The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Ready to Rip has been declared early favourite for the Group Two Queensland Guineas at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Ready to Rip stepped out as favourite in the Daybreak Lover Handicap, but only could only manage a fast finishing fourth. Although he was beaten by some of the horses he will meet in the Guineas, punters believe they saw enough of his powerful finishing burst to declare him favourite.
Ready to Rip has now won two of this three Eagle Farm starts and it is thought that the step up to the mile on the big Eagle Farm track will help the colt.
Benny’s Buttons is another who is coming out of the Daybreak Lover Handicap.
Benny’s Buttons was able to finish third in the Daybreak Lover but jockey Chris Munce believes the horse could have easily won the race.
“It was a super run. The horse I was following kept coming back on me when I was trying to go forward.
“I couldn’t get a crack at them until it was too late and he probably should have won the race.” Munce said.
Benny’s Buttons, who is trained by local trainer Kelso Wood will again be ridden by Munce and jump from barrier two.
The Peter Snowden trained Skilled will start the Guineas at $9.00, but there is little doubt he would have come up shorter had he been able to draw a gate.
In his three Brisbane starts Skilled has drawn barrier 14 of 16, 22 of 22 and now 16 of 22.
The Guineas will be Skilled’s third start in four weeks but Snowden is not concerned.
“He’s pulled up OK. He’s a tough horse and I’ve done it before with him,” said Snowden.
Skilled has not won since taking out the Champagne as a two year old, although he has run in the top three in a string of quality races including the Royal Sovereign Stakes, the Hobartville Stakes, the Warwick Farm Guineas and the Fred Best Classic.
The Lee Freedman trained Smokin’ Joey has been declared second favourite for the Guineas at $7.50.
Smokin’ Joey has won just one race, and that came in his debut start, however that has not stopped punters from rallying around the three year old son of Encosta De Lago.
Smokin’ Joey finished second behind Adebisi in his last start at Doomben in a 3yo handicap, and Freedman confirmed that he had high expectations of the horse.
“I was very pleased with his first run back and he’ll appreciate Eagle Farm on Saturday.” Freedman said.
“I’m expecting him to run well.
Smokin Joey competed in most of the top three year old events in the Victorian spring including the Caulfield Guineas, the Aami Vase and the Victoria Derby, but he was unable to run in the top four in any of those races.
Another interesting runner who had experience in the Melbourne Spring is Run For Levi. Run For Levi finished a close second to Anacheeva in the Caulfield Guineas in the Melbourne spring and is rated a $71.00 chance in the Guineas.
Run for Levi’s pattern of going forward in his races will no doubt be helped by the engagement of noted front running jockey Nash Rawiller.
The four fillies confirmed for the Guineas field are Bianca Jewel ($61.00), Demanding Miss ($81.00), Fashion ($31.00) and Tigress Lily ($41.00).
The last filly to win the Queensland Guineas was Sequential Charm, who took out the event in 2007. Judging by the prices applied to this year’s batch of fillies, punters don’t think this will be a year for the fillies in the Guineas.
The Queensland Guineas is a Group Two mile race for three year olds. It will be the last race of the day at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap day.
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