1. Winning Rupert: Has elite speed ratings for a 3yo and has posted 3-5 lengths stronger figures to anything else in the field on what we’ve seen so far. He has the capacity to sprint off a fast tempo so expect Jeff Lloyd to put the pressure on early and show the rest of the field a clean pair of heels. Rising to 1300m appears to be no issue and only bombing the start hopelessly will get him beaten here.
6. Rich Affair: Settled close first up and well beaten by Winning Rupert (7.7 lengths). Not expecting him to turn that around but I’m expecting him to come on tremendously from that performance and looks over the odds at $7 in early betting to place.
8. Faraway Town: Classy filly that performed well in the spring and 1300m looks suitable. I suspect this run will top here off for the Magic Millions carnival and is another that will give the favourite a big start mapping well back on the fence.
10. River Racer: Looks ready to peak third up here but will be spotting Wining Rupert a big start and despite the ability to run a strong winning sectional, a place looks a more logical betting option.
R5 B.J McLachlan Stakes G3 2yo 1200m
1. Ours To Keep: Professional win last time in the Phelan Ready at Doomben over 1110m. Will get every favour from barrier two and expect Damien Browne to keep Coorg in a pocket for as long as possible. Entitled to be hard in the market but I suspect he’ll drift from $3.25 with some improving ‘new blood’ in the race.
6. Snitzkraft: Worked early from a wide gate and was brave to go down narrowly behind Ours To Keep when entitled to knock up. Expect him to improve again but has drawn wide again in barrier 14. He’s tough so impossible to ignore and Luke Dittman sticks with him.
7. Coorg: Has drawn inside so Robbie Fradd to find the back of Our To Keep on settling. He looks over the odds at $5.50 in early betting given how green he was on debut behind Chauffer at Rosehill. Despite his greenness, he still sprinted home exceptionally quick over his final 600m (32.76) but they did absolutely walk to the 600m mark. If he the inside is no disadvantage I mark him as a clear favourite with that run being the perfect platform for an evenly run 1200m here.
13. Debonairly: Dominated a small field at Warwick Farm on debut winning by more than 4 lengths. Tegan Harrison is a suitable booking and 1200m will suit from a nice gate. Will be one off the fence which is likely to be a big advantage. Danger.
R7 Bernborough Quality listed 1600m
1. Hopfgarten: Racing well in stronger company and looks well placed here back to listed level despite being lumped with 59.5kg in a Quality. He’s been mapping a little closer in his races and hasn’t been finishing off as sharply as he can when he’s ridden off the speed. That said, he’s a winner this course and distance, which was his 2nd highest PB rating so expect him to be in the finish here again.
5. Cylinder Beach: Huge run second up behind Man Of His Word over 1600m at Doomben and is another that should be better suited to the big open spaces of Eagle Farm. He can sit in the running line and come with one big sustained run to win. My only concern is that he might already be looking for further. If kept fresh, he looks the improving horse with only 55kg on his back and the clear horse to beat.
7. Man Of His Word: Honest gelding that’s kept improving through his grades and looks to have now found his distance sweet spot around 1500-1600m. Jeff Lloyd can use barrier three to advantage and may sit 2nd or 3rd pair back depending on early pressure out wide. If he settles closer, he’ll be a nuisance to run down given his rich vein of form. However, $3.00 looks rock bottom so expect a drift.
12. Lord Lumberjack: Import that’s having his second only career start in Australia. On debut here he led a BM84 at Flemington over 1600m only to be collared late. He’s been kept fresh for this and has Kerrin McEvoy which is a big plus. Needs to improve 4 lengths to win this which I wouldn’t totally rule out.
R6 Buffering Quality 1300m
3.Most Important: Spiked to a big new rating last time at Doomben to win the Lough Neagh Stakes over 1350 at Doomben. Despite being up a long time that last run is an OK platform for 1300m at Eagle Farm. He’ll be up and on the speed and get every chance to win again, looks close to his right price at $2.80 if he can repeat his last start rating.
6. Too Good To Refuse: Honest performance last start spotting Most Important a big head start. That will be on the cards here but without doubt he’s better suited to 1300m at Eagle Farm with time to wind up. Will be in the finish but I think they’ll bet closer to $5.00.
8. Trubia: Big run first up to finish third behind Most Important beaten 3.2 lengths. Races well second up but there’s a slight query over him almost a month between runs. Can find cover and be in the sweet spot and at double figure odds will shorten if he’s 100%.
9. Baligari: Well suited to 1300m and looks ready to peak third up with 19 days between runs. Needs some luck from barrier 11, but he’s the knockout runner with a career PB over 1400m at listed level.
11. In His Stride: Huge win last start dropping a quick final 400m (22.94) on the soft 5 Eagle Farm track over 1200m albeit in BM85 grade. Jeff Lloyd takes the ride from Michael Rodd which is a good sign. Will get a soft run in transit and can win if the breaks come his way.