The Brisbane Winter Carnival kicks off this weekend and among the key support races to the Group 1 BTC Cup is the Group 3 $125,000 2012 Rough Habit Plate (2000m).
Promising New Zealand gelding Malandrino has been scratched following a Hong Kong sales deal but there is still a quality line up of three-year-olds who get their chance to impress ahead of next month’s 2012 Queensland Derby.
Fresh off some solid efforts in the Sydney Carnival, John Thompson-trained gelding Isopach is the bookmaker.com.au favourite at $3.10 ahead of Gunsynd classic winner Trump ($4.40).
Peter Moody-trained Brambles finished third in the Gunsynd Classic and is rated a $6.00 chance to win tomorrow along with last-start winning New Zealand gelding Nashville.
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#2 Trump ($4.40)
The Robert Heathcote-trained gelding was particularly impressive last start in the Gunsynd Classic (1600m) and the only question will be whether he can handle the step up to 2000 metres.
He’s a Derby bound horse and showed all the qualities of one last start, galloping along at a nice tempo before coming home very strong at the back end of the race.
Drawn wide in barrier 12 but should be good enough over 2000 metres and provided he has a decent run at the straight, he has a nice turn of foot that should see him take top honours.
Isopach is the race favourite here and while we don’t think he will win, he has produced some promising runs against quality fields of late and we are expecting that run to continue.
The son of Magic Albert hit the line hard when finishing third in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes on April 7 and was again impressive when running fourth to Fat Al in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate last start.
Poste Restante has been the forgetten New Zealand horse in this race with all the talk being about the recently scratched Malandrino and his half brother Nashville.
The only filly in the race, the distance will not worry the daughter of Postponed who finished fourth over 2400 metres in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks and ran second to Malandrino in the Manawatu Classic last start.
Trained by Howard Matthews, Poste Restante has drawn a favourable barrier three position for her first race on Australian soil and will have experienced Queensland jockey Chris Munce on board.
This Toowoomba-based gelding is facing a big step up in class and distance here but is at huge odds and comes into the race in good form.
A winner of four of 12 starts, the Ben Currie-trained horse has won his last two starts and if he has luck on his side may be able to extend that to three straight victories.