Eagle Farm Race 3 | The Sires Produce | 1400m 2YO open G2 SW | 1:17pm

The Track

The track is currently a Heavy 8 with generally fine weather forecast through to Saturday. However heavy dew in the morning and the underlying problems with the Eagle Farm track mean that improvement is likely to be slow / minimal we will be looking at a surface around a Soft 7.

The rail is in the true position. The history at Eagle Farm suggests that settling at least one off the rails in the run and then at least 4-5 horses away from the inside in the straight will be preferred.

Some may do well in the first few races closer to the inside, but the wider lanes will become pronounced as the meeting progresses, with ground 7-10 off the fence likely to be an advantage in the very late races.

The way fields tend to spread out in these conditions at Eagle Farm means that luck in running is rarely an issue. We typically see plenty of gaps open up for those looking to weave through traffic over the final 400m and horses can make ground from well back, especially if the pace is suitable.

The key is handling the shifty track and finding the preferred lanes in the straight.

Speed and Tactics

This looks a high-pressure Sires Produce that will become a tough test of 1400m for these 2YO’s, especially in the wet conditions.

Ours To Keep (15) has good early speed and has participated in fast run races at her last two, which were set for winners coming from well back in the field. Others such as Marseille En Fleur (14) and Malahat (16) don’t have the same cruising speed but do have speed out of the barriers and will need to be urgent to work across and find their positions.

With that speed from out wide and plenty of others drawn closer likely to be naturally holding positions within a couple of lengths of the lead, it’s impossible to imagine anything but a solid to past pace here.

Strength at 1400m and the ability to run fast time will be a big key to success in this race.

Early Pace Rating: Solid to fast

Late Pace Rating: Moderate to slow

Best Suited: 2L to 5L off lead

WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

The lead up form and overall profile of key contenders in this race suggests that a rating of at least 88 at the weights will be required to win and many of the runners in this race have yet to get anywhere close to that mark and don’t profile with the improvement potential to say they can. There’s also of course the prospect that one of the contenders here will run to a big new peak and push the winning mark above 90.

Race Assessment

14. Melody Bell: Forecast 87-92. Assessed $3.50

This kiwi filly looks a standout top chance here. Two starts ago she won the Karaka Millions (1200m) and then went on from that to be a very impressive winner on the G1 1400m NZ Sires Produce Stakes (on soft ground). What I liked about that win was how comfortably she travelled in just behind the lead and then when she saw daylight at the 300m, she quickly burst through and put the race beyond doubt. She looked to hit the line still full of running and it was notable to observe that in the run through 50-75m past the post she, was some 10L in front of the rest of the field. The visual merit in that performance was well and truly backed up when noting that as a 2YO she ran significantly faster time than two other 1400m races on the day (a BM75 and Open Hcp.) Her sectionals were marginally slower, but the balance of those measures highlights her win as one of considerable talent. She comes into this race off a 56-day break, but has trialled since arriving in Australia and actually won the NZ Sires off a 62 break, so that holds no concerns whatsoever. She’s proven in wet ground, has a turn of foot and proven quality at 1400m via a fast time win with strength through the line. That looks a very appealing profile against a field of local 2YO’s that has some solid contenders, but none that are jumping off the page with the same quality in their form.

1. Tangled: Forecast 86-69. Assessed $9

Was visually impressive winning the G2 Champagne Classic last start showing that he’s effective in a high-pressure race. However in the context of a hot early speed, the figures were just okay without being anything special. He’s among the group of chances, but I can’t see any betting appeal.

20. Snitzpeg (E): Forecast 85-88. Assessed $10

If he can get a run as second emergency then he’s capable of measuring right up. His last two have returned competitive ratings and he still looks on the up. Barrier two is the only concern and whether he can get to the right part of the track in the straight.

13. Pierata: Forecast 86-88. Assessed $13

He’s one of the longshots that I can see running very well in this race. His last start Randwick win rated right in the competitive zone for this (soft ground) and he’s since been tuned up with a strong trial win.

3. Taking Aim: Forecast 85-88. Assessed $14

He won the G3 Ken Russell at the Gold Coast last start but did enjoy the perfect run in the perfect position relative to the strong early pace. He may be fitter for this, but faces a more difficult challenge up to 1400m from a wide draw.

11. Malahat: Forecast 83-90. Assessed $14

He brings some good ratings and form lines to this race that can measure right up and win (form around Pariah and Invader). The concern I have is that he’s coming from a string of races where he enjoyed easy runs close to the lead at a moderate pace and just had to sprint home over the final 600m. He’s never faced anything like the pressure that will exist in this race and he has to contend with that pressure stepping up to 1400m from a wide barrier. He’s also only a small horse so that extra pressure, particularly if he gets among other horses may be tough for him to cope with.

9. Qiji Pheonix: Forecast 83-85. Assessed $18

NZ visitor with 3 from 3 so far, coming off an easy 1600m win last start at Listed Level. His figures on the day didn’t measure up as anything special though and his wide draw poses an extra challenge. It wouldn’t surprise if he went close, but the other kiwi Melody Belle looks much better qualified.

7. Capital gain: Forecast 83-86. Assessed $21

Gets a long way back in his races and finishes off strongly. This is tougher than his recent races, but he’s not totally hopeless.

17. Ruby Red Heart: Forecast 83-86. Assessed $26

Ran well in the Ken Russell behind Taking Aim at 100/1 when getting a mile back from the wide draw and finishing off nicely. 1400m looks ideal and she should hold a better position from an inside draw. She’s a longshot capable of running well.

4. All Too Huiying: Forecast 83-85. Assessed $32

Was beaten 0.5L behind Tangled last start and while his ratings are somewhere thereabouts, he looks very well exposed now so I have to doubt if he can elevate to the next level needed to win.

5. Saint Patricks Day: Forecast 82-84. Assessed $34

He appreciated a fast pace to win nicely last start. This is harder though and he needs to take another big step forward in his ratings.

10. Pah Terie: Forecast 78-84. Assessed $67

Is yet to get anywhere near the level needed to be in the finish of this race.

22. Icon of Dubai (E): Forecast 81-83. Assessed $67

Racing solidly, but his figures are well below this standard.

15. Champ Elect: Forecast 75-82. Assessed $71

He’s much better than his last start run behind Taking Aim, but his best is too far below the standard needed here.

21. Italia Bella (E): Forecast 81-84. Assessed $81

Beaten 1.8L behind Tangled last start, but hard to see her improving up to 1400m in a similar high pressure race.

2. Ours To Keep: Forecast 77-82. Assessed $101

Battled on okay after leading at a fast pace in the race won by Tangled last start. Up to 1400m though does not look suitable at all.

20. Cruze (E): Forecast 79-82. Assessed $151

He showed some talent in his debut run at the Sunshine Coast, but this is a different world to that race and may have come too soon for him at just his second start.

8. Mishani Bullitt: Forecast 78-82. Assessed $201

Looks outclassed and has to contend with barrier 1.

18/ Showashadow: Forecast 70-80. assessed $501

Looks significantly outclassed.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Melody Belle –Bet to WIN at $3.50 – Stake 1.2% of your total bank. The assessed price will become slightly shorter after if Snitzepeg comes out.

 BACK (WIN) Pierata –Bet to WIN at >$14 – Stake 0.3% of your total bank.

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