There are two Group 1’s in Australia on Saturday. Both are from Queensland’s Eagle Farm track. This is the penultimate Saturday of Group 1 action until the end of August as the Winter is holiday time for the stars.
As per usual, Flemington hosts a quality weekend card and these two tracks are where my selections come from this week. The Eagle Farm races can be viewed on Sky Sports Racing and hopefully there will be some winning selections to provide ammunition for Guineas weekend.
Both Group 1 races have 20 and 23 runners respectively so I’ll gladly take one winner between the two races. There is significant value to be found in both races. Race 7 is the JJ Atkins for two-year-olds over 1,400 metres. Rothfire will head the market here. This keen going sort likes to get on with things and will likely go forward. I’m worried about this style of running as he steps up to 1,400 for the first time. Macroura also steps up to this trip for the first time but she looks like she’ll relish it and has looked tough as old boots in her three wins. I like her here to give jockey Andrew Mallyon his first Group 1 win.
A lot of the fancied horses have been slaughtered with the draw for the Group 1 Stradbooke. James Cummings has a very strong hand to play here with three outstanding chances. Trekking has probably the strongest claims of the three and chases back to back wins in this as well as being fresh off the back of Group 1 glory in the Goodwood. He’s been handed a nightmare barrier out in 22 and I will oppose him as a result. Exhilarates is the least experienced of the Cummings trio but I really like her campaign for this race. She has a bit to find with Dawn Passage on last week’s second at Doomben but her draw in 4 compared to Dawn passage in 23 could be enough to turn the tables.
Coolth is a strong selection in race three at Flemington. He is going for his third win in as many starts and the step up in trip and the track will suit this big galloping son of Dundeel.
I’ve been following Starcaster closely since his win three starts ago at Geelong. His two subsequent runs have been riddled with genuine excuses as he has been ridden too patiently in races that favoured those up front. Those runs were also on horrible ground and the return to a sounder surface here will suit. Slight questions marks over the up step up in trip as he can be keen in his races but if the tempo is good, Starcaster can use his potent turn of foot to run them down late on.
Aussie Nugget has been running extremely well at this trip of late. He has been slow out and got far back before finishing strongly on his last 2 starts. If he gets a good gallop to aim at, the long straight at Flemington will play to his strengths and he’ll be doing his best work late.
Australian horse racing tipping summary: