The Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) takes place at Eagle Farm on Saturday as one of the key support races on the Queensland Oaks day program.
With Stradbroke Handicap ballot exemption up for grabs for the winner, it is a crucial lead-up heading into next Saturday’s $1.36 million sprint.
Favourite at $4.20 is BRC Sprint runner-up Mahisara who will face stiff competition from the likes of Hot Snitzel ($7), Miss Stellabelle ($7), Galah ($7), Griffon ($8) and Startsmeup ($9).
With Eagle Farm rated a Slow 7 on Saturday and renowned as a poor drying track, it is predicted Oaks day will be run on a rain-affected surface so that is worth keeping in mind when doing the form.
#13 Celtic Dancer $21
He hasn’t won since this race last year but gets conditions to suit again, giving him every chance of going back to back. At $21 he looks a good each way chance if the expected wet track eventuates.
The five-year-old runs his best races on rain-affected surfaces and he hasn’t struck one since he won this race on a heavy 10 last year.
Drawn well in barrier six, he also gets his best distance here, with three of his seven career wins coming over 1300m.
#3 Hot Snitzel $7
The Sydney four-year-old can really get his Stradbroke campaign back on track here and looks well placed to return to form.
Was a Group 3 winner two starts back in Sydney before failing in the Prime Minister’s Cup on the Gold Coast. Has a touch of class and has proven in the past that soft tracks help rather than hinder his chances.
#12 Griffon $8
Another with strong wet-track form. Has been luckless in two runs this campaign before producing eye-catching runs for consecutive fourths. On that form, from a good barrier two draw, expect him to be right in the finish again.