The story of this week is the state of the Eagle Farm track. It’s been under renovation over the past month to solve the draining issue. Nathan Exelby @xlbnathan_cmail wrote a piece explaining the current state of the track here. The most likely surface will be a Soft 7 come Saturday.

Eagle Farm Race 3 | Sires Produce Stakes |1400m | 11:57am

Punting Form dominated last weekend with an ROI of 87% across 9 assessed races.

Looking at the Australian 2yo’s outside a handful of them it’s been a pretty average crop. With that in mind I’m siding with Punting Form who nominate kiwi’s Qiji Phoenix and Melody Belle as the horses to beat in the Sires Produce.

Qiji Phoenix is proven out to 1600m on a Soft 7 in New Zealand so he’ll lap up 1400m here at Eagle Farm off just over a month’s break. He’s undefeated and will push forward.

Melody Belle is already a winner at G1 level in the Sires Produce over 1400m on wet ground. She won the Karaka Million and I can’t knock her recent trial at Deagon as a tune up for this.

Off the fence will be the place to be so keen to back both runners and move on.

Daniel O’Sullivan’s Race Assessment is also tipping Melody Belle on top as well as longshot Pierata, who looks to be prime for this race coming off a strong trail win.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (WIN) Qiji Phoenix

 BACK (WIN) Melody Belle

Eagle Farm Race 5 | Grand Prix Stakes | 2200m | 2:35pm

The profile leans heavily to the Rough Habit Plate which Shocking Luck sat in behind the leaders and pounced with his rivals beaten around three lengths. I’d argue that Order Again was as good a performance in the Rough Habit and can turn the tables on the favourite.

Both runners face a much stronger field here with the Chris Waller trained Black On Gold looking like the big danger to the favourite. Waller won the 2016, 2014 & 2013 editions of the race at Doomben and ran second with Redoubtable Heart in 2015. That gives me enough confidence to back Black On Gold after watching his replay in the BM78 over 1800m defeating Oklahoma Girl who was unlucky not to run down Kenedna in The Roses last Saturday. Brenton Avdulla sticks and despite being winless on a rain affected ground he’s bred to get through it.

Punting Form rate Black On Gold on top and Vince Accardi’s Race Speed Profiles have him rating very highly in the Mid and closing stages of the race which only adds to my confidence levels.

Prized Icon’s last 200m indicates he’s back in top form but stepping up from 1400m to 2200m on Eagle Farm is enough to put me off him at the price.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (WIN) Black On Gold

Randwick Race 7 | McKell Cup | 1300m |3:00pm

David Dwyer from the Bookies Bag is taking on the lightly raced Broadside. He says ‘I’m wary of him in this class stepping up to 2400m for the first time’. It’s a really interesting equation as the race looks pretty thin on paper and Allergic is giving away 6kg. I put more emphasis on weights in races 1600m or beyond with exception to a few other scenarios.

Ecuador lumped 59.5kg to win this race so the profile says Allergic’s task is not impossible. I’m not overly keen to play in the race and looking at the weights and recent form, I feel the market has missed Beyond Thankful with only 54.5kg (carried 58kg last year). He’s been given no hope in either run this preparation and hit the line strongly. He did win a Newcastle Cup in 2015 with 58kg so he’s not hopeless up in trip.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (E/W) Beyond Thankful

Eagle Farm Race 7 | Kingsford-Smith Cup | 1300m | 3:55pm

Jungle Edge is flying. A tough win last start in the BRC Sprint, he’s the most improved 6yo in the country. He’ll lead here and his All Aged placing means he can stay awfully hard in the market here, Back-To-Lay punters will be all over him.

The race profile is useless here with the change from 1200m Doomben to 1300m at Eagle Farm. Black Heart Bart (rates on top with Vince’s Race Speed Profiles) is better suited back under Weight-For-Age conditions. He maps perfectly and has the strength late to close this out. Importantly, the Goodwood wasn’t a ‘gut buster’. His second to English in the 2016 All Aged tells me he’ll get through the surface, but no doubt he’s more effective on a Good track.

Clearly Innocent looks to have gone to a new level for Kris Lees. His win at Scone was explosive and despite drawing barrier nine and having a negative map position I won’t be writing him off. Unbeaten on soft tracks and can drop huge closing sectionals.

Derryn needs to get off the fence in running from barrier five but if he track a horse like Counterattack into the race he’ll run straight past him. He looks certain to get through the Eagle Farm track and if leaders are folding in early races I expect him to be heavily backed.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (WIN) Derryn

 BACK (WIN) Clearly Innocent

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