Graeme Carey previews Saturday’s meeting at the Gold Coast on Saturday 13th March

One of the Gold Coast’s big days with the QTIS Jewel races for two and three-year-olds taking centre stage.

The tight track and big fields means luck in running is a major factor and with the rail in the true position getting to the centre of the track in the straight will be a priority for riders.

Local knowledge counts a lot on this track so we are looking for horses and riders that can avoid trouble, find positions in the first half of the field and finish off strongly.

There has been plenty of rain around and a heavy track is probable with the better going being off the rail.

RACE 1 – Benchmark 75 (1200m)

PULL ANCHOR (12) was crucified last start when she got too far back in running but she makes a habit of running second and Tony Gollan will be hoping Ryan Maloney can turn things around. He has a big team with him this meeting with many being well in the market and PULL ANCHOR (12) can start things off on the right note.

KATY’S DAUGHTER (4) is consistent, Justin Huxtable takes a 1.5kg claim and she has won and placed at all four previous starts here. Following a freshen-up, the mare wasn’t far away in an unsuitable Benchmark 80 over 1000m last start and is better off in this easier class over a preferred trip.

SO TAKEN (14) has been 110 weeks between drinks but the mare has two Group 3 placings to her credit and has spent much of her career in much better class than this. Chris Waller has brought her to Queensland to get a win and this could be it.

RAGING POLE (3) is far from trustworthy but won his only start on heavy ground.

METSON (10) did nothing when resuming but drops in grade and improves second-up. Bobby El-Issa, a heavy track and winkers will help.

BETTING STRATEGY: I have been on PULL ANCHOR (12) at her past two starts and have to go again with 1 unit.

RACE 2 – Class 6 Plate (1100m)

KYLEASE (3) was only run down late last start when second-up over 1000m at Eagle Farm. She has a ton of speed, has won at the trip and Steph Thornton knows her well. Gate one is tricky on a heavy track but she has the speed to control and will be hard to get past.

MOONSHINE LADY (4) has changed stables, won her only start here, goes well fresh and is unbeaten in three starts on heavy ground. She is moody and risky at the gates but do not leave her out at good odds.

JE SUIS BELLE (8) is speedy, Mark Currie and Bobby El-Issa have a strong association and the Bel Esprit mare can apply pressure to KYLEASE for a long way.

SKINS (12) has benefited from a recent trial and has won both starts on soft ground, David Vandyke horses invariably perform well fresh and Michael Cahill rides Gold Coast as well as anyone.

BETTING STRATEGY: No bet for me but KYLEASE (3) will give a sight for a long way.

RACE 3 – Open Handicap (900m)

These 900m scampers are a speciality of the Gold Coast and SUGAR BOOM (1) is one of the fastest horses in Queensland. At her only previous attempt at the trip here she blew them away from gate 12 in a much stronger field. She has been kept fresh since, Michael Rodd retains the mount and gate six is perfect.

If the pressure or heavy ground gets to her the danger may be the stablemate PIZONIE (4), which will get back from his gate but has a good record over 1000m. Goes best fresh and put in a solid trial recently.

I’VE GOTTA NEL (3) is an honest speedster suited by this track and distance, he can be a pest to SUGAR BOOM, as could RACECOURSE ROAD (2) from his wide gate.

The third of the Gollan runners LE PALMIER (6) is capable fresh and draws to do no work from gate three.

BETTING STRATEGY: SUGAR BOOM (1) too short for me and will just watch the race to see if Gollan can get the trifecta

RACE 4 – Gold Coast Stakes (1800m)

WAPITI (7) hasn’t won this preparation but he has won both outings on heavy ground, the trip suits and he has run some of his best races at the Gold Coast. He can go forward, control the tempo and be the one to beat.

David Vandyke boasts an amazing strike rate and he has turned the previously unreliable DISSOLUTION (6) into a consistent performer. Gate one is no advantage at the Gold Coast but Mark du Plessis has the option to go forward or sit off the tempo; either way he gets the gun run and there is no reason why he can’t deliver again.

LIGULATE (2) has been up a while but he is a tough customer and rarely runs poorly, the quality conditions suit and he can be in the finish.

Chris Waller has three runners ALWARD (1), RELOADED (3) and MATOWI (4), none of which have good recent form but that doesn’t mean they can’t win.

SIR BARNABUS (5) has only won here once but has five placings from seven starts, he showed a return to form last start and now third-up is a must for exotics.

BETTING STRATEGY: Have a liking for WAPITI (5) but too many chances for me

RACE 5 – ATC Trophy (1400m)

The first of the Listed races with two high class mares SOCIALISING (5) and VANNA GIRL (2) engaged.

SOCIALISING (5) has put in outstanding efforts at her past two outings and from gate three with Jim Byrne will get a good run off a moderate tempo. The Bel Esprit mare steps up to 1400m and the tight track may not suit but Jim Byrne knows her well and class tells.

THE CANDY MAN (1) won first-up last preparation over this trip with 61kg, his trial was solid and he has won four of five starts on heavy tracks. Don’t leave him out.

VANNA GIRL (2) is first-up after an abortive Southern campaign last spring, she is unlikely to be fully wound-up but she has won two of her three starts on her home track, including one at 1400m.

The quality drops away dramatically after these three but TAKE TEA (8) is in form, trained here and has won twice on heavy ground.

Tony Gollan’s other runner MACEWEN (6) has been freshened, wasn’t far away in the Sunshine Coast Cup last start and has won two of his three previous starts at this track.

BETTING STRATEGY: Expecting Tony Gollan to triumph with SOCIALISING (5) but $2.40 is under the odds for me so will just watch

RACE 6 – QTIS Jewel 2YO (1200m)

There have been several Rockhampton Rockets over the years and all eyes will be on SWEET DOLLY (7), which has bolted in at all three outings beating Fake Love in a Listed race last preparation and blitzing Glorious Ruby last start when resuming in the Jewel Prelude for Fillies. The 1200m should not be beyond her and whilst she is still green, Justin Stanley knows her and can steer her home.

Trainer Kevin Hansen and Sweet Dolly after her Callaghan Park gallop on Monday morning. Photo: Tony McMahon.Source:News Regional Media

The most likely improver in the field is the locally trained TIKKA READY (4), which ran a bold race on debut in the Colts and Geldings Jewel Prelude at the Sunshine Coast behind GEMELON BOLT (1).

The time was significantly slower than that run by the fillies but TIKKA READY has upside, is on home ground and 1200m should suit.

Les Ross-trained horses always go well on heavy tracks, take your pick between MISHANI ENCHANTED (8) and MISHANI DELIGHT (9) for exotics.

BETTING STRATEGY: Not taking prohibitive odds but SWEET DOLLY just has to replicate her Prelude effort over 1200m to win. TIKKA READY (4) can place at odds.

RACE 7 – Military Rose Plate (1200m)

Some smart mares in this but it is hard to go past Lindsay Hatch’s JADENTOM (4), which as the highest rated horse is well treated with 56.5kg.

Has an excellent first-up record and Andrew Mallyon has won on her four times. Gate one isn’t ideal but there will be plenty of speed and as long as Mallyon can get to the outside on straightening, JADENTOM will do the rest.

Jadentom and jockey Andrew Mallyon after taking out the 2020 Weetwood Handicap.Source:News Regional Media


EURO BELLE (8) is value at good odds. She was slaughtered last start but returns to her home track, gets blinkers, likes soft going and Michael Cahill gets on. She won a recent trial and meets the fancied CHIVARGO (7) 5.5kg better for beating her at Ipswich two starts back.

GEM OF SCOTLAND (9) did nothing wrong when resuming after a long break and won her only start on a heavy track.

OUTBACK BARBIE (3) is a bookies’ pal unknown on heavy ground but she goes best fresh, this distance suits and Ryan Maloney will give her every chance.

The promising STOKED (13) first-up for Michael Costa takes on strong company but won her only start on a heavy track and has been trialling well.

BETTING STRATEGY: Having 3 units on JADENTOM (4)

RACE 8 – 3YO Jewel (1200m)

MIAMI FLEISS (13) will be all the rage after dominant wins at both outings and blitzing the talented Georgie’s Pride over this trip but this is no laydown misere having to contend with set weights, a heavy track, barrier 10 and a field of considerable depth.

SIMPLY FLY (3) got the job done in the Prelude at the Sunshine Coast, he failed at previous 1200m outings but they were at Eagle Farm and he is unbeaten elsewhere with wins on both soft and heavy ground.

KISUKANO (8) has put in moderate efforts since resuming but she did run Rothfire down here over this trip on a soft (7), gets the winkers for the first time and on best form would be right in the finish.

APACHE CHASE (1) just missed a place here in the Magic Millions Guineas last start and the drop back to 1200m won’t hurt. He was competing strongly in black-type races last preparation, has Jim Byrne and suited under the set weight conditions.

BETTING STRATEGY: Having one unit win, two units place on SIMPLY FLY (3)

RACE 9 – Benchmark 85 Handicap (1300m)

CLOAK (1) was superb for David Vandyke last preparation and the trainer’s strike rate shows he doesn’t produce them unless they are ready to win. He won first-up last preparation, handles heavy ground and the 3kg claim for Sheriden Tomlinson helps.

LET’S PARTY MARTY (8) bolted in at Doomben three starts back and didn’t handle Eagle Farm last start. Bobby El-Issa will go forward from the wide gate and if allowed to roll forward, he can run a cheeky race at odds.

ELIXIR (3) is on the quick back-up but this is his track and distance and a wide gate may not be a disadvantage at this time of the day.

EPIC GIRL (4) is also drawn the carpark but she loves it wet, won her only previous start here over 1300m and the 2kg claim for Adin Thompson sees her well weighted.

VENTURA OCEAN (9) won at his Australian debut, beating Wren’s Day which has franked the form. This is harder and his wet track form is concerning but he drops 3kg and can go on with it.

For the exotics AGASSI (2) trialled well on Monday and loves a heavy track.

BETTING STRATEGY: Having one unit win, 2 units place on CLOAK

BEST BET: JADENTOM (Race 7 No 4)

NEXT BEST: CLOAK (Race 9 No 1)

VALUE: SIMPLY FLY (Race 8 No 3)

Quaddie numbers are:

Race 6: 4,7

Race 7: 4,8,9

Race 8: 3,8,13

Race 9: 1,2,3,4,8

90 combinations

Originally published asGold Coast Saturday: Best Bets and selections for all races

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