Shillelagh looks a live chance in the Doomben Cup. Photo: Steve Hart

2019 Hollindale Stakes Day Tips & Preview

The Gold Coast is an absolute dive, but one of its redeeming features is Hollindale Stakes Day.

This might be one of the most underrated meetings on the Australian Racing Calendar and it is a card that is always packed full of quality.

Am I biased because I generally back a stack of winners on Hollindale Stakes Day? Probably, but I’m confident that I can continue my winning ways on the Gold Coast. 

Attwood Marshall Lawyers Handicap (1800m)
4. Tunero

This is not an easy way to start the day. In fact, this race is just about impossible. I’ve landed on Tunero and I’m hopeful that the Hugh Bowman and Chris Waller combination will get off to a flyer. Tunero returned to the races with a good effort behind Le Juge at Eagle Farm and that horse has gone on to win again. He normally takes a step forward second-up and the jockey change from Larry Cassidy to Bowman is simply enormous. 

Gold Coast Cup (2400m)
1. The Lord Mayor

This could be a very big day for Chris Waller. The Lord Mayor returned to winning form in the Toowoomba Cup and this field of plodders isn’t that much stronger. The ste-up to 2400 metres is a concern and this isn’t his pet trip, but this field is so weak that I expect his class to take him a long way. Add in the fact that James McDonald is in the saddle and I expect him to be tough to beat. 

Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m)
2. Dubious

Something funny is going on with Dubious, he is no longer wearing Aquis Farm colours and he was scratched last week, but I still expect him to be tough to beat in the Ken Russell Memorial Classic. He didn’t seem to handle the track when he failed to fire in the Golden Slipper, but his runs before that in the Magic Millions Classic and the Todman Stakes were excellent. I wish that they had another jockey in the saddle, I’m not a huge fan of Clayton Douglas, but I still want to be on him in this contest. 

Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m)
14. Intrigue

I love it when Tony Pike sends horses to Australia and the fact that Intrigue is $8.50 in the Gold Coast Bracelet is absolute crazy talk. She finished second in the Championship Stakes at Ellerslie and her win before that at the same venue was excellent. She should take good benefit from this run and she will be better over further, but class will take her a long way in this contest and she is worth a gamble at the current price. 

Bat Out Of Hell (900m)
10. Heart Conquered

The Bat Out Of Hell might be the best race name in Australia and the fact that it is sponsored by Harley-Davidson is just the best. He is going to need some luck in running, but Heart Conquered is a horse with some serious speed. Kerrin McEvoy will ride him aggressively in the early stages of this contest and he does have the pace to take up the running. He has recorded three wins on the trot and his record over 1000 metres is nothing short of outstanding. 

Listed Australian Turf Club Trophy (1400m)
12. Freddie Fox Trot

This is a stinky race and easily the least exciting contest of the day. Freddie Fox Trot is on the quick back-up after running at Eagle Farm last weekend, as long as he doesn’t botch the start again, he will be in the finish. He was no match for Chapter And Verse, but that horse is now a Stradbroke Handicap contender and there is no horse of that quality in this field. 

Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m)
4. Zoustyle

This is an outstanding edition of the Gold Coast Guineas and it is better than half the three-year-old races that we saw in Melbourne and Sydney during the Autumn Racing Carnival. Zoustyle might be a genuine star. He has recorded five wins from as many race starts and his wins in both the Winning Rupert Plate and the Gold Edition Plate were both excellent. The wide barrier draw shouldn’t be an issue as he has speed to burn and Brad Stewart is an excellent jockey when he can be bothered trying. 

Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m)
8. Shillelagh

This isn’t the strongest edition of the Hollindale Stakes and the call for it to become a Group 1 is a joke, but it is still an interesting betting race. Shillelagh has not won a race during this campaign, but this is a genuine drop in quality and this is her chance to return to winning form. She probably should have won the Australian Cup and she ran well when she finished in both the Doncaster Mile and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Barrier six is ideal for her and the fact that she Hugh Bowman in the saddle is a big advantage. I think that she should be favourite. 

Listed Silk Stocking (1200m)
6. Demerara

Outback Barbie is a bit of a cat, so I am happy to take her on at the current odds and Demerara is well and truly over the odds. Demerara has recorded four wins from her five first-up starts and she is capable of a high-rating performance on her day. The wide barrier draw is not ideal and she will need some luck in running, but I am willing to gamble on her first-up record at the juicy odds.