Rob Heathcote’s special little filly Startantes...
Grand Prix Stakes Day in Brisbane on Saturday features a good Magic Millions Sprint lead-up with a field of hopefuls for next month’s $1 million showdown facing off in the Falvelon Quality 2019.
Set to run as Eagle Farm Race 8, this year’s Listed $140,000 Magic Millions Falvelon Quality (1200m) has attracted a dozen sprinters.
The Falvelon Quality is a key lead-up to the $1 million Magic Millions Snippets (1200m) – formerly the Magic Millions Sprint – held at the Gold Coast on January 11.
Last season the Falvelon Quality winner Fiery Heights went on to run second to Egyptian Symbol in the Magic Millions Sprint next race, so Saturday’s results are sure to have an impact on all-in 2020 Magic Millions Snippets markets.
Fiery Heights returns on the weekend chasing back-to-back Falvelon Quality wins.
After fading to finish a distant last (15th) in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) at Doomben last time out however, the defending champion is a $51 outsider to salute.
Last year’s winning trainer Barry Lockwood chases his third Falvelon Quality win in four years following his success last year along with that of Hidden Pearl in 2016.
Leading the Falvelon Quality odds at Ladbrokes.com.au this Brisbane Summer Racing Carnival is Spurcraft ($2.70).
Drawn a treat in barrier three, the Charlotte White-trained Jet Spur six-year-old from Toowoomba is in flying form and is only lightly raced for his age.
The six-year-old has won nine of his 14 starts to date including three of his latest four across 2019.
Two back he was runner-up in the Gold Coast’s Bat Out Of Hell (900m) run on a Heavy track before a last start Doomben success on December 7.
Showing his versatility on all track types, Spurcraft dominated the Listed Bribie Handicap (1050m) run on a Good (4) saluting by two and three-quarter lengths carrying 55kg.
A short-distance specialist, he now gets the chance to prove himself over the 1200m here and looks a promising hope for the punters even going up in weight to 56.5kg.
Occupying the second line of Falvelon Quality betting this summer is the Godolphin-raced Isaurian ($5.50) prepared by James Cummings and to be ridden by Josh Parr.
Drawn wider in gate 10, the returning Exceed And Excel five-year-old has his first start since a close sixth when only two lengths off the winner Brave Song at this track and distance in June’s Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m).
Winner of Doomben’s Listed Chief De Beers (1110m) prior to that over the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, Isaurian looked solid in a lead-up December 13 trial at Randwick ahead of Saturday where he looks to add to his perfect four-from-four record first-up.
Just two other runners are under $10 in the latest Falvelon Quality odds with the Kris Lees-trained topweight Tactical Advantage ($7) carrying 60.5kg form the outside alley (12 of 12) and Scallopini for Steven O’Dea in gate eight.
Tactical Advantage has work to do under the heavy kilos from the nasty gate, but the Bel Esprit six-year-old is no doubt the class horse in the race.
Group 1 performed, Tactical Advantage was in winning form on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington taking out the Listed MSS Security Stakes (1200m) down the straight by one and a half lengths carrying 58kg.
His last start was at Newcastle a fortnight later when second behind the record-breaking winner Savatiano in the $1 million The Hunter (1300m).
Back down in distance, no doubt Tactical Advantage presents as a danger in easier company despite giving the weight away to his rivals.
Scallopini is better weighted with 54.5kg, the Snitzel five-year-old boasting an excellent record at Eagle Farm (6:3-2-1).
A dual winner and two-time place-getter from four previous runs over the track and distance, the gelding was last seen finishing second when beaten the barest of margins in a 1400m Eagle Farm handicap on October 12.
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