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A Stradbroke Handicap start is on offer for Military Zone after the three year old scored a dominant win in the Group 3 $150,000 Nuturf Fred Best Classic (1400m) at Eagle Farm today.
Military Zone, was the winner of the Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm. Photo by Steve Hart.
The winner of the Fred Best Classic is exempt from the ballot for the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm in a fortnight and co-trainer Peter Snowden is seriously thinking about taking up the offer.
Military Zone scored his fifth win from ten starts but will still get a light weight in the Stradbroke Handicap when the weights are released on Monday.
Peter Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul, said that he didn’t want to make a hasty decision and will wait until late into next week before declaring his hand.
“It is way too early to say yet,” Peter Snowden said.
“He is a really nice horse and I have always liked this bloke. He is getting better with racing but I reckon he is still another prep away, a Spring, Autumn horse, not so much now, but it is hard to ignore what he did there today.”
“It is a long hard thinking process to go through with Mick and Chris (Ward, Triple Crown Syndication Managers) and hope we can work something with them.”
“He is a very progressive horse, he has a great turn of foot, he is easy to ride and I think he has a nice future.”
“We will let the dust settle and make a decision in a week’s time and see what happens.”
James McDonald wrapped a winning double when he brought Military Zone ($3.30 favourite) down the middle of the wide Eagle Farm straight to overpower the leaders and record a comfortable win over two of the outsiders of the field, Baccarat Baby ($81) and Krone ($61).
McDonald won the first race on the nine event card on the Todd Blowes trained Noble Boy.
Military Zone has firmed in from $21 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Stradbroke Handicap to be on the third line of betting at $10 behind The Bostonian at $5.50 and Trekking at $8.
A superb ride from Michael Cahill saw Kiwi sprinter The Bostonian score back to back Group 1 wins with victory in the $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm today.
Michael Cahill, above, rode a superb race to win the 2019 Kingsford-Smith Cup on The Bostonian at Eagle Farm. Photo by Daniel Costello.
Cahill was aboard the Tony Pike trained The Bostonian when he won the Group 1 $800,000 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) two weeks ago from an inside barrier but today the in-form hoop had to work his magic from an awkward gate.
Cahill had The Bostonian on the fence behind the leading division in the run to the first turn and as he did in the Doomben 10,000, weaved a passage in between runners in the straight to claim the major prize again.
The Bostonain ($10) had three quarters of a length to spare over the outsider of the field Princess Posh ($151) with the $5.50 favourite Trekking running his usual honest race to fill third spot.
The Bostonian is now undefeated from five starts in The Sunshine State after winning a hat trick as a three year old during the 2018 Queensland Winter Carnival.
The Tony Pike trained four year old made the trip across the Tasman again this year to win the Doomben 10,000 before today’s victory.
Pike said that The Bostonian will try to maintain his Queensland winning momentum when he lines up in the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm in two weeks time.
“We are going to get a re-handicap for the Stradbroke, but it (Kingsford-Smith Cup) was too nice a race to turn up,” Pike said.
“His work on Tuesday morning was probably better than before the 10,000. So we couldn’t really turn this race down.”
“A great ride from Michael again. He put him straight into the trail from an awkward gate and another good strong win.”
“He just loves it here in Queensland and he is flying.”
“The horse is very sharp out of the gates and he can put himself in the race which helps.”
“He really didn’t have to do a lot of work to get across either.”
“It was an outstanding ride by Michael and they just seem to have a great association together.”
“Two weeks to the Stradbroke and we will just keep ticking him over now.”
The Bostobnian is now the $5 outright favourite for the 2019 Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au.
A start in the 2019 Brisbane Cup is looming for The Candy Man after he stretched his winning sequence to seven with his victory in the Group 3 $140,000 Eva Air Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm today.
Haripour, above, finihsed second to The Candy Man in the Premier’s Cup at Eagle Farm. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.
The Candy Man had to overcome several operations in the early days of his career but is working towards a huge pay day if he can win the Group 2 $400,000 Lexus Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm in a fortnight.
“At one stage we thought he might be finished completely,” winning trainer Barry Baldwin said.
“Even after he had the operation he hurt a hind leg and he had a series of things go wrong with him but to everybody’s credit we stuck to our guns.”
“He just keeps on improving. He has to step up all of the time but at the moment he might be Jack and the Bean Stalk, he might go right to the top.”
“It was only a Group 3 but the Brisbane Cup will be his next go. He can handle wet tracks so it doesn’t matter if it is wet.”
Jockey Michael Cahill took full advantage of the inside barrier and settled The Candy Man on the fence in fifth and sixth position before setting out to run down the leaders in the straight.
The Candy Man ($5.50) didn’t have to go around a horse and Cahill even let him coast to the line to record a neck win over Haripour ($7.50) who made a heap of ground from the back.
Ron Stewart set a solid pace out in front on Igraine ($8.50) and the Robert Priscott trained mare battled on for third ahead of the $4.80 favourite Luvaluva.
Team Snowden are likely to pay the J. J. Atkins late entry fee for Strasbourg after the colt scored a tough win in the Group 2 $400,000 Kirin Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm today.
Trainer Peter Snowden, above, said that Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Strasbourg would likely line up in the J.J. Atkins Plate at Eagle Farm. Photo by Daniel Costello.
Strasbourg isn’t among the nominations for the Group 1 $600,000 J.J. Atkins Plate (1600m) at Eagle Farm in a fortnight but co-trainer Peter Snowden said that the I Am Invincible colt will likely line up in the Group 1 for the two year olds.
“I will see how he pulls up. It was never my intention to go there but after watching his last couple of starts, he is not showing any gate speed at all,” Snowden said.
“He really wants to relax now and is finding the line better and better.”
“He has always been a horse that has shown some promise so it is good to see him win one today.”
Snowden admitted that Tommy Berry made the right decision to get Strasbourg revved up on the home turn although at the time that he thought he had gone too early.
“Gee you are going early mate, but he had the horse underneath him, he did a great job,” Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul, said.
“As it turned out it was a winning move, he had the momentum up and he rode him very well.”
A late entry fee of $3,600 paid before May 29 will see Strasbourg into the field for the J.J. Atkins Plate on Stradbroke Handicap day.
Berry settled Strasbourg ($6.50) in the second half of the field and brought the colt with a well-timed run to claim the leader Garibaldi within the final 100m and was then able to hold out the fast finishing $3.80 favourite Accession with a quarter of a length to spare.
The Tony Gollan trained Garibaldi ($26) ran a brave race in front and held on for third while the well supported Gem Of Scotland ($4.20) never threatened to finish sixth.
The Brian Smith trained Order Again was able to keep regular placegetter Tom Melbourne out of the winner’s stall again with a convincing win in the Group 3 $140,000 Ascot Green Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) at Eagle Farm today.
Tom Melbourne, above, collected another runner’s up cheque when second to Order Again in the Lord’s Mayor’s Cup at Eagle Farm. Photo by Steve Hart.
The Chris Waller trained Tom Melbourne has been placed sixteen times from forty-three starts prior to today’s run and made it four placings from his last four starts, the last three in the runner’s up stall.
Blake Shinn took Tom Melbourne straight to the front from barrier four in the thirteen horse field and the popular eight year had it to himself setting the pace while Larry Cassidy let Order Again settle in the second half of the field after jumping from gate two.
Tom Melbourne led the field into the straight but wasn’t able to hold off the strong finishing burst of the Eagle Farm trained Order Again with the Waller trained stablemate Le Juge ($8) running on from back in the field to fill third position.
Tom Melbourne was sent out as the $2.80 top pick while Order Again was the second elect at $5.50 and finished too strongly for the favourite to record a three quarters of a length win.
Winning jockey Larry Cassidy has a great association with Order Again and today’s win was the sixth time the pair teamed up for a visit to the winner’s stall.
“Brian has done a fantastic job with him. He is obviously a horse that has had a lot of problems,” Cassidy said.
“He won this day three years ago so today was his day.”
“I got a beautiful run from a good draw. They went along nice and I had to take the split when I got it and did no work doing it so I knew he was going to let down and let down he did.”
Promising mare Savatiano returned to the winner’s stall when she cruised past her rivals to win the Group 3 $150,000 Grinders Coffee Roasters Stakes (1300m) at Eagle Farm today.
Savatiano, above, was the winner of the Grinders Coffee Roasters Stakes at Eagle Farm. Photo by Steve Hart.
The James Cummings trained Savatiano had the race set up for her when the nominal leader Quilista took up the running from the outset with Tommy Berry settling the Godolphin owned mare in a lovely trailing position.
Berry, with the famous Godolphin royal blue colours on, let Savatiano ($3.30) move up to Quilista soon after straightening and the Street Cry mare went straight past the $2.60 favourite to record a two and three quarter lengths victory.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Quilista battled on for second with the well-tried Eckstein ($9) doing her best work at the finish to fill third spot.
“She turned up in great form. She has been a very consistent mare her whole way through,” Berry said.
“I gave her a little bit of a click coming to the corner to close because I didn’t want to him get out of my sights, but she went straight by.”
“I just held her up until the furlong and let her do it and she was very impressive.”
Cummings said that Savatiano has been impressing the stable of late and was a deserved winner of the Group 3 race
“She was very fit today. The leader was bit fresh and was the horse to beat and we were able to cruise up to her,” Cummings said.
“She has run in some very good races and is deserving of her second Stakes win here and I would like to think she has another one in her.”
Sydney three year old Fun Fact raced into contention for the 2019 Queensland Derby with an all the way win in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Eagle Farm today.
Jockey Michael Cahill, above, rose Fun Fact to an all the way win in the 2019 Grand Prix Stakes at Eagle Farm. Photo by Daniel Costello.
Winning jockey Michael Cahill let Fun Fact stride to the lead in the run to the turn out of the straight and after setting up a commanding lead mid-race, was able to hold out all the challengers in the run to the line.
Fun Fact was coming off a last start win in a 1600m BenchMark 68 Handicap at Warwick Farm and the Bjorn Baker trained gelding was sent out at the lucrative odds of $19.
Cahill let Fun Fact slip away to a six lengths lead at the 800m and still had a handy lead when heads were turned for home and went on to record a one length win over the fast finishing Angel Of Heaven ($10).
The John Sargent trained outsider Home Made ($71) raced in the first three throughout and stuck on in the straight to find third position.
The $3.40 favourite Lord Arthur, trained by Bjorn Baker’s father Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, was always back near the tail of the field and failed to make up any ground in the straight to finish well back in tenth position, almost ten lenghts from the winner..
Baker will head Fun Fact to the Group 1 $600,000 Channel 7 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm in a fortnight.
“I think he got there so easy and was able to control and was still strong at the finish,” Baker said.
“We have to look at the Queensland Derby, that is the logical race. He is still in it.”
“I thought today at two two (2200m) might have been a stretch but we have to have a crack at two four (2400m).”
“Win, lose or draw we will put him put and hope to get back up in Queensland for the Magic Millions staying race.”
Fun Fact is now a $10 chance for the Queensland Derby in a fortnight.
Trainer James Cummings is left with two runners in today’s Group 1 $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm after he was forced to scratch the Godolphin owned Home Of The Brave.
Home Of The Brave, above, has been scratched from today’s Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm. Photo by Steve Hart.
The English import was showing an elevated temperature which gave Cummings no choice but to withdraw the seven year old from today’s Group 1 weight for age contest.
“G1 runner Home Of The Brave will be scratched from tomorrow’s G1 Kingsford-Smith Cup after an elevated temperature,” Godolphin tweeted yesterday.
Cummings will see how Home Of The Brave recovers from his set back with a couple of options ahead, including still heading towards the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm in a fortnight or heading to the spelling paddock.
“We’ll nominate him for the Moreton Cup and we’ll decide next if he runs there or goes straight to the Stradbroke,” Cummings told Racenet.
“He could even go straight to the paddock because a hiccup is far from ideal.”
The Group 2 $200,000 Sky Racing Moreton Cup (1200m) at Doomben next week is also an option.
Cummings will still saddle up the $6 Kingsford-Smith Cup favourite Trekkingas well as his promising three year old Encryption who is rated a $17 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Jenny Graham trained Victorem has been a surprise market mover and has firmed in from double figure odds to be the $7 second favourite on race morning with one punter waging $500 at $13 before the price tumbled.
Triple Group 1 winning filly Sunlight has secures a slot in the 2019 $14m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 19.
Sunl;ight, above, has secured a slot in the 2019 The Everest at Randwick. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.
Sunlight will run in the slot owned by Max Whitby,Neil Werrett, Steve McCann and Colin Madden and trainer Tony McEvoy was quick to announce the new partnership today.
“On behalf of the owners of Champion 3yo filly Sunlight, we are very pleased to announce a partnership with slot holders: Max Whitby, Neil Werrett, Steve McCann & Colin Madden for the 2019 TAB Everest,” McEvoy Mitchell Racing tweeted.
Sunlight shot into the spotlight early in her two year old season with a win in the 2018 $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast before running third in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill.
The Zoustar filly then went to the next level when she beat the colts and geldings in the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington during the 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Sunlight then finished third to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 $2.5m Aquis T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Day One of The Championships on April 6 and McEvoy then put her away hoping to secure an Everest slot.
“I’ll get to work now on how we’ll get her there,” McEvoy said.
“It’s a big contest, even though she won a big contest second-up, the Newmarket, I think third-up, just to make sure everything is ticked off.”.
Slot co-owner Max Whitby said that he was delighted to have Sunlight to run for the syndicate in The Everest and is confident that the rising four year old mare will be very competitive.
“Sunlight is an exciting sprinter, a proven Group 1 winner, and we are just relieved to have her for the Everest,’’ Whitby told The Daily Telegraph.
“We went close a couple of years ago with Vega Magic (second) and hopefully we can go one better this spring.
“Both Neil and I are big fans of Tony McEvoy so it is great to be involved with him and Sunlight.”
“He’s done a great job with Sunlight so far and I know he believes she will be a very good chance in The Everest.’’
Sunlight now joined Santa Ana Lane (slot-holder TAB), Pierata (Aquis) and Classique Legend (owner Bon Ho purchased GPI Racing’s slot for this year only) as a confirmed runner for the 2019 The Everest.
Early betting for the 2019 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au has Sunlight on the third line of betting at $7 behind Santa Ana Lane at $5.50 and Osborne Bulls at $6.
Pre-post betting for the 2019 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5.50 Santa Ana Lane, $6 Osborne Bulls, $7 Sunlight, $8 Pierata, $10 Classique Legend, $11 Brutal, $13 Alizee, Blue Point, In Her Time, $15 Nature Strip, $17 Graff, $18 Redzel, $21 Hot King Prawn, Vega Magic, $26 Eduardo, Houtzen, Viddora, Zousain, $34 or better the rest.
A start in the 2019 Stradbroke Handicap for promising three year old Vega One hinges on his barrier manners prior to the start of the Group 3 $150,000 Nuturf Fred Best Classic (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Jockey Jeff Lloyd, above, will ride Vega One in the Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm. Photo by Daniel Costello.
The winner of the Fred Best Classic is exempt from the ballot for the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8 and trainer Tony Gollan is hoping that Vega One will be on his behaviour on Saturday.
Vega One is rated the $3.80 favourite for the Fred Best Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au but his unusual antics in the starting stalls has trainer Tony Gollan anxiously watching the gelding every time he moves into the gates.
The three year old has an unusual habit of resting his near side hind leg on a tiny ledge inside the gates and on several occasions he has had to be taken out of the barriers and vetted before the start as happened before scoring a runaway three and a quarter lengths win in the Listed $125,000 Queensland Day Stakes (1350m) at Doomben a fortnight ago.
“He has done it every start, he puts his back leg on a little ledge that runs along the inside of the gates, he just puts his near side hind leg up and rests it there,” Gollan told Racenet.
“He just stands there on three legs. I’ve never had a horse do this before.
“I never knew about it when I got him but I’ve gone back and checked the starter’s sheets and looked at videos and apparently he was doing it in Sydney before I got him.
“He is not hurting himself or being a problem for other horses.
“Stewards have talked to me about it – but what can I do?
“This is his time – he is hopefully heading towards the Stradbroke and I can’t stop his preparation and spend the time that is needed to try to fix it.
“When he spells we will put a lot of work in to hopefully make sure he doesn’t do it again.”
Gollan believes that Vega One has untapped ability and won’t hesitate to tackle the cream of Australia’s sprinter in the Stradbroke Handicap if he takes the honours in the Fred Best Classic against the three year olds.
“This horse is ready to have a crack at some good races,” Gollan said.
“He can race anywhere in a field and he has terrific ability – the only problem I have with him really are these barrier antics.”
Vega One will jump from barrier eleven in the eighteen horse field if there is no more scratchings with Jeff Lloyd in the saddle and is currently marked at $21 for the Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au.