Fri, May 26, 8:53am by Staff Writer
The newly created Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) – which replaces what was the BTC Cup over 1200m – headlines day one of three consecutive Saturdays at Eagle Farm. The much spoken about new surface was a heavy-8 at the time of acceptances but clear skies are forecast for the most part leading into the weekend.
A field of 14 have accepted for the ‘Cup’ with Darren Weir making a last-minute change earlier in the week and accepting Black Heart Bart ($3.30) for the race. After last week’s seventh of 20 in the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville, the trainer was unsure about heading this way but he and connections have decided to run. The six-year-old is second-up and plans are to ride him ‘quieter’ than last week which was only the tenth time he’s missed a place in his 40 race starts.
Jungle Edge ($8) is having a stellar campaign with two wins and two placings from his last six starts – both of his placings being at Group 1 level. He’s drawn barrier 14 of 14 but is one who should relish any give in the ground.
WATCH: Our Preview of Sandown and Eagle Farm
Clearly Innocent ($6) made it six from six at Scone when taking out the Listed Luskin Star (1300m) at their standalone meeting a fortnight ago and he’s third-up into his prep, and a winner of eight of his 14 career starts.
Music Magnate ($12) was an easy winner at the track a month ago in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) when beating Hopfgarten ($20) who also lines up here. That win was on a soft-7 with his most recent run seeing him finish last in the G1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m). He is Bjorn Baker’s sole runner in the race with Egyptian Symbol scratched and heading to the G3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1300m) for fillies and mares.
Counterattack ($7) has been within one length of Redzel at his last two starts, with stablemate Japonisme ($26) out of form of late. Impending ($15) has had two trials leading into Saturday after finishing third to Jungle Edge and third to Derryn ($6) at his last two runs – the latter also running here for an in-form Hayes/Dabernig team. Under the Louvre ($17) finally cracked it for a Group 1 win in last year’s Stradbroke – when just holding out Black Heart Bart – and he’s second-up on Saturday, as is Start Wondering ($23) who has an impressive record of ten wins from 20 starts and comes off a last start sixth to Redzel in the 10,000.
All eyes will be on how the track plays this Saturday and heading into the next two meetings at Eagle Farm but Saturday is also a day of strong lead-ups into the coming fortnight. The Kingsford-Smith Cup is a weight-for-age event leading into the G1 Stradbroke (1400m) run under handicap conditions while the G2 Sires Produce (1400m) sees the two-year-olds do battle in hope of Group 1 glory in the JJ Aitken (1600m) in two weeks’ time. Melody Belle ($4.20) and Tangled ($5.50) are fighting out favouritism for both races while Qiji Phoenix ($7) has had early support for the Sires.
It’s a similar story in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m), the lead up to the G1 QLD Derby (2400m) in a fortnight. Prized Icon ($3.60) and Shocking Luck ($3) are at the top of betting for both races but as is the case all day, the future markets could change quite a bit after what happens this weekend.
Suggested Bet: Back Black Heart Bart at $3.30
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