The Sunshine Coast Turf Club hosts the Hollindale Stakes meeting this Saturday at Caloundra. With the Gold Coast Guineas and the Silk Stocking also featured on the card, this program could provide an essential form guide for punters heading into the Brisbane winter carnivals. Will the veteran and odds-on favourite Zaaki claim his third consecutive Hollindale Stakes?
Sunshine Coast Race 5
#1 Tycoon Evie
Tycoon Evie is knocking on the door! The Written Tycoon mare was stiff and fresh and good without threatening second-up. From a middle gate, I expect her to roll forward, and if James Mcdonald can control the tempo throughout, she will look the winner on straightening. I suspect this has been a long-range targeted event, and she has been heavily backed since markets opened.
Love Sensation resumes here after a successful campaign. She deserves her shot at a quality race, and she looks poised to strike jumping from the perfect inside draw. The Night Of Thunder mare has an exceptional record at the track and distance, and she usually races well fresh. It may pay to watch for any significant market moves.
Osmose looks over the odds. The Zoffany mare is making her Australian debut for the Gai Waterhouse stable, and her international form reads exceptionally well for this event. Her recent barrier trials have been first-class, and I expect her to be fully wound up for a first-up tilt.
Suggested Bet: Tycoon Evie @ $2.80
Sunshine Coast RACE 6
#2 Yellow Brick
Yellow Brick is a serious three-year-old. The gelding by The Mission has only had his colours lowered twice, and he was on the wrong part of the track with traffic issues in the Magic Millions. From barrier nine, he will hunt forward in search of the lead, and if he can gain pole position on settling, it will take a good horse to run him down. His recent trial was outrageous, and he looks like one of the better bets on a competitive program.
Lady Laguna will have supporters after an impressive last-start win at Doomben. The Overshare filly should get the run of the race from barrier four, and if the favourite goes for home too early, she can spoil the party late. The class rise is the biggest obstacle for the Annabel Neasham trained three-year-old.
Spacewalk is a must for all broader multiples and exotics. The Exosphere gelding is racing in great spirit, and he boasts form around some serious gallopers. He should be rock-hard fit at this stage of his preparation, and I expect the James Cummings factor will attract further market support. The awkward barrier is the primary concern.
Suggested Bet: Yellow Brick @ $3.10
Sunshine Coast Race 7
Atishu caught the eye fresh, running home in fast time against the pattern of the day. The Savabeel mare was a brilliant winner of the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf second-up, and there is still improvement to come for the preparation. The long Caloundra straight will suit her racing pattern, and I expect her to be present when the whips are cracking. She has had a recent barrier trial to keep the legs ticking over, and she is ready to launch on Saturday. Where she lands from the awkward barrier is the primary concern.
Zaaki, the two-time defending Hollindale Stakes champion, will start well into the red on Saturday. His fresh run in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes was outstanding, and his record second-up is exceptional. From barrier ten, he will roll forward and take luck out of the equation, and if he can control the tempo over his pet distance, he will be hard to run down. A flat second-up run after a long layoff is the biggest concern.
Diamil has been well supported since markets opened. The Awtaad gelding was a brilliant last-start winner at Randwick over 2000m, and he looks dangerous here jumping from barrier four. The drop back to 1800m is advantageous, and I expect him to figure in the finish with even luck in transit. The class rise is his biggest hurdle.
Suggested Bet: Atishu @ $6.50
Sunshine Coast Race 8
#16 Me Me Lagarde
Me Me Lagarde is over the odds! The Star Turn mare will stalk the predicated hot speed, and if she sees daylight on straightening from the inside draw, she can weave her magic late. Her quote will shorten if the track continues to dry out, and her fresh record must be respected. Her recent trial win put the writing on the wall for a big first-up performance.
Brigantine will start favourite despite drawing off the track. Super Freak James Mcdonald will take the Astern gelding back through the field once the barriers open, and I suspect he will come down the outside with one devastating burst of speed. He can fight out the finish if he doesn’t get too far out of his ground during the middle stages.
Hilal can run a drum at double-figure odds. His best form reads well for this event, and he should get the perfect run from barrier four. He has been racing well for the Tony Gollan camp, and his next win is just around the corner. Not converting good performances into victories is the elephant in the room.
Suggested Bet: Me Me Lagarde @ $18.00