Anthony Freedman has the Brisbane Winter Racing...
After a first-up win over the track and distance Gillian Heinrich’s Gold Coast raider Audacious Spirit has opened favourite to keep the victories coming in the 2012 Keith Noud Handicap this Saturday at Eagle Farm.
The five-year-old Bel Esprit gelding scored their fifth career win from 22 starts on November 3 when resuming off a four month spell to win a Class 6 plate over 1200m at Eagle Farm where they overcame a wide barrier eight draw.
“They made him work early and he was entitled to feel the pinch at the finish but he just kept fighting and, I thought, was holding them off comfortably,” Heinrich said of the win.
Now they will look to score their maiden black type success in the $100,000 Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) and are favourite to do so at bookmaker.com.au.
Drawn ideally in gate five with their last start winning jockey Jeff Lloyd in the saddle again Audacious Spirit tops the Keith Noud Handicap odds at a quote of $2.70.
While they looked a little on the chubby side for their resuming run Heinrich is confident that Audacious Spirit is fit and ready to go on Saturday and that she has been keeping him in good order after their win at the start of the month.
“After he won first-up at Eagle Farm I sent him out to my friend’s property at Coomera for a week and he had a great time out there with his head down all day, eating lots of green grass,” she said.
“He’s the porky one in our stable and came back carrying an extra seven or eight kilograms but he had a good gallop this week and I’m very happy with his condition.
“He’s already shown he can win races coming from off the pace but the main thing is to get him into rhythm.
“It’s detrimental to horses like him who have a high cruising speed to try and hold them up.
“If he doesn’t lead on Saturday it won’t be a big deal as long as they don’t slam the brakes on and upset his stride pattern.”
If all goes to plan on Saturday Audacious Spirit, like the majority of the Keith Noud Handicap field, will continue onto the $200,000 Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on December 8.
In a relatively open Keith Noud Handicap betting market this year there are then four other single-figure fancies with:
- #4 Excellantes ($3.20) – Rob Heathcote-trained five-year-old comes off a three-run campaign in Melbourne where they held their own, most recently running a close third in a Listed 1200m sprint on Melbourne Cup Day
- #10 Easy Running ($9) – Ideal barrier two draw for Desleigh Forster’s local four-year-old who will be second-up for the season, need to improve on their resuming run when beaten three lengths but should love the drop back from 58kg to 54kg here
- #1 Phelan Ready ($9.50) – Could this one-time Golden Slipper finally win another race? Their record says it’s unlikely but still a bit of love for the 59kg topweight who is first-up and who hasn’t won a race since their 2009 Slipper success
- #5 Carry Me Bluey ($9.50) – Kicking off a Brisbane summer series campaign here after a strong winter that saw them win the South Grafton Cup and run third in the Tattersall’s Mile, will be a little short of their preferred but have won first-up over the distance previously
See below for the full 2012 Keith Noud Handicap fixed win odds, prices courtesy of bookmaker.com.au.
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2012 Keith Noud Handicap Odds
Eagle Farm Race 7 – 5:20pm (local time) – 24/11/2012
|1||PHELAN READY (7)||9.50|
|2||CELTIC DANCER (4)||26.00|
|3||LISTEN SON (11)||17.00|
|5||CARRY ME BLUEY (10)||9.50|
|6||MYSTICAL GREY (8)||26.00|
|7||STEEL ZIP (6)||12.00|
|8||GUNDY SON (3)||18.00|
|9||AUDACIOUS SPIRIT (5)||2.70|
|10||EASY RUNNING (2)||9.00|
*Fixed Win prices courtesy of bookmaker.com.au and subject to change
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