ONE of Queensland's biggest race meetings takes place at the Gold Coast this Saturday, with the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) heading a bumper nine-race card.
The track is likely to be a Good 3 and the rail will be out 1m from the 1000-400m and in the true position for the remainder of the course.
Good luck punters!
Gold Coast Race 1
A $250,000 maiden to kick off proceedings. Westrock and Dinnigan are both likely to push forward and assume prominent positions.
In typical Waterhouse and Bott style, Dinnigan (10) will put herself into the race early and her form suggests she can still be there at the finish.
The Snitzel filly steps out third-up after consecutive runner-up efforts, including one at G3 level behind classy colt Pierata. On that form she's likely to start short odds but that seems fair enough in this field.
Zabeel's Choice (12) won several trials before her debut last month, which resulted in a close runner-up finish over this trip at Wyong.
The Snitzel filly will take improvement from her first trip to the races and she should find a handy position in running. Chris Waller-trained gelding Balearic (5) was beaten less than a length at Randwick on New Year's day and gets the services of top jockey Hugh Bowman.
Earlier this prep he was beaten 0.1L by stablemate Seaway, who also won his next start. Westrock (2) can improve after finishing second on debut and he should go forward and take bad luck out of the equation.
Gold Coast Race 2
Ben Currie-trained mare One Golden Day looks the most likely leader on paper in the "Country Cup." Fell From Heaven won't be far away either.
Conca Del Sogno (2) has each-way claims in a race of many, many chances. The Rockhampton-based gelding had a seven-win streak to his name before he resumed with a close runner-up effort at his home track last month. It took a fit, in-form horse to end his winning run.
Lightly-raced gelding Suggan Buggan (11) boasts five top-three finishes from six starts and he placed in a city three-year-old race last prep. That form reads pretty well for this and he's been freshened since he was beaten as favourite on a soft track in November.
One Golden Day (1) will go forward and make her own luck and she's raced consistently all campaign. Earlier this prep she placed behind Plucky Girl, who won a metro race last weekend.
Plenty of others are in the mix, including Darren Weir-trained gelding He's a Moral (5) and Canberra-based mare Zafina (15).
Verdict: Not keen to get involved (perhaps something small EW Conca Del Sogno ...).
Gold Coast Race 3
I'm A Rippa will probably try and cross from the wide draw, with Upstart Pride to kick up from barrier four.
Siegfried's (2) effort at this track last week was better than the 3L losing margin suggests as he was wide throughout. Despite the ground covered, the Toby Edmonds-trained gelding loomed in the straight before understandably fading late.
He was really consistent last prep and did his best work when able to take a trail and produce a finishing burst late. Barrier three presents the opportunity for that scenario here and the rise from 1200-1300m is a positive.
Havasay (3) has produced two strong-closing thirds over 1050m in Listed grade this prep and the extra distance here suits.
The Liam Birchely-trained gelding, who showed a nice turn of foot when winning four from four last campaign, has returned in great order and this is a winnable third-up assignment. Mishani El Lobo (9) has been racing really consistently and maps to get a lovely run close to the pace.
He finished second behind Perfect Dare over 1200m at this track last start but the slightly longer trip here may test him late.
Realing (13) hasn't missed a place this campaign and I was impressed by the way he let down when winning a Class 2 over 1600m last time.
This is a step up but he's in good form and should be strong at the business end of the contest.
Verdict: Siegfried EW.
Gold Coast Race 4
Dark Eyes will look to work across from the wide draw. Multitude and All Too Huiying are likely to assume forward positions further in.
Payroll (2) finished third in this race last year and she's a big chance of claiming the main prize this time around.
The Richard Laming-trained mare placed twice at G2 level during the spring carnival, which shows she has the class factor, and she was most recently seen winning the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
Damien Oliver has ridden the five-year-old in two recent wins and he stays aboard here.
Sedanzer (4), from the Waterhouse and Bott yard, is another mare in really good form. The four-year-old won the first four starts of her prep and nearly made it five in a row in the Belle Of The Turf (1600m) at Gosford last time.
Her task was ultimately too difficult after getting back from a wide gate but she was motoring late (finished 2nd, beaten 0.36L).
She has limited experience over staying trips but did finish fifth behind Egg Tart in the 2010m Schweppes Oaks as a three-year-old.
Ingeegoodbee (10) doesn't have the class of a horse like Payroll but he should be rock-hard fit after running second behind Singing over this trip in his third start back.
The Rob Heathcote-trained gelding finished his last campaign with four straight wins and has proven he runs out 2200m (3:2-1-0).
Feltre (7) finished second in this race last year and has no doubt been set for it again.
The Brian Smith-trained gelding is on the quick back-up and drops 5.5kg after running fifth in an 1800m BM90 last week.
Gold Coast Race 5
Sweet Redemption only really knows one way so she'll probably try and cross from the extreme outside. Her stablemate Global Glamour will push forward further in.
Global Glamour (1) is carrying the 60.5kg topweight for a reason - she's a classy galloper.
The G1 winner is running first-up on the back of a spring campaign in which she won the G2 Tristarc Stakes and was beaten less than 3L in the G1 Myer Classic.
The Waterhouse and Bott-trained mare is a proven first-up performer (4:2-0-1).
Invincibella (13) placed at G3 level in the spring and she ran on well for fourth over 1200m at Doomben last start.
The Chris Waller-trained mare has drawn wide here, so she'll probably get back again, but the slightly longer trip plays into her favour.
Eckstein (4) was a disappointing 11th at Randwick last time but is in the mix if she can produce her A-game.
The Kurt Goldman-trained mare finished third in the Guineas on this day last year and has since placed at G1 level in November's Myer Classic (beat home Global Glamour).
The ability is clearly there but it's hard to back her with confidence based on her most recent hit-out. Pretty Fast (16) has won her last four and was dominant in a weak Listed race at Doomben last time.
This is much tougher but the Snowdens have her flying.
Verdict: Global Glamour.
Gold Coast Race 6
Good speed in this. Arbeitsam should lead from the inside, with Milwaukee and Ozi Choice also likely to go forward.
Plenty of nice horses engaged and one of those is Crack Me Up (3). The Brisbane-based gelding has finished top four in all four of his starts this prep and the most recent of those was a G2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) victory.
Hopefully he can settle around mid-field from gate five before accelerating quickly on the back of the solid pace.
Big fan of Care To Think (11) but the talented four-year-old has a task on his hands from the extreme outside gate (he's likely to get a long way back).
The Matt Dunn-trained gelding has produced two really impressive wins this campaign and while this is harder, he deserves his chance and is on the way up.
I expect him to be finishing quickly down the outside but he may have too much ground to make up.
Ozi Choice (8) is up in class but deserves the opportunity as he's in career best form. The Darren Weir-trained gelding loves the 1400m trip and will chase a fourth straight win here.
Snoopy (10) can find a trailing position in the first half of the field and it wouldn't shock if he ran a race at big odds.
The Chris Munce-trained gelding was a close third in the G3 George Moore fresh and his last run probably deserves forgiving as he and Monsieur Gustave went at each other in front. A slightly quieter ride is likely here.
Arbeitsam (6) will go forward from the inside alley and the Waterhouse and Bott-trained gelding likes the 1400m journey (6:3-0-1).
The chances don't end there.
Verdict: Crack Me Up EW.
Gold Coast Race 7
Whypeeo should shoot across from the wide gate to lead. Can't imagine Corey Brown will want to risk getting stuck too far back on the rail on Pierata, so expecting him to be positive and find a position forward of mid-field. Wild Heart and Arrestar can be prominent.
Pierata (1) is a smart colt and he deserves his position at the top of the market.
The Sydney-based galloper has been flying in Queensland this prep and showed his liking for this distance range when winning the G3 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m) by a space last time.
Provided he gets even luck and the chance to demonstrate his turn of foot, the son of Pierro should prove hard to hold out.
Goodfella (2) was soundly beaten by Pierata when third in the Vo Rogue but it was a really good performance.
From the outside draw, the Bjorn Baker-trained colt settled worse than mid-field and had a mammoth task on his hands at the top of the straight.
While he never looked like winning, he made up stacks of ground and he should be able to find a closer position from barrier six here.
Sasso Corbaro (15) is up in class but deservedly so because she's been flogging weaker company in NSW.
The daughter of All Too Hard has the turn of foot of a nice horse and she can potentially go to a new level third-up here.
Not quite sure where she will end up from the wide draw but, regardless, the talented Kris Lees-trained filly should be hitting the line well.
Victorian swooper Bel Sonic (6) will drop back and spot the leaders a big headstart but he's capable of reeling off a slick finish.
The Jason Warren-trained gelding has won his past two and came from last to win over 1200m at Moonee Valley last time, which is no easy feat.
Gold Coast Race 8
Verdict: Sunlight to win.
Predicted finishing order: 11. Sunlight 2. Ef Troop. 1. Jonker. 12. Nomothaj.
Gold Coast Race 9
Pinch River and Snitzkraft look the two major pace players in this 1200m sprint to finish the day.
Viddora (3) is going to be mighty hard to beat if she can produce something close to what she's shown in recent outings. The Lloyd Kennewell-trained mare won the G1 Winterbottom over this trip last month and was close in better G1 races prior to that. This is the easiest race she's contested in some time and from barrier four she should be within striking distance at the turn.
Egyptian Symbol (9) has some nice form references on her resume, including a runner-up effort behind In Her Time at G2 level last February.
The Bjorn Baker-trained mare tackles this on the back of two trial wins after scoring in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) in early December. Dothraki (4) struggles to win but he's got ability and can be there or thereabouts in the closing stages.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained gelding is G1-placed and steps out here on the back of a runner-up effort behind classy sprinter Music Magnate at Randwick last month.
It's hard to see Snitzkraft (14) knocking off a horse of Viddora's calibre but he's in good form and his go-forward pattern means he always gives himself a chance.
The Kelso Wood-trained colt is two from two this prep, having won the Listed Falvelon Quality (1050m) in his most recent assignment.
Verdict: Viddora can send punters home on a winning note.