The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Annabel Neasham’s in-form Doomben Cup champion Zaaki is already in odds-on territory to keep the wins coming in Saturday’s highly-anticipated $1.2 million The Q22 race at Eagle Farm.
The inaugural running of the revamped PJ O’Shea Stakes is one of the key events on the Stradbroke Handicap Day card in Brisbane on the weekend, the Group 2 Sky Racing The Q22 (2200m) drawing a final field of 16.
Heading the line-up and dominating The Q22 betting markets at a very short $1.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au, Zaaki is drawn well in barrier nine with the season’s leading Group 1 winning hoop down under James McDonald in the saddle.
McDonald partnered the six-year-old to back-to-back wins last month firstly in the Gold Coast’s Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) before the historical runaway seven-length success in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) last time out.
Zaaki had the same barrier (9) that day at Doomben and was in a class all of his own winning the Group 1 by that huge margin, with little to suggest he won’t be equally impressive at the roomier Eagle Farm track over a furlong further this weekend.
Distant runner-up in the Doomben Cup results, Toffee Tongue is also in The Q22 field looking to close the gap somewhat in the rematch.
The Chris Waller-trained four-year-old Tavistock mare has suffered an early blow drawing out in gate 15 (of 16) with Nash Rawiller in the saddle again.
Despite the wide alley, Toffee Tongue is considered the “danger” in The Q22 betting at $8 as the only other single-figure fancy to post her first victory since the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill in mid-March.
Waller has won three previous editions of the event when it ran as the Eagle Farm Cup and then the PJ O’Shea Stakes with Triple Honour (2010), Moriarty (2014) and most recently Egg Tart (2018).
Along with Toffee Tongue, the master trainer also saddles-up Reloaded in this year’s event, the in-form Snitzel four-year-old drawn a treat in gate five with Hugh Bowman to ride.
Reloaded chases a third win on the trot following two lead-up Brisbane wins in easier company, the latest a one length Group 3 Lord Mayors Cup (1800m) victory at the Eagle Farm course on May 29.
Saturday he is after his first win over further than that and is at current The Q22 odds of $34 to score the upset.
Shorter in the markets are the likes of Anthony & Sam Freedman’s Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap winner at Doomben last time out Warning ($11), Doomben Cup third placed Brandenburg ($17) and the Mark Newnham-trained last start Group 3 Premier’s Cup winner at the track Spirit Ridge ($17) also out to stop the hard-to-beat favourite from continuing his outstanding winter form.
2021 The Q22 Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||x3647x6211||ZAAKI (GB)||Annabel Neasham||James McDonald||9||59kg||114|
|2||x173x31x93||HOMESMAN (USA)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Jye McNeil||11||59kg||110|
|3||4108x9308x||MIRAGE DANCER (GB)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Glen Boss||1||59kg||107|
|4||2211×25021||SPIRIT RIDGE (GB)||Mark Newnham||Joshua Parr||2||59kg||107|
|5||5x05x75810||QUICK THINKER||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Opie Bosson||12||59kg||106|
|6||3x7600x051||WARNING||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Jim Byrne||6||59kg||105|
|7||03876×0013||BRANDENBURG (NZ)||John Sargent||Ms Rachel King||10||59kg||104|
|8||43125×5717||LE DON DE VIE (GB)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Kerrin McEvoy||8||59kg||104|
|9||5046×94211||RELOADED||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||5||59kg||103|
|10||3741311357||HANG MAN (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Ben Thompson||3||59kg||103|
|11||55×7783143||PATHS OF GLORY (GB)||Richard & Michael Freedman||Craig Williams||13||59kg||100|
|12||000×405035||THE CANDY MAN||Barry Baldwin||16||59kg||100|
|13||00×8791044||NETTOYER||Wendy Roche||Tommy Berry||7||57kg||110|
|14||203×681462||TOFFEE TONGUE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||15||57kg||108|
|15||90399×1704||VANNA GIRL||Toby & Trent Edmonds||Brad Stewart||4||57kg||102|
|16||66221×7625||CELLARMAID||Kelly Schweida||James Orman||14||57kg||80|
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