Toowoomba Preview: Saturday 6 April

TOOWOOMBA

Track: Good 4

Rail: True entire

Weather: Fine

The weather gods appear as though they’re going to smile on Toowoomba ahead of Cup day, with fine weather ensuring we’ll play on a Good track. Swooping from the rear in big fields is difficult at this tight venue, while some of the start points are quite unique.

RACE 1

Speed map/race shape: Expecting Gem Of Scotland, Quart Pot and Embattled to lead them up here. There’s about a furlong until the turn so they should have time to get to the front.

Advantaged runners: Just four of 13 having their first outing in the two-year-old race, that’s a pretty good ratio! There’s even six previous winners, including one multiple winner in GEM OF SCOTLAND. She put them away assertively at the Gold Cost and will look to lead all the way here. If she doesn’t run a strong 1100m then either BOLD EOS or MAGIC PALACE should be well placed to pose a threat, both scored comfortable debut wins. VIRGINIA DREAM was backed to the exclusion of all others when she scored at her first go. The chances don’t end there so watch the yard and betting moves closely.

RACE 2

Speed map/race shape: With the speed drawn low and a long run to the first turn, the on-pacers could have it their own way. Crusher may look to hold out Zollikon Miss from the inside draw, with Frangipani Moon, Splitter, Light Up The Room and Dream Kisses handy.

Advantaged runners: Speedy mare CRUSHER is stepping up to 1300m from consecutive 1000m victories and gets the 3kg claim for Bayliss too. She knows how to win and loves her home track, but will have some strong ones like SPLITTER camped just off her. She’s had a month off since being no match for Manaya. LIGHT UP THE ROOM resumes here, she was last seen in strong three-year-old company at this distance range and will be lurking. FRANGIPANI MOON was run off her feet last start and this distance range is more suitable. Respect for last start winner BEQUEATHED, but DREAM KISSES may not get things to suit.

RACE 3

Speed map/race shape: Solid tempo expected here, even more so if the emergencies Want To Bolt and Suliven gain a start. If they don’t, the likes of Marksfield, Mustafa and Tabbing can take up the running from wider draws.

Advantaged runners: BEACON scored a deserved first Queensland win at the track/distance last Wednesday. If he can follow some of the likely leaders across into a handy spot be can be a contender again. TABBING lost a shoe when weakening late at Eagle Farm, he’s better suited here as well. The start prior he just missed when beating home GREYWOLF who was only first up there, now third up he is ready to peak at his home track but will have a few to get past. SO SPIRITED bears watching on Queensland debut while emergencies WANT TO BOLT and SULIVEN have genuine claims if they start.

RACE 4

Speed map/race shape: They’ll go like the clappers here. Spirit’s Choice has the most early speed and can cross from wide, any of Champagne Daisy, Gypsy Toff, Racecourse Road and Rock Beat can be prominent and join her.

Advantaged runners: The fate of favourite SPIRIT’S CHOICE may be known early. She’ll attempt to ping the lids and be hard to catch in front, but her rivals will no doubt want to make her work for it. If she’s stuck working hard in the breeze, it sets things up for the likes of USMANOV, who was luckless first up and charged home, or VERANES, who has recently found himself running on against unsuitable patterns. If CHAMPAGNE DAISY isn’t the one taking on Spirit’s Choice then she can also sprint well fresh, while ROCK BEAT proved recently (in the Usmanov race) that he isn’t a one trick pony and can close from off pace.

RACE 5

Speed map/race shape: The Guineas jumps from the 1625m start, which takes them straight into a kink and the first corner shortly thereafter. The speediest wide runners Heaven’s High and Sogni should be still able to cross, while Nicholas can get their backs on the rail.

Advantaged runners: The locals look to have a pretty good chance here in BAREFOOT. His first up run looks in hindsight to have been little more than a blowout, and he should be judged on his best effort from last prep, running 4th 2.2L in the Magic Millions 3yo Guineas. He does concede fitness to the likes of ZOUCARA and PEPPI LA FEW who should also settle in the second half and look to make late runs. There’s been early support for COUNTESS DE GALVEZ, who draws awkwardly but can figure if getting luck in running.

RACE 6

Speed map/race shape: Like in Race 3 Suliven is an emergency in this, he’s also the clear leader if he goes down this path. Each of Red Prince, Reiby The Red and Ponytales could be prominent if Suliven isn’t here in no more than a steady tempo.

Advantaged runners: Back-to-back 1625m events, this one for the older BM80 horses. The most inexperienced runner here is FRANCISCA with 16 starts and surprise surprise, she’s the early favourite. She’s talented but is regularly beaten when fancied due to her racing pattern, leading us to look towards REIBY THE RED. He looked beaten on the turn last start before rallying again and he won his previous two starts at this trip. If they dawdle along he’ll be hard to get past, as will PONYTALES who has genuine excuses when dropping out last time. VELADERO is the other experienced ‘tough nut’ who will be right on their backs. Don’t discount SULIVEN if he’s here, while who knows what URBAN RULER can produce!

RACE 7

Speed map/race shape: They run a full lap in the Cup, with about 250m to the first turn. It should give Kubis and Singing just enough time to find the front from wide alleys. The Waller trio of The Lord Mayor, Vaucluse Bay and Xebec should secure the prime runs in transit.

Advantaged runners: The Waller trio all get favours in running but perhaps THE LORD MAYOR has the most upside. He’s ready to peak third up and the blinkers go on here, he just needs luck when it counts. Stablemates VAUCLUSE BAY and XEBEC will be in close attendance, possible advantage to the latter who is a little fresher. They will be well ahead of MISHANI VAIDRA in running, but this mare has returned in sparkling form and is expected to be the big closer from the rear. Of course they’ll all need to run by KUBIS, who has found a rich vein of form as a front runner, and SINGING who is also ready to peak.

RACE 8

Speed map/race shape: Lots of speed on in the Weetwood, with each of Divine Dice, Mr Marbellouz, Mishani Hustler, Hard Stride, Tycoon Ace and Boomwaa all looking to race forward! The backmarkers will definitely get their chance here.

Advantaged runners: Early markets have the two lightest-raced sprinters on top. Sole three-year-old MISHANI HUSTLER has been well managed through age group events and this is his toughest test. MR MARBELLOUZ is a sprinter with a fair bit of ability who always puts himself in the race. Both are locally trained so this is a target race, but both will find themselves up on a frantic tempo. TYZONE and MALVERN ESTATE rounded the latter up in the Goldmarket and could do the same here. SOVEREIGN NATION is a major hope on Victorian form while SEXY EYES was last seen winning smartly at Group 3 level in December.

RACE 9

Speed map/race shape: We end the day with a mad charge to the first turn from the 1100m start courtesy of I’ve Gotta Nel, Whycatchim, Meet Mr Taylor and others. You’d expect Capital Connection, Cool Sequence and Natch to all be handy.

Advantaged runners: The run to the first turn will determine the fate of MEET MR TAYLOR. He suffered his first defeat last start when getting stuck in the death seat, jockey Du Plessis will have an early call to make on whether he takes on the wider-drawn speedsters or takes a sit. Either way, CAPITAL CONNECTION might not be far behind him from the good draw and could have too much in the locker late. He did it tough last time and was still too good. COOL SEQUENCE should also be handy and his penalty for recent wins is somewhat negated by the Nothdurft claim. If they overdo it, the Currie pair of SNITCH and COOL DRAFTS will be charging home. Good finish to the day.

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