Grahame Carey’s Eagle Farm preview, tips and best bets for Saturday July 31

Some horses handle the firm track better than others and that’s something I’ve factored in when making selections on Saturday’s Eagle Farm meeting.

Race 1- Benchmark 78 Handicap 1600m
Steve Tregea is striking at 34 per cent with his last 50 runners and CHAMPAGNE AUNTY (13) put the writing on the wall with a strong effort when just missing on resumption in a Class 3 over 1400m here. The step up in trip won’t hurt and while this is stronger company she has upside and with 3kg less Larry Cassidy can go forward, set his own tempo and take luck out of the equation. BAANONE (4) is now having his third start for Tony and Maddy Sears and ran on stoutly last start at Sunshine Coast to be narrowly beaten by the in-form East Asia in a Benchmark 75 over 1400m. He has a good record at this trip, Jim Byrne stays on and if he handles the Eagle Farm surface will be in the finish. Mark Currie has GREAT POWERS (2) on the quick backup after putting in a poor one at Doomben following a solid Class 6 win at the Sunshine Coast. She has won at this track, will be near the speed and the 3kg claim for Madeleine Wishart helps. WHISPERED (9) has been knocking on the door at the midweeks and is fitter for four outings since joining Gillian Heinrich. His best form in NSW was on bigger tracks and this distance will suit. He takes on Saturday grade but is well drawn and will get a good run off the speed with Jim Orman.
Betting Strategy – Hard to go against the stable in form with CHAMPAGNE AUNTY (10) but too short for me.

Race 2- Benchmark 78 Handicap 2200m
Tempo (or lack of it) and the best ride usually dictates who wins these Brisbane middle distance affairs. LONDON BANKER (1) has placed at all three outings since coming from New Zealand to join Kelly Schweida and only just missed to the consistent Tears Of Love here last start in this grade over 1800m. Three of his wins in New Zealand were at 2100m and under similar conditions to last start with Jim Orman to ride he gets his chance to break through. WARP SPEED (3) wasn’t suited by the pedestrian tempo at Doomben last week over 2020m and Rob Heathcote has had no hesitation on backing him up on a track at which he has won previously. Robbie Fradd stays on and if he gets a tempo to suit will be hard to hold out. Richard and Michael Freedman have been placing their horses well during the Queensland winter picking up nine races so far and can add to the tally with the Americain gelding UNAMERICAN (6). His Sydney form is far from impressive but his last effort when fourth in a Saturday Benchmark 78 over 1800m at Randwick is up to this class. He will need the right tempo but the big track should suit and Jim Byrne can have him finishing off. The Declaration Of War four-year-old TWO SMOKIN BARRELS (4) got the job done at Doomben last week in a Benchmark 72 over 2020m and has won at this trip previously carrying 61kg at Grafton in weaker grade. This is harder but Ron Stewart stays on and he has been a consistent performer for Ben Ahrens winning three times and only missing a place twice in his past eleven starts. He may not be done with yet.
Betting Strategy – Best ride wins. Will stay out.

Race 3- Benchmark 72 Handicap 1400m
Many of the best chances in this are backmarkers but they may not get a tempo to suit. One that can go forward is the lightly-raced Jack Duncan-trained GENUINE AL (14) which has won two of three starts this preparation the latest a Class 2 at the Gold Coast over this trip. An improving four-year-old, he drops 2kg and with Like Tarrant will get a good run near the speed. The consistent Tony Gollan-trained mare LASHONI (11) was resuming and slowly away but hit the line when narrowly beaten by Daring Belle in a Benchmark 75 over 1200m. She can improve second-up, Ryan Maloney stays on and over this trip will get a more positive ride from gate six. Toby and Trent Edmonds have been having a terrible run with only two winners from their last fifty starters but the stable is too strong for that to continue and INDIAN DREAMER (10) can help turn things around. He can be his own worst enemy by missing the start but has a powerful finish and this big track will suit. He has been readied by two good trials, Robbie Fradd knows him well and he will be hitting the line hard. LUNA MIA (8) chased hard but couldn’t reel in Sea Raider here last start in a Benchmark 80 over 1200m. She rises 4.5kg but Bobby El-Issa stays on and over the longer trip will be strong late. TAKE TEA (1) did nothing when resuming but improves second up and will find this distance more suitable. The 3kg claim for Marnu Potgeiter helps and while she is hard to follow has won twice here previously and is up to this class on best form.
Betting Strategy – Not sure how the tempo will play so staying out.

Race 4- QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap 1200m
Some early spring shoots here with the Magic Millions runner-up ALPINE EDGE (1) resuming. Trained by Toby and Trent Edmonds he was among the top two-year-olds last year winning two of his first three outings before an aborted autumn campaign. His recent Gold Coast trial indicated he has come back well and with a 3kg claim for Jaden Lloyd if anywhere near his best will be too good for these. JUMBO GOAL (4) has won his past two at the midweeks the most recent here over this trip. He drops 1.5kg and with Bobby El-Issa replacing Robbie Fradd will be near the speed throughout. STARTANTES (6) showed promise at his first preparation winning two of four starts including one at Eagle Farm over 1200m. He won a recent 800m trial on the dirt at Eagle Farm and with Taylor Marshall can stalk the speed and be strong late. ENTERPRISE POMME (13) had support and did a good job to lead throughout and win on debut over 1200m at Doomben. This is harder but she drops 3kg and will be prominent for Michael Cahill.
Betting Strategy – Trusting ALPINE EDGE (1) class to carry him through. Two units to win.

Race 5- QTIS Three-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Handicap 1300m
Toby and Trent Edmonds are looking to turn their recent bad run around with three runners here, all of which are strong chances. GDANSK (4) has typified the stable of late with runner-up efforts at both starts on resuming followed by being first past the post at the Gold Coast only to lose in the stewards’ room. He gets a gear change, Robbie Fradd rides and if more tractable will be hard to beat. The stablemate JETTY (5) hit the front before being run down by Mob Buster over 1400m here last start. Andrew Mallyon stays on and from gate two will get the gun run throughout and be hard to pass. The third of the stable entries HEY BIG SPLENDA (10) did plenty wrong when resuming at Ipswich in Benchmark 65 company but hit the line well to beat all but Sweet Rhapsody over 1100m. Fitter for that outing, he will enjoy the bigger track and longer journey. BUNDYANDCOKE (7) showed promise last preparation and ran on well when having his first start for Trevor Miller when fourth to Bad Barista over 1200m here. He rises 4kg but will be improved by that outing and with Jim Orman can hit the line hard. SAFEWORK (2) has only won one of 19 starts but many of his outings have been in stronger company than this. Fitter for four starts this time in he finds a suitable race and with Mark Du Plessis can make his presence felt.
Betting Strategy – Hoping the Edmonds luck has turned but no bet.

Race 6- Class 3 Plate 1800m
A stamina test for some of these and the Paul Duncan-trained TAVIS TOWN (6) has always shown staying promise. He was dominant last start when leading all the way at Ipswich over 1710m in a Benchmark 68. This is harder but the Tavistock four-year-old has won here previously and with Brad Pengelly will get a good run with cover off the speed. He is still a work in progress but can take a step forward here. Richard And Michael Freedman have two runners, both good chances. TITLED TYCOON (14) led into the straight before fading late when third to Victoria Park over this trip last start. Andrew Mallyon takes the ride, the tongue-tie goes on and from gate three will be near the speed for a long way. SCICONIC (4) improved second-up when second to Fighting Commando at the Sunshine Coast. He has won third-up previously and will appreciate this extra distance. Michael Cahill takes the mount and a big track suits and he will be closing late. MOB BUSTER (8) has been a revelation this preparation winning three of his five outings and placing at the others, one of those being in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic when third to Ayrton. He steps up in trip here after winning a Benchmark 70 last start for Jim Orman at the Sunshine Coast and while poorly weighted winning form cannot be discounted.
Betting Strategy – One unit win, two units place on TAVIS TOWN (9).

Race 7- Class 6 Handicap 1200m
David Vandyke has found a suitable race for WEBOUGHTAZOU (5) which has been runner-up at his past two outings over shorter trips but in Open class. Fitter for three outings this time in he steps up to 1200m, a trip at which he has won twice and Michael Cahill should have him prominent throughout. TRIPLE ACE (7) wasn’t helped by a slow mid-race tempo last start and was run down late by Bad Barista over this trip. He takes on older horses but drops 2.5kg and Andrew Mallyon will have him on the speed throughout. If he can set the right tempo TRIPLE ACE will be hard to beat. JE SUIS BELLE (10) beat everyone but Shooting For Gold here last start over 1000m. She steps up to 1200m for the first time but from gate one with Madeleine Wishart will give them something to chase. ROYAL HALE (1) has a good record at Eagle Farm and goes best fresh. His recent trial was sound and with Ryan Maloney will be running on. ELIXIR (3) is another that races well fresh and his recent trial was sound. He has won here previously, 1200m suits and with Kate Cowan’s 3kg claim will be near the speed for a long way. DITMAS (6) never got on the track last start and is better suited in this class. He drops 2kg and will be handy for Mark Du Plessis.
Betting Strategy – Many chances. Will just watch.

Race 8 – Open Handicap 1400m
Rob Heathcote can get them ready first-up and while it has been seven weeks since EMERALD KINGDOM (1) ran in the Stradbroke Handicap that form is strong. A Group 3 winner of the BRC Sprint beating subsequent Stradbroke winner Tofane, he has been freshened by a jumpout, has the speed to overcome a wide gate and with a 3kg claim for Leah Kilner is well weighted in this company. SCALLOPINI (2) was forced to lead in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap over 1400m at the Sunshine Coast and was found out late. He will have benefited from that outing, blinkers come off and the 3kg claim for Jaden Lloyd helps. This distance suits, he has won three times at the track and ridden off the speed might be too strong. PROFIT (7) only battled in the Glasshouse Handicap but is fitter for three outings and has won twice over this trip here. Fitter for three outings, he draws to do no work from gate four and with Larry Cassidy can be in the finish. SEA RAIDER (12) loves this track and drops 4kg on his last start win here over 1200m in a Benchmark 80. He has won four times previously at this distance, is fitter than most and will give a sight again. MATOWI (6) almost ran BOOMSARA (3) down when resuming over 1200m here. He will be improved by that, drops 2kg and is better suited at 1400m. If he gets the right tempo he can be in the finish.
Betting Strategy – If EMERALD KINGDOM (1) is ready he wins but will wait and see.

Race 9- QTIS Three-Year-Old Fillies Handicap 1300m
Richard and Michael Freedman have been having a good time in Queensland and CINDERELLA (4) could take them to the ball once again. The I Am Invincible filly powered home to win here in a Class 3 Plate over 1000m when resuming and looks to have plenty of improvement. She steps up in trip but races as though the trip will suit and with Taylor Marshall staying on will be strongest late. It is extremely rare that horses win six on end but the Poet’s Voice filly ELOQUENTLY (1) has carried all before her this preparation and the Steve Tregea stable is going so well that nothing would surprise. At her last outing ELOQUENTLY comfortably ran down the talented Miami Fleiss over 1200m and the trainer has had no hesitation in backing her up quickly. She rises 3kg, goes up in trip and if she handles the firm Eagle Farm surface can get the job done again. BAD BARISTA (2) ran down Triple Ace here last start over 1200m and ran ELOQUENTLY close over 1000m four starts back at Toowoomba when resuming. She meets that filly 4kg better and with Jim Orman could turn the tables. LITTLE MISS PIXIE (9) keeps running honest races in good company without winning. This trip suits and she will run on for Luke Tarrant. LADY BANFF (3) was caught wide and wasn’t beaten far by BAD BARISTA last start. A better gate and Ryan Maloney help though 1300m may test.
Betting Strategy – Two units on CINDERELLA (4) to win.

ALPINE EDGE (Race 4 No 1)

CINDERELLA (Race 9 No 4)

TAVIS TOWN (Race 6 No 6)

Quaddie numbers are:
Race 6:
4, 6, 8, 9, 14
Race 7: 5, 7
Race 8: 1, 2
Race 9: 1, 2, 4
60 combinations

Originally published asEagle Farm preview, tips and best bets

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