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The Sportsman Weekend - - Gold Coast A Detailed Formguide - WITH GREG SPLETTER

RACE 1

I was su­per im­pressed with the way PRUE’S AN­GEL sailed past them two weeks ago in town and although I’m a bit late to the party, I’m happy to take the $3.20. It was her sec­ond win in as many starts this cam­paign hav­ing car­ried to­mor­row’s im­post of 59kg to vic­tory at Ip­swich first-up. Small field and drawn well, she should be in a great po­si­tion to pounce on straight­en­ing. AWAKE THE STARS had to give the win­ner 8.5kg last week­end and it proved just a lit­tle too much, go­ing down nar­rowly to Fran­cisca on the line. This mare doesn’t do much wrong and she does go well here, but I think the toppy will have the drop on her. Not a huge amount be­tween them, but I’d have this one on sec­ond line of bet­ting. SORNJA meets Prue’s An­gel a touch bet­ter at the weights af­ter tak­ing ground off her at Doomben last time. She’ll be tucked away back on the fence and may need some luck to get clear run­ning but is an easy in­clu­sion for tri­fecta play­ers.

RACE 2

Stick­ing with the Tony Gol­lan-Brad Ste­wart combo here in A MAN TO MATCH who has very good cre­den­tials for what is an even but not overly strong three-year-old race. Picked up some black type at his last run be­fore his break the end of the win­ter car­ni­val, plac­ing in Listed Phoenix at the Sun­shine Coast over a mile, but he did win at his sec­ond race start there over 1300m in im­pres­sive fash­ion, and has a good trial hitout over 1000m un­der his belt lead­ing into this. He will un­doubt­edly im­prove off this run but I think he’ll have enough class to get home. Fair odds at $3.90. TRAIL OF GLORY hasn’t taken on any stakes-level op­po­si­tion to date but still lines up here shoot­ing for a hat-trick. Grind­ing win last time at Ip­swich over a small field af­ter get­ting through the heavy ground here the run prior in easy fash­ion. Too close to toppy bet­ting at $4.60. MYWIFESAIDNO is a colour­fully named geld­ing who hit the line hard here first-up to grab his maiden, then lost the race on protest at the Sun­shine Coast over this trip. Good each way hope but if the top­weight picks up where he left off last prep they won’t beat him.

RACE 3

Strange line-up with very lit­tle class six form around any of them, but what it does have is a boat­ful of speed­sters en­gaged and that will play into the hands of REBEL MISS. She hasn’t run a bad race all prep down in Syd­ney and her re­cent form­lines are miles bet­ter than any­thing her op­po­si­tion can throw up. Beaten a head by Bandipur at Rand­wick two starts back and that horse won again in Mel­bourne last week­end, then ran on strongly from the tail but was no match for Sooth­ing who looks set for a very bright spring. She’s down on the limit here and with Girl In A Mil­lion, Co­linelle, Dark­town Strut­ter and at least three oth­ers all lead or on-pace run­ners she will surely get the per­fect tempo. Switch her out into clear air on straight­en­ing, give her two strides to bal­ance up, then bang. Good price at $4.20. Of the rest, I sup­pose it’s a ques­tion of whose tank will be empty hun­dred out and who’ll still run­ning on fumes. Although I’ve tired of back­ing CO­LINELLE, he does have a class edge on the rest of the speedy types and with a good fresh record should be in money some­where at the end. Only beaten a length or so his last two stakes ap­pear­ances and although drawn awk­wardly is very con­sis­tent around this level. GIRL IN A MIL­LION is very fast, and she could po­ten­tially run out a strong 900m, but from the out­side draw is go­ing to be gasp­ing for air with about 50m go.

RACE 4

I was very an­noyed to see End­less Days blouse SHOTACROSS THE BOW two weeks back as I’d been keep­ing him safe for weeks, and just when I thought I had the tim­ing right with Shotty, End­less Days puts it all to­gether. Nev­er­the­less it was a strong ef­fort by Shotacross The Bow to be there at the end, and it the sec­ond time in a row he’s had set­tle for sec­ond be­hind a much im­proved run af­ter San Telmo ran home over the top of him the run prior. Two con­sec­u­tive runs like that means he is back in busi­ness and we have to stick with him here at the $6.00. I was a lit­tle sur­prised to see FIGHT­ING TEO above him in bet­ting, but he is a gen­uine dan­ger. Nar­rowly beaten in a 3yo Bm73 a few weeks back but those can be deceptively weak, as Toowoomba Bm70 in which he ran third – beaten a length – the run prior. Not all that far away in a Group Three at the Sun­shine Coast three starts back but he will be giv­ing my bloke a good start on the bend. BRONZED VENOM is very hot and cold but he did stick well in End­less Days’ race the other day. If he runs up to that is right in it.

RACE 5

Un­like Fight­ing Teo in the pre­vi­ous, the Syd­ney form­ing sur­round­ing REACH FOR HEAVEN is very strong and he does look the one in what is a pretty mod­er­ate 1MW. Car­ried 60kg into fourth spot be­hind Star Of Mon­soon first-up and was close-up be­hind last week’s win­ner Paret, then got within three lengths of In­tu­ition in a Bm82 un­der 59kg. Down grade, down in weight so it’s no sur­prise to see him down in price but the $3.40 is still palat­able with Jeff Lloyd tak­ing the ride. LOOKS LIKE ELVIS has been go­ing very well this cam­paign and if I could be guar­an­teed a saloon pas­sage in the straight I’d prob­a­bly have him on top at the $4.80. Ran home to beat a rea­son­able 3yo line-up at Doomben last start but is drop­ping back 1400m to­mor­row and I’m not sure the Gold Coast is his go. From in­side draw he will ei­ther have to pray for luck along the fence or hook out and hope he doesn’t run of steam skirt­ing round the out­side the field. Ei­ther way he will need some good for­tune. If you’re look­ing for a blowout hope then SNAP­PER fits the mould. Ran an ab­so­lute cracker be­hind Ir­ish Op­ti­mism over a mile two runs back then, pre­dictably, didn’t have the zip to fin­ish off drop­ping very sharply 1100m here last time. Back out to 1400m, vir­tu­ally ev­ery de­cent run in his life has been run at this cir­cuit, and at 25/1 is the up­set run­ner.

RACE 6

It’s been a long time since LORDAG has en­ticed me in, but he has been rac­ing so well in open class and this is not only a drop grade back to a Bm90, it’s very weak Bm90 at that. Huge run in the Tatt’s Mile at Listed level two starts ago be­hind Fit For Pur­pose, then did him­self proud again weeks push­ing the in-form Sabkhat to a head. Frankly he looks thrown in here af­ter claim with just 57kg and at $3.90 I am, ten­ta­tively, back his cor­ner. The run of MAGSTOCK in the Sabkhat race at Doomben was just too bad to be true. Re­ally bad. Thank­fully for fans and those con­nected to the horse he had thumps so we can hope­fully rule a line through re­sult as an anom­aly, be­cause his first two runs in the coun­try were sim­ply out­stand­ing. Made ground in stakes races over the car­ni­val and but for the thumps run I’d be all over him here. They’re of­fer­ing $7.50 and I would strongly ad­vise to have a saver on him at that quote be­cause if he’s right he’ll beat Lordag no doubt. LORD CO­CONUTS also comes through the Sabkhat race and fin­ished about a length and a half from Lordag on the line. He’s grand cam­paigner around this level and wor­thy of in­clu­sion in tri­fec­tas but it has been an aw­fully long time be­tween drinks.

RACE 7

DIVINE MES­SEN­GER has been in great form and with no Lin­lith­gow en­gaged to­mor­row gets her chance to score a well de­served vic­tory. No dis­grace to be beaten by that run­ner last time, nor did she lose any ad­mir­ers when run­ner-up to the up and com­ing Win­ter Bride run prior. Gets a soft run here from draw with up to a 5kg head­start on some of the main chances looks great value at $4.60. SISTA ACT has to give her just 3kg thanks to the claim, and did run a race when nabbed by Goodonya Sonja last start. She can be bit hard to catch but may able to con­trol the race to suit her­self from the good gate and will give them some­thing to run down. BO­GEY MAN fin­ished just be­hind Divine Mes­sen­ger at Doomben when go­ing for his hat­trick but meets her a cou­ple worse for be­ing beaten. He’ll need luck from the wide draw and will be giv­ing two mares a healthy start.

RACE 8

I’ve been a fan of SOLD FOR SONG since I can re­mem­ber and she does go ex­tra well at her first cou­ple of runs off a break, so we’re jump­ing on at the $5.50. If you had to price her her lat­est fresh run when beaten a nose in the Group Two Gil­gai Stakes at Flem­ing­ton you’d have her $1.50 against these, but she makes life aw­fully dif­fi­cult for her­self with her rac­ing pat­tern set­tling out the back and rock­et­ing home. At end of her pre­vi­ous cam­paign up here she fin­ished just be­hind the placeget­ters in the G1 Tatt’s Tiara so is a classy mare. Let’s just hope she gets long enough in the clear to wind up and run over top of them. DAL CIELO did well fin­ish a half length from the ta­lented Trekking last week­end af­ter chas­ing home an­other smarty in Tac­ti­cal Ad­van­tage the run prior. He has a big weight and will need al­most as much luck as the mare sit­ting well back off the speed in run­ning, but he has been rac­ing against stronger com­pany and should go close. MISHANI EL LOBO is still el­i­gi­ble for eas­ier races but does well fresh. Closeup in a strong Magic Mil­lions race here Jan­uary be­hind I’m A Rippa and has drawn to ad­van­tage.

RACE 9

We don’t get many class two up here at the main Satur­day meet­ing and with 24 ac­cep­tors the bar­rier draw has re­ally knocked some of the chances for six. SAXTON ROCK is one of the lucky ones who has drawn a gate and although he never placed first-up is com­ing off trial win at the end of July. At his last run here he ran a good race over this trip be­hind One­ness in a class three and comes in un­der the min­i­mum with just 56kg. Looks as good as any at $5.50. If you want to have some­thing go­ing for huge money in your quad­die can throw AR­TE­RIAL down the bot­tom who should se­cure a run de­spite be­ing sixth emer­gency. He made ground here first-up over an un­suit­able trip and is a nicely bred type who has drawn well. This isn’t par­tic­u­larly he’s nice roughie at $21. JAKE’S HILL is hav­ing his first run up here af­ter dis­ap­point­ing both Aus­tralian starts at Flem­ing­ton back in May. Stakes-placed in Bri­tain many moons ago but would pre­fer to see how he goes up here be­fore jump­ing on.

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