Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup Preview

Eagle Farm plays host to a pair of Group Ones on Saturday with the Kingsford Smith and Derby.

Left: James McDonald aboard I Wish I Win, and right: Craig Williams on Bella Nipotina in the Doomben 10,000.
Left: James McDonald aboard I Wish I Win, and right: Craig Williams on Bella Nipotina in the Doomben 10,000. Picture: Michael McInally/Racing Queensland

He's quickly become one of the more polarising horses in training has I Wish I Win, but what is good is that we're actually getting to see him race.

Just five starts ago he was running to 127 to win the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes (1200m) over Giga Kick, and while he's been raced sparingly since, he's now third-up on a two week turnaround from the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m).

First-up in the T J this year he ran to 122, beaten a neck and seemingly peaking late on the run. He managed to improve to 125 last start but still went down by the barest of margins to Bella Nipotina.

Bella missed the start there so it's hard to take anything away from her, and that's far easier to quantity than any possible inferior lanes, with I Wish I Win arguably in the worse going nearer the inside.

As fate would have it, he's drawn barrier one again- the third time in four starts he's done so. It's definitely not ideal but I think he's the deserving favourite again. He started $2.30 last time and went down a nose, now we're getting $4+ where he should be fitter again. Out to 1300m should also suit better given we think he'd eat up a mile.

As for a few of the others, they just don't look as likely to run up to their best, which they'll need to. Think About It is basically first-up (off 56 days). His run over this trip in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) was good, rating 120, and his Everest run at 127 is obviously good enough to win, but I think he's typically a low 120's horse.

No knocks on Bella- if she runs to last start she'll go very close again, but her previous form wasn't a guarantee.

Keep Tuvalu in mind for exotics and a bit of value. He only won the Wangoom first-up but lugged 61.5kg and ran to 120 on Timeform's scale. He's got numerous ratings around that 120 mark and looks the map horse, getting a fairly comfortable lead. He'll probably start $26 and isn't hopeless.

AUTUMN ANGEL winning the THE STAR AUSTRALIAN OAKS Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

Meanwhile in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m), Autumn Angel tackles the boys and has also drawn barrier one.

She'd run to 112 and 114 in her two runs prior to last start, the latter an ATC Oaks win, but dipped 12 pounds last time when running 102. Still, she hit the line nicely for second which is likely all the stable wanted given she was fresh and back in trip.

If she runs to her two ratings prior she'll almost certainly win this, and is a deserving favourite. Barrier one in the big field could be a bit tricky and I'd want $3+ to be getting involved, which I wouldn't be surprised whatsoever if we got.

The other key chance, outside of Tannhauser, who beat Autumn Angel last time, is Warmonger.

He's been given a couple of shockingly negative rides in Adelaide at his past two where I think the sectionals say he should've won the SA Derby last time out.

He ran to 111 on that occasion, which we make one pound better than Tannhauser's win at 110. The obvious knock again is he's drawn horrendously wide, but if the track is playing that way and Shinn can pace the race more efficiently (which he does more often than not), he's a genuine winning chance.

I also wouldn't completely rule out NZ raider Moonlight Magic, who won a Group 3 at Ellerslie dominantly last time, running to 100, which is two pounds below Autumn Angel's last start. She'd need a clear new peak but could get into the finish.


Kingsford Smith Cup

Best bet: #1 I Wish I Win at $3.90

Each-way: #3 Tuvalu at $20/4.80

Queensland Derby

Best Bet: #2 Warmonger at $9