Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - CUBAN AFFAIR (1) kicked off the campaign with two wins but has been plain since. Has a 2kg claim today and has been briefly freshened. Suited and can bounce back. LAST DESCEND (3) won easily at Birdsville and has been narrowly beaten the two since. He's a live chance. SOOPAT (5) peaks and was nudged out the latest in stronger. He's a winning chance as well.
RACE 2 - Competitive. The Parry barn has multiple acceptors. POSITIVE REWARD (10) may spoil the party. Led and folded late at the latest but the two narrow defeats prior read well. Peaks and looks a chance at the each-way quote. MAKUBA (5) is hard to catch but drops plenty in grade today and go on the near miss prior. Should go close. GREAT IAM (1) gets a key jockey switch to the gun hoop and that is a lead. Expect an improved effort. PHILADELPHIA FREE (3) finally broke through winning comfortably at Cloncurry. That stacks up and he should get every chance. MISS MIRACULOUS (6) won this grade at Julia Creek well-supported. Races over a shorter sprint today and that's the query.
RACE 3 - REVVED UP READY (5) improved again placing at Cloncurry. Is still new but will have taken fitness and learning. hard to beat. KEY TO THE ZOU (4) comes out of the same race and also raced greenly. Is knocking on and should go close. STILLWATER (11) is a stablemate with a handy 2kg claim. Is going well enough to include at a price. DON'TSTOPLAUGHING (9) was plain the latest but was going well prior and has the 4kg claim. She's in the mix.
RACE 4 - Four gallopers line up for the Parry barn. JAKAZONE (2) looks the best of them. Is hard to catch but can win this at best and gets the key jockey switch to Danny Ballard. Finally draws a low gate and that may make the difference. JUST SIZZLING (4) was plainer at the latest but raced well the two before in stronger grade. Has the outside gate but is a chance with average luck in the run. FIELDS OF RED (3) is knocking on the door and draws better today. In the mix. FAR REACHING (1) has a low barrier and 4kg claim and is in the mix.
RACE 5 - METAL BAR (5) brings a string of wins and keeps getting better. Has the gun hoop and has a stack of weight relief at this level. He can go on with it. GOLDEN EIGHTY (8) was an easy 60 winner two-back and then raced an 11-10 favourite at Richmond and found one much too good. Drops in weight and no surprise to see him bounce back. LE FORCE (1) needed the first-up run. Has a 2kg claim and more to give. A chance. GREAT BOULDER (9) hasn't fired in two runs for the new barn. Won twice prior and draws low. He can go better.
RACE 6 - A tricky form assignment on paper. DAWN REBEL (5) has been going well enough at Mackay to suggest this is winnable. Was a big CLB winner 3-back and rolls up here on a 5-day return. Must be pleasing and this is winnable. ROCKETORO (3) is a stablemate dropping back to a sprint. Hasn't got near his Victorian form since the move north but get the blinkers applied the first time today and they may spark improvement. BONAUGURA (8) resumes and gets in light with the 4kg claim. Has switched from a Rockhampton yard and is good enough. Keep very safe. THECHAMP (4) was better supported last time but got too far back. Has a handy gate and keeps the 2kg claim. Peaks now and can show more at a price.
RACE 7 - KARAKAROO (7) won the Maiden by 7L three-back and then bounced back off a plain effort with a narrow defeat at Home Hill in an Open 3. Gets in well with the 2kg claim and looks the one to beat. Stablemate OUR HEART THROB (2) was out graded at Mackay and didn't get into it from a wide gate. Just missed at Home Hill prior and that stacks up. The 4kg claim helps with most of the weight lift and he draws well. A chance. SHOOT BIG (1) was only beaten 1.3L this grade at Julia Creek. Has a wide gate but keeps the gun jockey and has the winkers on the first time. A hope with average luck. SECRET QUALITY (8) keeps racing well and is in the mix.
RACE 8 - A number of chances. STAMPEDE WARRIOR (7) didn't feature in the Birdsville Cup up to the mile off a wide gate. Was seeking the hat-trick following the 65 win here over 1450m. Drops back to a sprint following a 52-day freshen and rates well. SPLASHER (6) deserved the 65 win and then just missed in a Quality at Cloncurry. Draws for the run of the race and is a chance to bounce. ANCIENT ECHOES (3) won a Quality here comfortably but was plain after. May be worth another chance. REBEL SALUTE (2) will be fitter and also has claims forgiving his latest.