If a full field of seventeen runners over 1300m wasn’t hard enough for punters to decipher, throw in a couple of them returning from a spell, a New Zealander with promising form, and only two last-start winners, and you’ve got yourself the 2015 Glasshouse Handicap. Early favourite for the Listed feature is locally trained Time For War ($4.60). The three year old, who boasts a win over Brazen Beau, returned from a spell to run a game second on the Gold Coast in the Guineas three weeks back. Although seemingly drawn poorly in gate 14 for Saturday’s race, it’s worth noting that the last two winners, Someday (2013) and Alma’s Fury (2014), who also started favourites in their respective years, each came from a double figure gate.
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1. DANCES ON STARS – D Brown (17)
The 5yo gelding continued to enhance is excellent Queensland record with a third to Srikandi in the G2 Victory Stakes at his most recent start, his second of this campaign. That’s an excellent form reference for this race but connection’s expectations may have been dampened a little when he drew the widest gate in a big field whilst giving every runner in the race at least 2.5kgs.
2. RIVA DE LAGO – L Nolen (1)
We haven’t seen this 7yo since he competed in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup at this track back on Australia Day where he finished ninth (5.7 lengths) to Tarloshan. We haven’t seen him win since he took out the 2013 edition of the G2 Theo Marks Stakes. Generally takes a run or two to hit his straps and will need luck from the inside gate given he tends to get back in the run.
3. PHELAN READY – L Cassidy (16)
Local hero who last prep, five years after winning his second race – the 2009 Golden Slipper, finally recorded his third and fourth career wins. He’ll tackle this race first up from a sixteen week spell and although he has placed four times from ten starts fresh, the 8yo is yet to win first up and also has a wide gate to contend with.
4. MOUNT NEBO – M Cahill (7)
Despite being off the scene for seven months, there were good expectations placed on this 5yo when sent out 5/2 favourite in a BM 85 (1000m) on the Sunshine Coast early April. He didn’t let punters down, winning well and also at this following start, a BM 95 (1200m) at Doomben before finding traffic from the inside gate in the Listed Weetwood at Toowoomba at his most recent start. Wyong Trainer Alan Denham has had his galloper in Queensland for some time now and he is obviously enjoying himself judging by his results. Will push forward from gate seven, rarely runs a bad race and will give some cheek.
5. ENQUARE – D Griffin (3)
She took on the best mares in the Country when contesting some of the premiere fillies and mare’s races during the spring and performed well, with the highlight of her four start campaign a second to Forever Loved in the G2 Blazer Stakes. Hasn’t raced since that campaign but did run a good sixth (1.7 lengths) first up behind Girl Guide last prep when, like the daughter of Stratum has done here as well, drawing an inside gate. Not to be overlooked.
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6. KEMPELLY – R Fradd (12)
Toughed it out well from an on-pace position to win three starts back on the Heavy at Doomben and backed that up, on another wet track, with a close-up third to Mount Nebo in a BM 95 (1200m). Wasn’t far off them in the Weetwood at his next and most recent start; finishing three lengths from the winner Mr Favulous. Going as well as he ever has but may find it tricky to find the few lengths extra needed to win at this level from an awkward draw.
7. TIME FOR WAR – J Byrne (14)
Excellent first up off a break when second to Nostradamus, who enjoyed a sweet run throughout, in the Gold Coast Guineas three weeks back. He was among nominations for last week’s G1 BTC Cup but connections have made the right move waiting for this race, despite drawing poorly. Ran second to Kuro second up last campaign in a Listed race and sure to run well here too.
8. TYPHOON RED – G Goold (9)
Drew the second to widest gate in a field of thirteen when contesting the G3 Darley BRC Sprint last week at Doomben and settled a long way back before making good ground late to finish seventh (3.6 lengths) behind Charlie Boy and Rock Sturdy. That was his third run this prep, all of which had been well spaced, so should be no primed for this and has obviously done well during the week. Could run a race better than his current price of $17 would suggest.
9. ALLEZ EAGLE – T Bell (8)
New Zealander galloper whose last start was four weeks ago in the G1 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie where he finished fourth (2.6 lengths) to Pondarosa Miss after leading from the jump. The Guillotine 4yo has built an impressive record over the past five months and has drawn well enough to take up his favoured position on-pace here. Going well, comes from a stable that knows what it takes to win at this carnival and should be in the thick of the fight for a long way here.
10. CHOICE BRO – P Hammersley (13)
He has only had the two runs for new trainer Tony Sears since joining his stables from those of John Sargent, and both have been very good. He closed strongly first up behind the in-form Mount Nebo to run second (0.8 lengths) and again was strong late from the second half of the field when third (1.8 lengths) in the recent Listed Weetwood Handicap. Hard to dismiss him from having a good hope with those form lines.
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11. PILLAR OF CREATION – L Tarrant (2)
Given a lovely run by Tarrant in the Listed Weetwood (1200m) a fortnight ago, his first run for seven weeks, and the God’s Own 5yo delivered his best, running second (1 length) to Mr Favulous. Drawn to get a similar run here from gate two, fitter again and there’s plenty out of the Weetwood given a hope here and he’d be one of them.
12. BLACK JET – J Lloyd (6)
Made it back-to-back wins at his most recent start, back in late February, with a professional ¾ of a length win over Bewhatyouwannabe in the Listed Member’s Cup (1600m) at Doomben.
Given an easy time of it in a recent four horse trial in preparation for his return and whilst his best efforts generally come in race a touch further than this, he does comes from an astute stable (Liam Birchley) who would’ve had this race picked out for him for a few months now.
13. GRAYSON SQUARE – C Schmidt (11)
Strung a few wins together last prep but in two runs back from a spell, in the Listed Chief De Beer and Prime Minister’s Cup, races of better quality then had been competing in, the 5yo gelding was well accounted for running sixth and ninth respectively. Doubt he’ll found this event any easier and for the time-being, better placed in Benchmark races.
14. BLACK CASH – R McMahon (10)
Whilst he has run some handy races and finds himself never a great margin from the winner, it is closing in on two years now since this 6yo last won a race. As has been the case during that time, just finding himself a length of two of the pace in recent efforts, and after good runs behind the likes of Hopfgarten, Gundy Spirit and Neo, his most recent outing resulted in a sixth placing (2 lengths) to Trackstar in a BM 90. To be winning here, would’ve preferred to see him win at least one of the above.
15. YOU DID WHAT – J Stanley (5)
Put together strong campaign last time in, not missing a place in six starts and winning three of them. That campaign was seven months ago now, and while he progressed to Class 6 company, they were easier races than this one. Hasn’t been seen at any official trials and would be hard to take with any confidence.
16. ABU BEN ADAM – T Harrison (15)
He recorded his first win in five starts at his track when edging out Nickiera in an Open Handicap (1200m) on Anzac Day, his first run back from a fourteen week spell. He’ll be fitter for that run, has had a trial since and did fourth here in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup (1400m) as a 25/1 shot earlier in the year however, unlike that day, he has drawn poorly here and likely to find this field too hot.
17. NOT TOO SHINE – J Taylor (4)
Returned from a failed trip to Rockhampton, fifth of nine (3.3 lengths) with a third placing behind Abu Ben Adam and Nickiera in an Open Handicap on Anzac Day. For him to win here, he needed to be winning against that opposition in strong manner – which he didn’t.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Easy to baulk at Time For War drawing wide but history shows that in this race, it may not be as much of a disadvantage as first thought, so happy to stick with him here. Enquare gets the right run here and is a smart mare. Does take on the boys but her overall record, combined with a good draw and an 8/1 quote, are enough to put her in to the numbers. Value runners – Choice Bro, Typhoon Red.
1. TIME FOR WAR
3. ALLEZ EAGLE
4. CHOICE BRO