Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
The 2017 Kingsford-Smith Cup is the feature race in Brisbane on Saturday and below we have a comprehensive form guide analysis and betting preview for each runner in the Eagle Farm showdown.
Formerly run as the BTC Cup over less distance at Doomben Racecourse, the revamped Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival for 2017 has the weight-for-age event taking place as Eagle Farm Race 7 at 3:55pm (AEST).
The $700,000 Group 1 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) is now the key lead-up to the Stradbroke Handicap in a fortnight and the field is down to 13 starters after the scratching of Egyptian Symbol who instead runs in the Group 1 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1300m) earlier on the card.
The Kingsford-Smith Cup form is a tough one to do historically speaking this year as it is a completely different race to the BTC Cup that it replaces.
Favourite in the latest Kingsford-Smith Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Darren Weir-trained Black Heart Bart ($3.30) on the quick back-up after a seventh in last Saturday’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide.
The dangers according to the Kingsford-Smith Cup betting markets shape-up as Kris Lees’ last start Scone winner Clearly Innocent ($6.50) who is unbeaten over the distance, Lindsay Park’s in-form three-year-old Doomben 10,000 placegetter Derryn ($6.50) and the consistent Chris Waller-trained Counterattack ($7).
To help you sort the genuine contenders from the pretenders below is a runner-by-runner Kingsford Smith-Cup form guide.
#1 BLACK HEART BART (4)
Darren Weir saddles-up the favourite who is on the seven day turnaround after a first-up loss in The Goodwood. He’ll be fitter for the run and flies second-up (7-3-3-0). Only other Eagle Farm start was a second in the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) here last Brisbane. Favourites had a poor record in the old BTC Cup, will that hoodoo be broken in the updated version? He gets the blinkers back on and is drawn well (4 into 3), is ultra-consistent and a five-time Group 1 winner and has form over this distance.
#2 UNDER THE LOUVRE (8)
Reigning Stradbroke Handicap winner at this track from last winter, Robert Smerdon’s Excellent Art stallion is off to stud after this race. Out to improve on a first-up 12th at Flemington over 1000m. That was really like a trial to bring him on fitness-wise and the step-up in distance will suit. Good second-up record (6-2-2-1), proven Group 1 winner at Eagle Farm and while he’s not been at his best of late, has solid form on Soft tracks (10-4-0-1) and can surprise in his swansong.
#3 JAPONISME (6)
One of two in the field for Sydney’s best Chris Waller, but the odds are long as this former star young sprinter hasn’t been first past the post since April of 2016. With over a year between wins time is running out for the now four-year-old son of Choisir to prove he still has what it takes. Group 1 winner in 2015 as a three-year-old, but very inconsistent since. Latest run was an eighth in the Doomben 10,000 at a similar price and predicting a similar result here.
#4 MUSIC MAGNATE (13)
Wide barrier for Bjorn Baker’s Written Tycoon five-year-old, but there’s plenty of room at the Farm and if the going is Heavy this gate might not be so bad. Won last year’s Doomben 10,000 in Group 1 class over 1350m before a disappointing Stradbroke Handicap 16th. Has enjoyed two subsequent Group 2 sprint wins, including over Hopfgarten in the Victory Stakes (1200m) here on April 29. Things went amiss when dead last (13th) in this year’s new-look Doomben 10,000. Gets the chance to atone, but hoop Jeff Lloyd will have to work to get him the right run with cover to be competitive.
#5 COUNTERATTACK (7)
If looking for value, this other Waller-trained contender could be it with plenty of form lines stacking up. Ideal mid-field draw and Kiwi hoop Opie Bosson retains the ride after guiding the four-year-old Redoute’s Choice stallion home for a close second in the Doomben 10,000 last time out. Fitter for the run and the step-up to 1300m suits. Chases his first win since the Fred Best Classic (at Doomben) last year, which led to a seventh in the Stradbroke. A more mature horse now and ticks a number of boxes.
#6 CLEARLY INNOCENT (9)
The bookies are taking no chances on the Lees-trained five-year-old who Hugh Bowman sticks with after the impressive Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) win over this distance by over two lengths at Scone a fortnight ago. This is tougher company obviously, but he’s unbeaten over the distance and undefeated on Soft tracks. Needs to handle the likes of Black Heart Bart, but deserving of a shot in the big time.
#7 START WONDERING (12)
Co-trainer Evan Rayner has a big wrap on this Kiwi raider who didn’t race up to expectations first-up down under when sixth in the Doomben 10,000. Was beaten under four lengths however and the step-up to 1300m will suit. He’s got a 50% winning strike rate over the distance and has won up to a mile. Gun in the wet and that could be the key to him improving on the weekend. Dual Group 1 winner for his current trainers back home during a stellar summer – autumn campaign, has spent time with Waller in Sydney and could surprise at a roughie’s price.
#8 JUNGLE EDGE (14)
No matter how much this horse does right this season, he’s constantly being underrated by the bookies and that is good news for the punters. The Mick Bell-trained six-year-old was relatively unknown before he hit the front early in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 18 and nearly led all the way. Run down in the dying seconds of the race by the Snowden duo Russian Revolution and Redzel, who have since franked the form, and was only a quarter length beaten. Dual Group 3 winner since and placed third in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) so is no donkey. Mudlark who thrives on Heavy going (10-5-0-2) and comes off a 2.3 length win at Doomben from last Saturday in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m). Right distance, right conditions, right form, just needs the right run from the outside barrier.
#9 IN HIS STRIDE (2)
Roughie of the Kingsford-Smith Cup field at triple figures to score what would be the biggest upset of the carnival in many years. Rex Lipp-trained Rothesay four-year-old comes off a fifth at the track and distance from April 29 in a Class 6. This is a WFA Group 1 and he’ll be outclassed.
#10 HOPFGARTEN (10)
Local horseman Robert Heathcote obviously has a pretty high opinion about this winter carnival regular, scratching him out of the BRC Sprint last weekend in favour of heading straight to the Group 1. Last seen finishing second to Music Magnate in the Victory Stakes here in late April. Freshened-up since, is a genuine Eagle Farm specialist (16-5-4-2) and this is the right distance (6-3-0-1). Handles the wet and is another roughie that has genuine claims at an upset in the top three.
#11 DERRYN (5)
One of the best in betting is the Lindsay Park-trained Hinchinbrook colt taking on the older sprinters on Saturday. Won the Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Randwick, defeating dual Group 1 winning filly Global Glamour two back, before the eye-catching third when under a length beaten in the Doomben 10,000 last time out. Roomier Eagle Farm track will suit, has won in the wet and placed over this distance. Gets the run of the race from the gate and if things work out, he’ll be hard to stop.
#12 TYCOON TARA (11)
The bookies have been happy to leave this Peter & Paul Snowden-trained mare alone and even though this is the right distance (5-3-0-0), there’s not a lot else that stacks up for the six-year-old. Races for the first time since a close fifth over 1200m at Caulfield on April 22 and has won a subsequent Warwick Farm trial, but she’s right up in grade here. Group 2 winner over 1400m defeating Dixie Blossoms last spring in Sydney, but think she’s more suited to a race like the Tattersall’s Tiara against her own kind next month.
#13 EGYPTIAN SYMBOL (3)
Scratched – runs in Eagle Farm Race 6 instead.
#14 IMPENDING (1)
There’s been a tickle of early money for the other three-year-old contender backed in from $21 to $15 to give the Godolphin stable another Group 1 win. Rails run from barrier one with English hoop James Doyle riding the Lonhro colt who is after his first win since beating home subsequent Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last September. Ran third to Derryn in the Arrowfield Sprint and has trialled twice since. Look fit, Doyle knows the horse well and has matched it in open-age company before.
Check out the complete 2017 Kingsford-Smith Cup Form Guide courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.au below before placing your bets on the weekend’s Group 1 feature.
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