There is an abundance of racing on offer along the east coast on Saturday. Mitchell Lamb from tab.com.au has run the form and settled on his best bets below.
Japanese import Ambitious is quietly establishing himself amongst the better staying types in the country, even though he's yet to win in Australia.
A level weights second to the superb Almandin in the Tancred, in his only start over the mile and a half trip, proves that, and he's last start third in the Doomben Cup behind genuine group one gallopers in Comin' Through and Egg Tart, shows that he's still racing well. The Brisbane Cup just looks like the perfect race for the Anthony Freedman trained entire to grab his debut victory Down Under.
This isn't a deep field at all, and although there's a couple of handy types down on the limit, including Rising Red and Sedanzer, the reality is none of them would get close to Almandin at level weights. Ambitious, even giving them 5 ½ kilos, is simply grades above them.
If he holds his form and races anywhere near his best, he'll be way, way too good for this lot.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
For weeks I've been saying that the Queensland Guineas would be the perfect race for Seaway to thrive in and I see no reason not to stick with the Ocean Park colt, despite the field that lines up against him being a pretty decent one.
He'll need a new peak run, that's a given, but I've got no doubt Seaway's got it in him. He's a very talented galloper that is still on the way up, unlike a couple of others in the market here, notably Peaceful State and Assimilate. I think this has always been the race that they wanted to target with him.
He should have won last time out when hooked back from a wide gate, storming home under a big weight when back down in trip, and now he draws perfectly to settle a closer in the run. He's been dying to get to a mile and he's ready to run to produce his best performance on a racetrack thus far in his short career.
Any regular readers of this column would know I'm almost the number one member of the Zousain fan club, and prior to his impressive Champagne Classic victory I declared he'd be the star juvenile of the Brisbane Carnival.
I haven't lost belief in the horse's ability whatsoever, despite his defeat by his classy stablemate Lean Mean Machine in the Sires' Produce. Sometimes, when you've got a high opinion of a horse, you'll almost make up excuses for them when they lose, but I genuinely believe there were plenty of reasons why he was beaten last start.
Up to the mile now, he's drawn wide, so new rider James McDonald will have no choice but to ride him quietly. As long as he doesn't get trapped deep for the entirety of the race, that's a big plus.
His two stablemates, Lean Mean Machine and current favourite The Autumn Sun, are obviously very good as well, but I'm firmly in the corner of Zousain until he shows me that he's not the galloper I believe him to be.
OVER THE ODDS
It is hard to have much confidence in the Randwick meeting this week with the likelihood of a very wet surface, so I went looking for genuine mudlarks, and Samantha certainly fits that bill.
I'll be honest, she doesn't appear to be going that well this time in, but at the current odds on offer, I'll be definitely having something on her in the hope that the wet track brings out the best in her.
Hopfgarten is now a rising 8-year-old, and it's tough to find a suitable race for him given his record, but the a listed event, over a mile at Doomben, under set weights and penalties conditions, is just about as perfect as can be for the veteran. He looks a huge chance on Saturday at, what is for me, astonishing odds.
He actually won this same race two years ago, from memory in a comprehensive manner jumping from a wide gate. Although on paper it could be easy to think he's not going that well, I actually believe he's been pretty good this time in. At his fourth run back, he looks set to peak now and I expect him to run a cracking race.
For me, there isn't a heap of winning chances in the Stradbroke this year and they all sit at or near the top of the market.
I'm a huge Impending fan, love the horse and think he deserves a winning swansong. However, I think Paul Perry's three-year-old Perast ridden by Jeff Lloyd is going to be extremely difficult to run down around Doomben with no weight on his back.
The son of Snitzel has thrived in the sunshine state his last two starts, both over this same track and trip. He's got a high cruising speed and can find something under pressure, those two traits are always going to be big plusses around the tighter Doomben circuit.
He'll either cross and lead, which is the ideal scenario, or if The Monstar really wants to kick up and hold him out, then that's fine. I think Lloyd won't mind if he has to sit outside him, either way I expect him to really up the ante on Perast as they approach the home turn and make the others try and have to chase early. With that featherweight, and the form he's in, I'm not sure they'll be able to catch him.
Leg 1 - 1, 2, 15, 18
Leg 2 - 1, 2, 5
Leg 3 - 1, 2, 7, 8, 11, 16
Leg 4 - 5, 9, 16
($100 = 46.3%)
Leg 1 - 1, 2, 4, 7, 8
Leg 2 - 1, 2, 3
Leg 3 - 4, 6, 9, 10
Leg 4 - 2, 5
($100 = 83.33%)
TAB EARLY MARKET MOVERS & BIG BETS
Race 1 - Dio D'Oro $10 - $6.50 ($800 @ $8, $1,550 @ $6.50)
Race 7 - Red Dream $12 - $11 ($275 @ $12, $200 @ $2.70)
Race 8 - Jungle Edge $11 - $8 ($800 x $1,000 @ $9.50/$3.10, $500 @ $9.50)
Race 9 - Fragonard $8 - $6 ($250 x $500 @ $8/$2.90, $300 @ $7)
Race 2 - Ulmann $6.50 - $5.50 ($1,100 e/w @ $6/$2.40, $400 @ $5.50)
Race 3 - Gresham $7 - $6 ($2,000 @ $6), Seaway $11 - $7 ($500 @ $11, $1,500 @ $9)
Race 4 - Rising Red $5 - $4 ($800 @ $5)
Race 5 - Perast $8 - $7 ($2,500 @ $8), Champagne Cuddles $4.60 - $4.20 ($300 @ $4.60, $325 @ $4.20, $200 @ $4.20)
Race 7 - Heavenly Thought $9.50 - $5.50 ($2,000 @ $7.50, $200 @ $6.50), Youngstar $7 - $6 ($200 @ $7)