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By Darren Winningham | Friday, January 8, 2021


What a day today has been for Queenslanders in the designated Covid-19 hotspots announced this morning. Let’s hope it will be the end of the lockdown after the three days.

Feature racing for the weekend is at the scenic GOLD COAST at AQUIS PARK track at Bundall … with week one of the Magic Millions Carnival 2021 about to start.

The track is rated “GOOD”. The rail is true for the entire circuit. There is forecast of some showers and rain leading into the race-day with the cyclone that drenched Northern QLD earlier in the week meandering down the coast making a nuisance of itself. Some may say being a “PEST. That reference is just for you Will Allam and Con Searle.

Let us hope the sun is out – the skies are clear, and the surf is up for “THE WAVE” program for this weekend.

NB: As these selections were made prior to race-day please check for any changes to track conditions and for any scratchings on the day.

Race 1

A nice race to start off the day.

Good Chat (5) from the David Vandyke yards has been racing consistently. Fourth up this weekend with Glen Boss aboard I think that he maybe ready to get past the post first this weekend. Her last start was solid when he led and was swamped late by the talented Shooting For Gold – that form looks good for this race.

Derulo (4), trained on the track by John Smerdon, has Ryan Wiggins aboard. They partnered last weekend with a winner in town. This runner made his debut for the new stable over 1050 metres at Doomben three weeks ago and was heavily supported in the betting. The run was on par for mine. I think that the distance was too short – he was motoring home late and just ran out of time to catch the leader. This weekend up to 1200 metres and second up where he is undefeated, he looks a solid chance.

Acrobatic (6) – I like this Kelly Schweida trained gelding. He has the blinkers coming off this weekend. Drops back from Listed races last start to a restricted race here and is third up where he has won previously. Mark Du Plessis is aboard again this weekend. I think that the gear change holds the key to seeing whether he is going to hit his straps again this preparation – massive odds as well at $31.

Mishani Miss (1) from the Les Ross Racing yards has won both of her starts from the spell with Michael Rodd aboard each time. I have always thought she is suspect at 1200 metres – but Rodd has been able to take a sit on her in her two runs since resuming and she has finished off the race nicely on each occasion. With him aboard – some speed drawn in the race – I expect to her to be no further than three pairs back in the running. She has been dynamic so far and she could salute at $13.

Boomnova (8), from the Munce Racing team, has won her past two starts as well. This weekend she draws nicely and has Bobby El-Issa in the saddle (he rode a winning double last weekend). Despite facing her biggest challenge her recent form and times would suggest that she is a genuine chance here.

I must make special mention of Satine (12) – this is the filly that was promoted by the Gold Coast Turf Club and Aquis last year in a raffle type event. Six lucky people were selected to own a share in a lease type agreement with this filly. She has now won two of her past three starts for the winning connections. One of them is a good friend of mine – Terry Carrick. I sort of hope she wins this weekend for the owners and the turf club as Terry may buy me a drink with his winnings – I said MAYBE. I bet the only free drink I get out of him will be in the winner’s lounge! She is trained by Edmonds Racing on the track and Robbie Fradd will ride.


5 – Good Chat
4 – Derulo
6 – Acrobatic
1 – Mishani Miss
Rough chance – (8) Boomnova & (12) Satine


The race for the two-year-old fillies – their last chance to make that Magic Millions field for next weekend!

A lot of mail around the Waterhouse & Bott Star Witness filly here – Swift Witness (9), who had two solid trials before being beaten in the Magic Millions at Wyong. I am not too certain whether that race is a good guide here as several runners have come out of that race and have been very disappointing – maybe this runner can buck that trend with the astute stable targeting this race to gain entry to the Magic Millions 2021. Glen Boss rides for the stable. An important gear change as well with the blinkers going on this weekend.

For mine, I am going on the exposed Brisbane form here with the runner Miss In Charge (8) coming out of the Calaway Girl (Listed) race where this Kris Lees runner was making some solid ground before being severely checked in the straight. She knuckled and lost all momentum and any winning chance. Look – I am not saying she would have beaten the eventual winner, but she has trialled well in the lead up into her debut run. Since then, this Kris Lee Racing runner has won a barrier trial at Deagon in good style. Andrew Mallyon has the ride this weekend. At $8, I like this runner each way.

Miss Hipstar (1) is looking to maintain her undefeated record here this weekend having notched up two wins from two career starts. She likes to jump cleanly and lead. Barrier 10 this weekend for her may pose some slight reservations for the punters – but she has been racing well. Larry Cassidy keeps the ride for the Kelly Schweida stables.

Rhapsody Blue (2) comes out of the Calaway Gal (Listed) race as well. Trained by Chris Munce she has been in the money at all three starts. Drawn well, up in distance and with stable apprentice Justin Huxtable to ride her, she could show up.

If you want a local roughie to maybe upstage them all look no further than the Helen Page trained Watachoice (10). She raced here on a heavy track first up and fought on well. This weekend with three weeks between runs and drawn nicely, she will be racing in the leading few. She could cause a major upset with Michael Cahill to ride.


8 – Miss In Charge
9 – Swift Witness
2 – Rhapsody Rose
1 – Miss Hipstar
Rough chance – (10) Watachoice


There are so many runners with gear changes in this race – be careful!

The top weight looks well placed here if he can handle going the clockwise way of racing and the Gold Coast track for the first time. He is trained by Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes in Victoria and will be ridden by Luke Nolen who has ridden him in both of his career starts. He was very good second up in the Maribyrnong Plate (Group 3) at Flemington up the straight on Melbourne Cup Day. Comes off a nine-week spell and had a solid trial at Albury a month ago. So, if the rain comes, he should handle any wet conditions. He is only having to find 1100 metres first up – I think he will race well although I am not too sure about him stepping up to 1200 metres next weekend in the Magic Millions.

Shaquero (2) is a Chris Waller Racing runner who was sent out a short-priced favourite in the Group 3 Bruce McLachlan Plate a fortnight ago at Eagle Farm and performed dismally. Big gear changes this weekend with the lugging bit and a tongue tie going on – Glen Boss is in the saddle. That last run was too bad to believe after he won the Breeder’s Plate (Group 3) at Randwick back in October last year. If you overlook the last effort, he probably starts a deserved favourite in this race – at $4.40 he is good value if you forgive his last run.

Character (7) from the James Cummings and Godolphin Racing stables will need to show some ‘character’ this weekend in this race to make the Magic Millions field. He is having his first race here after winning a trial at Hawkesbury three weeks ago. Robbie Fradd to ride. There has been a quiet tip around for this runner all week – the stable expect to him perform well this weekend.

Headlander (4) resumed and won at the Sunshine Coast for Kelly Schweida and Michael Rodd. They come here this weekend second up with a nice barrier – he could be the local runner who causes an upset.


1 – Finance Tycoon
2 – Shaquero
7 – Character
4 – Headlander
Rough chance – (6) Rambeau


A race over 1200 metres.

Not a race I can get interested in to be honest.

Let’s stay with the recent winners.

Katy’s Daughter (5) from the Steven O’Dea and Matthew Hoysted yards, comes off two recent wins. She has been racing well and Ben Thompson retains the ride. The other factor that draws me to her is that she has won here on the track previously.

Dancing Dollar (14), from the Sam Kavanagh yards, resumed with a good win at Mudgee last start. Comes to the Gold Coast for the first time – lightly raced – but has drawn the visitor’s gate in barrier 17 which may be to his detriment. Jim Byrne is aboard.

Edmonds Racing trains Unconditional (8) who resumed with a slashing second here on his home track first up. He then went to Warwick and could not run down the tearaway leader. He has a solid record at the track and does race well third up – keep him safe.

Animate (1) is trained by Kris Lees. Resumed first up at Wyong and looked like he needed to the run. Second up here and despite the huge weight he looks like he could consolidate his second up winning form here. Nash Rawiller has the ride for Lees Racing and I have a sneaky suspicion that he will be at his peak for this run.

This race could be a total wipe out for punters – there are horses from everywhere engaged – keep your eyes on the market closer to the day in case they back one with some confidence.


5 – Katy’s Daughter
1 – Animate
8 – Unconditional
14 – Dancing Dollar


This is one of these popular 900 metres races – they go fast and quick here!

Gollan Racing has three great chances. From the top – Sugar Boom (3) run down late by Usmanov after working hard in front at Eagle Farm. May struggle from barrier 14 – however, will jump cleanly and show them a clean set of heels. Michael Rodd rides this weekend.

Tullio (10) resumes here for the stable with Craig Williams to ride. Has an impressive record here with two starts over the 900 metres for two wins! Has trialled well recently. I think he will need some luck as he gets back in his racing and storms home late but there is some speed in the race, so he will get a lovely cart into the race late.

Howwonderfullifeis (11) won a recent trial at Doomben and always perform well first up. Bobby El-Issa is in the saddle this weekend. She has drawn lovely in barrier 4 – she can probably bounce out and let the speedsters go hard and just sit in behind the leaders but be handy enough to strike late. I think at $10 she is overpriced and to be honest the best of the Gollan crew facing the starter here this weekend.

Kiss My Swiss (12) has drawn well in barrier 2 and has the services of Tegan Harrison. She is from the Joe Cleary stables in Canberra and is third up. She has carried massive weights in her runs since resuming from a spell. She normally likes to lead – but I think, with some other speed engaged here, Tegan may elect to let them go early and sit on the leader’s heels before getting out and trying to win the race. She does race well over these shorter distances and I think the 1100 metres at Canterbury was just too far for her with the large weight.

Spurcraft (2) is a Schweida Racing runner. At his brilliant best who would just slay this field. Now that he seems to settle and then power home, he gets ideal conditions here this weekend to run on late. Jim Byrne rides him for the first time here.


11 – Howwonderfullifeis
12 – Kiss My Swiss
10 – Tullio
2 – Spurcraft
Rough chance – (3) Sugar Boom

Race 6

First leg of the Quaddie.

Peter & Will Hulbert train Oh Five Glory (7) who ran an awesome race first up when narrowly defeated. She has only won three races in 24 starts – but always seems to fill a placing. Maybe that will be the case again this weekend but I think that on her first up effort she must be a genuine chance here. Michael Rodd remains aboard.

The top weight Intrepidacious (1), trained by John O’Shea, was found wanting late last start at Randwick over 1400 metres. Dropping back 100 metres here and with the services of Nash Rawiller I can see her sitting in behind the leaders and then coming out and winning this race. She has drawn well in barrier 7 – the weight I do not think will be an issue.

Redoute’s Image (15) is trained at Newcastle by Kris Lees. She may have been found underprepared last start in the Gosford Guineas (Listed) on a heavy track second up. The stable must think she has taken a step forward since that run as she has been smashed since markets opened firming from $7 to $4.60. Craig Williams is aboard this runner and she has drawn the rails. A fair few things in her favour here.

Edmonds Racing has Beachbreak (3) racing on her home track with Jim Byrne to ride. He has partnered her in her last two starts that she has won. She seems to race well with her runs spaced apart and she has been freshened for 6 weeks since her last win at Doomben. She will settle off the speed and be storming home late. Barrier 15 is not ideal – however, if Byrne can get her in and get some cover, she is a big chance at around the $11 mark in the market.

Pull Anchor (8) won for Gollan Racing and Glen Boss three weeks ago at Doomben at big odds. She did get the race run to suit last start and was ridden superbly by Boss – maybe she will be tested here this weekend.


1 – Intrepidacious
7 – Oh Five Glory
15 – Redoute’s Image
3 – Beachbreak
Rough chance – (8) Pull Anchor

Race 7

Another large and open field greets us here.

Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott have two nice runners here. Yao Dash (10) was working home well at Wyong last start. That was his first start back in NSW after a mission to Victoria where he raced well without much luck. I think that stepping up to the 1300 metres he will race well here. Has drawn well in barrier 6 and Nash Rawiller to ride.

Marsannay (16) is the stablemate who resumed in the Gosford Guineas (Listed) on a heavy track last start. He settled back in the field on a day where they struggled to make ground, but still managed to work home well to finish a gallant third. He has drawn wide – barrier 17 – he will need some luck from here, but Michael Cahill will ensure he gets an economical run and will be finishing strong late.

Deep Speed (15) has been freshened after a solid run at Moonee Valley last start - 6 weeks without being raced. A recent barrier trial at Canterbury strongly would suggest that he is ready to run boldly here this weekend. Tony McEvoy, who has had wonderful success at this Gold Coast Carnival, has thrown Andrew Mallyon aboard to get this son of Deep Field home. He normally goes forward in his races – so he will need to jump well and get across from barrier 13.

Shooting For Gold (5) is the local runner trained by Steven O’Dea and Matt Hoysted. Has never been out of the money in six career starts – has won his past two starts in good style and has the in-form Justin Huxtable aboard again – just one problem barrier 14. He beat Oh Five Glory (race 6 number 7) last start. Keep your eye on her run to get a guide for a formline for this runner. This is his first time at this distance – but since he settles back and runs home strongly it would appear conditions are made to order.

The early favourite is The Astrologist (1) who is trained by Leon and Troy Corstens. Since resuming he has posted two wins and two seconds – ultra consistent - with Craig Williams to continue his association with this gelding. He looks well placed with the conditions of this race – I just think there is some other value to be had in this race.


10 – Yao Dash
15 – Deep Speed
5 – Shooting For Gold
16 – Marsannay
Rough chance – (1) The Astrologist & (7) Love Express


The feature race on the program today over 1800 metres.

This is a tough race – many chances.

Let us start with the Chris Anderson Racing pair – Ballistic Boy (1) and Profit (7) – both who get back in the field and both need luck in running to feature in the finish. With this large field I think they both may struggle here this weekend. In saying that they are both talented runners and Anderson will have them at their prime to peak here.

Paniagua (3) from North QLD is now trained by Glen Baker. I think you should just forget the last start when he was backed up after winning the week before and then dropped back in distance. He has had a freshen up of four weeks and will be right in this race with Michael Rodd to ride.

Wapiti (5), trained by Gary Duncan on the Sunshine Coast, has Brad Stewart aboard. He battled home nicely at Listed level when beaten 1.75 lengths in the Listed Bernborough won by The Harrovian. That is solid form for this race. He has won on this track and distance and if the rain comes and the track deteriorates his chances will be enhanced.

Paradee (10) is the Victorian raider who has raced at Group 2 and Listed levels in her past two starts. She does get to race clockwise only for the second time in her career and does get her first look at the Gold Coast circuit. She normally races a few pairs back – settles well and then makes her run when it counts. Just has a history of finding a better one on the day – maybe this weekend she may claim victory in the feature race with Craig Williams to ride for the Danny O’Brien stables.

Kukeracha (13) won last start at Eagle Farm over the mile after a three week freshen up. He looked above himself in the parade ring on that day and looked like he had some improvement left in him. I do not think there is any issue with the extra distance – goes down in weight for this race and has drawn nicely in barrier 4. Chris Waller Racing puts the polish on this runner here at the Gold Coast and Ronnie Stewart picks up a nice ride her for the stable at the light weight of only 53 kilograms. He is $21 in some markets and I think this is wonderful each way value.

Frosty Rocks (2) is a Bjorn Baker Racing runner who is extraordinarily strong in his races and loves to lead and set the pace and run his opponents into the ground. He should get an easy lead and jockey Nash Rawiller should be able to set the tempo of this race to suit him here with nothing else going forward in the race. If he gets alway with some cheap sectionals, he may be very difficult to run down in the straight. A wet track will not bother his as well.


10 – Paradee
13 – Kukeracha
2 – Frosty Rocks
5 – Wapiti
Rough chances – (1) Ballistic Boy – (3) Paniagua - (7) Profit

Race 9

The last race – on a massive day of racing – then we are all set for Magic Millions week 2021!

This is an open race and I think you would want to hope you are in front coming to the last race as this is a tough way to finish the day.

Spendoronthegrass (15) won nicely last start at Eagle Farm when she defeated Lashoni (20). She meets that runner better at the weights this weekend despite that win due to the conditions of the race. Looks like Stephanie Thornton will be schooling partner Ben Thompson again this weekend at the Gold Coast!

Roman Aureus (14) ran home well behind Stampe last start. Trained by Brian Wakefield and ridden by Larry Cassidy he looks like he is ready to fire with a couple of runs under his belt since resuming.

Doctor Zous (9) is a Darryl Hansen runner who is having his third start for the stable. Michael Rodd has been booked to ride this runner. I think the 1400 metres really does suit this runner and he is big odds at $21.

Akage (12) has drawn the rails and has Andrew Spinks riding for Brian Crowley. This runner has an exceptional record at the track and distance and his run last start was particularly good – drawing wide, getting back and flying home late at Eagle Farm – this weekend look for a big improvement and a big upset chance here in the last race.


15 – Splendoronthegrass
14 – Roman Aureus
20 – Lashoni
9 – Doctor Zous
Rough chance – (12) Akage

Jockey’s Challenge

Nash Rawiller has been snapped up by the trainers in QLD. He has a solid book of rides and looks like the logical winner this weekend. Craig Williams looks the only danger.

Early Quaddie (races 2 to 5)

2,8,9 /1,2,7 /1,5,8,14 / 2,10,11,12 - cost is $144 to $1

Value Early Quaddie (races 2 to 5)

8,9 / 1,2 / 1,5 / 10,11,12 - cost is $24 to $1

Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

1,3,7,15 / 1,5,10,15,16 / 1,2,5,10,13 / 9,12,14,15,20 - cost is $500 to $1

Value Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

1,7,15 / 5,10,15 / 2,10,13 / 14,15,20 - cost is $81 to $1

Treble (races 7 to 9)

1,5,10,15,16 / 1,2,5,10,13 / 9,12,14,15,20 - cost is $125 to $1

Value treble (races 7 to 9)

5,10,15 / 2,10,13 / 14,15,20 - cost is $27 to $1


FLEMO got WINNO last weekend in our tipping competition. The battle continues. Be sure to check the up to date and amended tips each Saturday morning on Facebook after any track changes and scratchings where I will post our selections and any late mail!

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