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Glasshouse Handicap preview

KIWI MARE: COULDN'T GIVE A SPIT WHAT BOOKIES SAY
By Mitch Fenton, @weekndkngracing
www.weekendking.com.au


The Sunshine Coast’s annual feature sprint race, the listed $175,000 Glasshouse Handicap over 1400m, is our focus this week as the Winter Carnival heads to lovely Caloundra, where weather “experts” are predicting fine sunny conditions and racing on what should be a good to dead rated surface. Some good horses have won this race back over the years... including most recently Group 1 winner Woorim, who went back to back in the event.

As has been the case with most of this years Winter Carnival, the feature race again lacks any depth at all and bar a couple, it’s a case of the ‘usual suspects’ - Billy Aucash, Steel Zip, Startsmeup, Phelan Ready….

The traditional lead up race to the Glasshouse is the Eye Liner Stakes run on Ipswich Cup day over 1350m. The rise is distance is only 50m but the main difference is going from a tight, turning, short run home, track at Ipswich to a wide open track at the Sunshine Coast with a long straight that see’s almost every horse get it’s chance.

The rail goes into the true position, but jockeys just don’t want to get within cooee of the fence - wet or dry - with the crown of the track right down the middle usually the best spot to be. But all in all it’s one of the fairest & best tracks in Australia and hands down the best track in Queensland.

Nine of the runners out of the Eye Liner are engaged here;
Alma’s Fury - 1st
Playitsraight - 3rd
Jetset Lad - 4th
Billy Aucash - 5th
Steel Zip - 6th
Startsmeup - 7th
Ellawisdom - 10th
Black Cash - 12th
Phelan Ready - 13th

Class shone through in the end with Tony Gollan’s Alma’s Fury narrowly holding of Masthead trained by Chris Waller - who has a decent opinion of his galloper. Alma’s Fury was second up that day and certainly looked like he would derive plenty of improvement from the run. He meets all those behind him worse off at the weights but the one’s he does face again here, he did beat soundly. Drawn awkwardly but veteran hoop Jim Byrne is in near career best form and the 1400m start at Corbold Park isn’t to disadvantageous to those drawn out. The stable is flying, no doubt he’ll be right in the mix.

Jetset Lad was terrific closing off, late in the piece, after finally getting into clear galloping room. And the way he ran right through the line suggested he’d be spot on come this race. Although the run was very good, it was fairly typical of the horse, who has only won 5 of his 47 career stars - an unflattering win strike-rate in anyone’s terms. He’s some hope but I’m risking him at the $6.50 quote currently on offer.

Forget Black Cash ever went around in the race, he ran into severe trouble on two occasions and featured heavily in the stewards report & their was money for the horse (an astute punting yard) to suggest it’d run a race. In fact you can ignore all three of his runs this campaign, in his first and second up runs he never got on the track from bad barriers but still managed to run well. He’s run a race at Flemington Melbourne Cup week (albeit the restricted grey race) so class isn’t an issue. He gets a good gate here so he’ll go a soft run and is very capable on his best form, down on the minimum weight.

As for the usual suspects out of the Eye Liner, (Phelan Ready, Startsmeup, Billy Aucash, Ellawisdom, Playitstraight) well they’ll be running on again - like they always do. Wouldn’t shock me if one of them did something stupid and lobbed at a price, but honestly how could you tip a horse like Phelan Ready, as grand an old warrior as he is, to win his first race in nearly six years? I’d love to see him add to his tally of two wins - the Magic Millions & Golden Slipper - before he’s done!

As for the runners coming here through different form lines, they are;

Belltone who comes here off the back of three average runs, albeit in tougher grade - the latest in the Stradbroke…But he’s been poor and the stable can’t buy a winner this Carnival. There’s more than a little whisper around Eagle Farm (where Kelso Wood trains) that his stable has been struck down by a mystery virus. Results support that rumour undoubtedly.

Muir is having his first run back for 433 days & prior to that he’d had a 700 day+ lay-off. Is 200-1 should be 2000-1. All I can hope is he doesn’t get in the way of a winning hope….Although ditto Phelan Ready, he’s a Gr1 winner - the 2011 Adelaide Cup.

Escoffier is on a quick back up after running 3rd last week. Solid enough form. But outclassed here. That’llbgood, Auguste & Noogurra Burr are all simply out of their depth and are only here to stake a claim at the minor end of the prize money scale.

That leaves Kiwi mare Spitfire Lady, who ran in the Gai Waterhouse Classic, 1350m on Ipswich Cup day as well. It was her first run in 4+ weeks after coming across the Tasman where she’d been running fairly well. Was wide, wide then wider but still ran home gamely behind Jazz Song - who was far from disgraced when backing up in last weeks Gr1 Tatts Tiara at Eagle Farm. Very interesting to note that in the Gr1 Easter Handicap in NZ on the 12th of April, when she finished 9th beaten 2L. She beat home Jetset Lad by a length. In this race one is $17 and one is $7. No sense in that for mine!

I’ve narrowed it down to three hopes. But I can’t split them.
BLACK CASH
ALMA’S FURY
SPITFIRE LADY

With a gun held to my head and made to pick one I’d go Alma’s Fury, purely on his class & with the in form yard. But I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that.

My betting strategy off a $100 bank is;

$30 win ALMA’S FURY $4.00
$25 each way BLACK CASH $7.50 & $2.50
$10 each way SPITFIRE LADY $17 & $4.40

My best bets for the day (28/06) are;

SUNSHINE COAST
R4 - 3 MISS COVER GIRL*. Filly who has won 3 from 3 in explosive fashion. Her last start sectionals in winning at Doomben where astonishing for a 2 year old.

ROSEHILL
R1 - 3 WINX. Just wins. Extremely talented, was enormous winning on debut and the form out of that race is super!

FLEMINGTON
R4 - 5 SACRED FLYER. Great effort last start to win overcoming traffic in the straight. Looks a similar task here.

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Form link

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The most reliable guide to the Gr2 Villiers has always been the Festival Stakes.

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8 [4.3] Aomen (58.5) 30-1
11 [6.8] Monton (60) 16-1
12 [8.0] Keep Cool (54) 80-1

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