Not many horses can boast a win over Brazen Beau but it is something that Time For War, who returns to racing this Saturday in the Gold Coast Guineas, can. Time For War led and defied the challenge of Brazen Beau in the G2 Sires Produce Stakes this time last year before in his spring campaign, continuing his good form against the top 3yos of the season and running second to Kuro in the Listed Brian Crowley – with Delectation fourth. He is rated a $7.00 this Saturday and is on the second line of betting in an open betting race. Joining him is Nostradamus and Traveston Girl with the trio behind race favourite Miss Cover Girls ($4.60). Adding another level of interest to an intriguing race is New Zealand visitor Huka Eagle. Trained by Tony Pike, who figured in some of the leading races last winter carnival with Rock Diva, Huka Eagle has been kept very safe in early markets ($9) and rightly so given his short but impressive record to date.
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1. TIME FOR WAR – B Shinn (10)
Spelled since finishing well back in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes behind Brazen Beau last November and since then, has been transferred to the Sunshine Coast stables of Stuart Kendrick (formerly with Gerald Ryan). Smart galloper on his day, has a G2 Victory over Brazen Beau and a second to Kuro on his CV and coupled with his recent barrier trial effort, can be expected to produce a strong run fresh.
2. EXECUTED – K Wharton (5)
A North Queensland galloper who after a building a strong record in that region, came to Brisbane where he has finished third in each of his two this month. The son of Warhead didn’t appear all that happy on the heavy track behind Jump Prince before finishing strongly from midfield to get within a neck of Beau Jet. Drawn well but still yet to win in Brisbane and he won’t find this any easier than last start.
3. NOSTRADAMUS – J Bowman (4)
Hasn’t lived up to his early promise, which included a second to Brazen Beau last prep, this campaign and has struggled in each of his three runs in. Led from a wider draw last start but didn’t handle the heavy conditions and battled home for sixth of ten (4.6 lengths) behind Delectation. Firmer surface, a good draw and Bowman are all positives but still no sure he’s going well enough at the minute.
4. PINCH RIVER – D Browne (10)
Returned off a ten month spell with a very pleasing fourth (3/4 of a length) behind Beau Jet in a 3yo Plate over 1110m a fortnight ago. The Denman gelding led and found plenty when asked for an effort. Will be fitter again but this is a step up in class and being second up off such a lengthy beak, prefer to risk him.
5. BEAU JET – D Oliver (13)
The Steve O’Dea galloper made it four wins from five starts with a head victory over Feels Like Home and Executed.
Big win first up, coming from a long way back and racing for the first time in five months, the Jet Spur gelding has set the bar high for the remainder of his campaign. Will get back again from the wide draw but appears to have above average ability and sure to be steaming home again.
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6. SARAJEVO – SCRATCHED
7. MR CHA CHA – P Hammersley (1)
We haven’t seen this Snitzel colt since he finished fifth (2.7 lengths) behind Time For War in the G2 Pago Pago Stakes last year when under the care of Gai Waterhouse. Now with Brisbane trainer Brad Herne, he hasn’t been seen at any trials and after such a long absence from the track, it’s hard to get a handle on where he is at but there’s been a significant push for him in early market with his opening price of $26.00 quickly snapped up. He was into $11.00 as of Wednesday night.
8. HUKA EAGLE – L Innes (6)
New Zealand galloper who has won three of his five starts for trainer Tony Pike. His most recent run was fourteen weeks ago in the G1 Levin Classic (1600m) where from an on-pace position, he finished third and one length behind winner Gaultier. The Swiss Ace gelding gets a lovely run from get six here behind the speed and is a smart type from an astute yard that should measure up very well here.
9. BETTER NOT BLUE – R Brewer (8)
We haven’t seen this runner since he closed very well late behind Gold Seventy Seven in a BM 72 (1400m) at Rosehill back in January. The son Churchill Downs has been given a Randwick barrier trial by trainer Michelle Ritchie near on a fortnight ago, running third and splitting Sarajevo and Earthquake. A progressive type that shouldn’t be too easily dismissed from running some kind of race here.
10. MISS COVER GIRL – G Boss (14)
Led, loved the wet conditions, and made the trip to Sydney for the G3 PJ Bell Stakes worth it, winning the race head from Peeping. That was her seventh win from only eleven starts so she’s a winner but facing up against some smart boys here and doing so from gate fourteen is a query. Excellent record and rarely lets punters down when favourite but with, would prefer to see her on the other side of $5.00 from a betting perspective.
11. AIMEE – J Taylor (18)
Enjoyed the perfect run but failed by a narrow margin to pick up Love Shuttle in the Final of the fillies and mare’s series last start. That run made it three straight runs that she’s finished within a length of the winner, the others races being taken out by Rocket To Glory and Bermuda Blu. Going well and deserves to win a race but not sure this one it is, especially when she’ll jump from the widest gate.
12. TRAVESTON GIRL – T Harrison (12)
Very smart filly from Tony Gollan’s stable that makes her long-awaited return to racing. The daughter of Flying Spur couldn’t have done any more last time in when fourth to Afleet Esprit in the 1000 Guineas Prelude before getting within ¾ of a length of Amicus in the G1 1000 Guineas. No trials leading into this but we know that horse and trainer will be primed for this race. Hard not to expect a big return given her previous form.
13. AMIZADE – M Cahill (7)
Headed out for a spell last November with a record of 8:3-3-1 and has returned this campaign with solid runs including a last-start second (3/4 of a length) to Jumbo Prince in Open company over 1200m. Likely to push forward from her gate but hard to see here, with the step up in class, holding off the challengers, of which they’ll be plenty, over the final stages.
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14. PALAZZO PUBBLICO – K McEvoy (3)
Made it three straight wins with an all-the-way victory in a BM 72 (1200m) at Randwick earlier this year, followed by fourth placing behind smart mare Mardi, again when sitting on the speed, in a BM 80 (1400m). Hasn’t raced since then, close to four months ago now but has had a trial hit-out a fortnight ago which she won well. Drawn to take up her favourite role but will have to produce a career best first up to be winning here.
15. SEA SHELLS – (16)
Made it back-to-back wins with a strong finish in an 3yo Open Class race (1666m) at Ipswich two runs back before finishing fourth in a similar graded race on the Sunshine Coast seven weeks back. Locally trained galloper from the John Morrissey yard who has won three of eight but may be aiming too here in looking for his fourth.
16. FEELS LIKE HOME – J Byrne (9)
Formerly with Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien, the More Than Ready filly didn’t live up to expectations of her earlier performances last spring and now resides with Tony Gollan. She had her first start for the new stable a fortnight ago, running an eye-catching head second to Beau Jet in a 3yo Plate over 1110m. That was her first run in five months and can only be better for it. Should she be double the odds of Beau Jet??
17. BEARSKIN – T Angland (2)
Out of former smart race-mare Devil Inside, he made it two wins from as many starts when successful on the Sunshine Coast first up from a three months spell late last month. Started a short-priced favourite on the Coast but he took all of the long straight to reel get the job done. Needed to see him win that event in a much more dominant manner before thinking he’ll be competitive here.
18. RISING LUCK – (15)
Only win thus far from his eight starts has come in Maiden company, on a heavy track, here on the Gold Coast in December of last year. Would think there’s many more suitable races available for him than this one.
A lot to take in trying to get a handle on a big field of 3yos, especially with several leading chances returning from spells. Take out his latest effort, in the star-studded G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, and Time For War’s record is clearly the strongest in the race. He is with a new yard now and first up, but at anywhere near his best should be right in the finish. Building a big record himself is Huka Eagle. Trainer knows what it takes to be successful this time of year and the $8.00 on offer about him, could turn out to be a very good price in coming months. Traveston Girl is the pick of the fillies but is drawn awkwardly in twelve whilst Beau Jet, who has been in good form, will enjoy the solid pace of the race and be charging late.
1. HUKA EAGLE
2. TIME FOR WAR
3. TRAVESTON GIRL
4. BEAU JET