Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Race 1: Clanbrooke Racing Handicap (2400m) – Red Alto (Each way)
There’s hardly a great deal of speed in this race, which should suit Brent Stanley’s six-year old gelding nicely. Red Alto is set to have the blinkers on today, and looks likely to lead from barrier eight. This is his third attempt at 2400m this time up and has so far won and placed in both previous attempts. The wide draw should suit since he often likes to hang around on the outside of the pack. Kicked on a little early last time out to run third, but if Liam Riordan can hold off a little later today, he should figure in the placings.
Race 2: Nitto Kenko (1200m) – Lady of Flanders
Likes to run in the middle of the field, and has drawn really well today with barrier 7. Comes in at $5.00 odds with Ladbrokes and looks capable of making it three straight victories this time up. Down in trip, which helps considering she normally looks to sit off the pace three-back and race on late. Was 2.0L back at Sandown in August and won from a three-wide position. Just needs to find a good spot on the turn to be a chance.
Race 4: Jockey Celebration Day Handicap (1400m) – Muraaqeb
Second up from a spell, and after running sixth over 1200m on the same track earlier on August, is on its way to a win. David Hayes’ four-year old will need a lot of luck down the straight, but Muraaqeb has shown plenty of fight when he’s in the right position. Chased down Grunt earlier in February to run third over the same trip, and really didn’t lose by much. Similar barrier draw here today.
Race 5: Heatherlie Stakes (1700m) – Call Me Handsome
He’s the $2.70 favourite at Ladbrokes, but it’s hard to look past him with all horses bar Miss Admiration at double-digit odds. Drops down to 54kg with Craig Williams riding, but Call Me Handsome looks like he really suits this trip. It’s a step up from running back-to-back 1600m journeys in August, one of which he won at Moonee Valley. Blinkers are off this time though and Caulfield has been good to him.
Race 6: McNeil Stakes (1200m) – Seabrook
There’s some real speed in this race, and it’ll take a challenger to upset favourite Tony Nicconi. Fortunately, I think Seabrook is that horse. She’s tasted Group 1 glory before, something the rest of this field can’t attest to. Mick Price’s three-year old filly is 0-1 first up, but she should have plenty of chances to win this prep.
Race 7: Memsie Stakes (1400m) – Vega Magic
The $2.30 favourite is surrounded by quality Group 1 horses, and although it’s enticing to back someone like Happy Clapper, it’s hard to look past the defending Memsie champ. If this track was downgraded to Soft I’d certainly like an upset chance, but a Good 4 is perfect for Vega Magic and Damien Oliver. The only hindrance might be the barrier, but this is still a great opportunity for Vega to continue to regain punters’ trust after some hit-and-miss runs this year.
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