despite what the map tells me, I’m going for DOWAGER QUEEN. Fantastic run last time out, and is the most proven horse in the race at 1600m. With a good run, she’ll go very close. The strongest at 1600m of those on the speed will most likely be BENFICA. He had no chance after he was spooked by Free Wheeling in the stalls last week. Should get a beautiful run here. The 1600m will suit and he looks one of the better chances in the race. FONTELINA was highly impressive last start while LARGO DA BARRA could be the knockout at big odds. Hot Snitzel next best.

9 – Dowager Queen
2 – Benfica
4 – Fontelina
5 – Largo Da Barra

Race 6 – Group 1 Channel 7 Queensland Derby (2400m)

Following in the footsteps of most other classics this season, it is a pretty weak rendition of the Queensland Derby. The Oaks last weekend definitely looked to have more depth to it and I’d say that across the crop, the fillies have been on level terms with their male counterparts. With that in mind, I’m rating the two fillies in the race very highly. I was on SHEZ SINSATIONAL last week and I’m happy to back up. It was a good run and she’ll only be improved by the run. She has backed up once for a six length victory. I have to have her on top. HEIDILICIOUS needs to jump out of the gates well – I’m counting on the barrier blanket and the tongue tie to make a difference. If she jumps, she’ll get a beautiful run and should get every chance. I think they can run a historic quinella for fillies. Of the boys, there look to be only three hopes – and only one of them will get a run. Don’t dismiss High Chaparral gelding SINGLE. He goes alright. I think he wasn’t suited on a wet track last start, but the start before he was fantastic. He’s got scope and will relish the 2400m. SHOOTOFF is the best performed horse in the race, but I think he’s reached the limit of his ability. He’ll be around the mark, but I don’t like the price about him. Happy to look to others. The only other two chances for mine are THE CHEVRON, and he’s unlikely to get a run. If he does, I’d have him in the top 3. He’s a real nice horse. The only other chance is YULALONA – he has a better record than Shootoff and finished in front of him in the Victoria Derby. I’m not sure if there are any spring horses here but we shall wait and see.

17 – Shez Sinsational
18 – Heidilicious
10 – Single
2 – Shootoff
(if 20 – The Chevron gets a run, put him in for third)


Race 7 – Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m)

I don’t think I’ve ever been waiting for the weather before I bet like I have with this race. The weather will determine my top pick. If, and only if, it is dry (Good/Dead), then WOORIM will be my top selection. I love horses with a blistering turn of foot, and it had been a while since I saw a horse finish off a race the way he finished off the BRC Sprint last start. But he doesn’t like it wet and so if it gets to a slow track, I’d jump off. But if it remains dry he’ll be my top tip. I think in time, the best horse going forward will be LOVE CONQUERS ALL. He has the EXACT same formline as Black Piranha had before his first Stradbroke win – 2nds in the George Ryder Stakes, Doncaster Mile and Doomben 10000. He loves it wet and would become my bet of the day if it got to a slow track. But he still looks a good betting prospect on top of the ground. These two are clearly the top picks. BLACK PIRANHA is going for history by aiming for his third Stradbroke win. No horse has won three Stradbrokes. His preparation has been perfect for his, although there have been rumours floating around that the horse may have had a virus. I still believe he’ll run a good race, but I think we’ll see a changing of the guard here to the new brigade. ZERO ROCK is as genuine as they come. She’ll be on the pace and her ability to run out a strong 1400m will be tested. I’m not sure if she’ll be up to it, but I love her honesty and if for some reason there isn’t as much pace as expected, she could be the one. Next best are SINCERO, ALL SILENT and BEADED.

10 – Woorim
4 – Love Conquers All
1 – Black Piranha
17 – Zero Rock

Race 8 – Group 2 Sky Racing Queensland Guineas (1600m)

What a lottery this race is!!! My suggestion is to pick a number and cheer it home. Anything could win this race. But I’m giving my selections so here’s what I’ll be cheering home. SKILLED is a Group 1 winner but he has had no luck with barriers whatsoever. Hasn’t drawn well again but should appreciate a hot tempo and the extra distance. In what is an incredibly open race, he’s as good a chance as any. After bagging the Snitzels at 1600m earlier, I’m showing big double standards by putting in TIGRESS LILY for second. But her dam is by Zabeel so she should be able to get home hopefully. She’s been very consistent in good class races and she should get a beautiful run from the barrier. Chance at silly odds. TORIO’S QUEST needs a dry track but he has been crying out for 1600m. I reckon he wants even further. He’s drawn beautifully and just needs luck. For fourth, go with BIANCA JEWEL. Very much an enigma but will be looking for the reduced distance and could be the knockout at $61.

2 – Skilled
18 – Tigress Lily
1 – Torio’s Quest
15 – Bianca Jewel

Best Bet –R4 #1 Glass Harmonium
Next Best –
R2 #1 Temple of Boom
Best Value –
R5 #9 Dowager Queen

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