2021 Hollindale Stakes Day Tips & Preview

Aquis Park plays host to a quality black-type card on Saturday, headlined by the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes.

Several proven Group 1 winners like Fifty Stars and Avilius have made the journey up from Sydney with an eye towards the Brisbane Winter Carnival, making this weekend an ideal form guide heading towards races like the Doomben Cup and The Stradbroke later this month.

To help you out, we’ve run the rule over the lot in our 2021 Hollindale Stakes Preview below.

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Race 1: Play Gold Coast Benchmark 78 Handicap (1800m), 11:25am
No. 2 Captivator

I’ll start off my day taking Captivator to break a recent run of placings that includes back-to-back runner-up finishes at Doomben over the mile.

The son of Hinchinbrook has been up since December, but he’s done well to hold his fitness and form to find the money in four of his last five starts.

Combine a narrow win at Ipswich three runs back and what he showed in his last two starts over 1600m, and it’s all suggesting that he’s looking for further now.

History is on his side having won previously over this track and trip and is also capable of handling racing with some sting out of the ground.

Race 2: Gold Coast Bat Out Of Hell (900m), 12:04pm
No. 3 Usmanov

The Bat Out Of Hell is always a fun contest and this year’s edition is no exception.

There’s a real case to be made for the likes of Spurcraft and Sugar Boom, the latter of whom won over this track and trip only two runs back, but I’m with the Edmonds-trained Usmanov on top coming out of some much tougher contests.

The son of Choisir was no match first-up in the Magic Millions Sprint back in January, but he did make up some good ground to finish only 3.5L off Fabergino second-up in the Listed Bob Hoysted at Flemington.

His most recent run in the Abell Stakes at Moonee Valey suggested he’s looking for shorter after struggling to finish off over 1200m, so getting back to his home track where he’s won three times previously looks ideal.

Race 3: Heineken Gold Coast Cup (2400m), 12:39pm
No. 6 Stardome

Siding with Stardome here coming off a comfortable win at Doomben two weeks ago over 2200m.

Chris Waller’s stayer stalked the speed that day before unleashing with a dominant turn of foot, and I don’t think the wide gate will hurt his chances here after swooping in late for back-to-back placings at Eagles Farm earlier in his prep.

The son of Savabeel has been the model of consistency this time in and the fact he handles wet tracks is also a huge tick.

Race 4: Listed Hot Tomato Goldmarket (1200m), 1:14pm
No. 3 Racecourse Road

This is a step up in grade for Racecourse Road, but he’s got the runs on the board to suggest he can claim not only his hat-trick but also his first black-type win.

Kelly Schweida’s five-year-old resumed winning by 2.5L on a heavy track at the Gold Coast earlier in March before going all the way at Eagle Farm three weeks ago to win by half a length over Jadentom.

He’s drawn to get the gun run from barrier 3 with Ron Stewart engaged, while the fact he’s also a perfect two-from-two at the Gold Coast makes for easy reading.

Throw in five wins over 1200m and some strong form in the wet, this looks well within his grasp.

Race 5: Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m), 1:49pm
No. 4 Ranch Hand

Big watch on Ranch Hand as Chris Waller’s promising two-year-old resumes from a spell.

The son of Fastnet Rock exploded onto the scene at Warwick Farm back in December with an impressive three-length win before heading up to Queensland to run fifth in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

It’s only early in his career so it’s tough to say whether or not he’s a true wet-tracker, but considering his dominant win on debut came on the soft, the conditions might suit him on Saturday.

There’s no jockey engaged at time of publish, but from barrier 3, I expect he’ll be prominent in the run after winning his trial well at Rosehill last week.

Race 6: Listed Johnnie Walker Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m), 2:24pm
No. 4 Force Of Will

This looks a nice race for Force Of Will to win her first start in Australia.

The New Zealand raider journeyed over in April to run sixth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill before heading to Queensland two weeks ago to make up good ground for fifth in the Listed Eureka Stud Princess Stakes at Doomben over the mile.

Getting back up to 1800m looks a lovely option for her at this stage of her prep and she should relish racing on rain-affected going.

She’s contested much tougher races than this so far, and the fact she’s won four times previously on the soft is a huge plus.

Race 7: Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m)
No. 2 Rocketing By

Rocketing By can improve on his fresh run when fifth to Wild Ruler in the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint at Rosehill last month.

The colt by So You Think heads to Queensland for the first time on Saturday, and with a win on the board second-up, I think he’ll be right in the finish in a race of this quality.

The three-year-old won the Inglis Sprint over this trip two back at Randwick and also has the added luxury of James McDonald engaged. Any rain about should strengthen his chances.

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Race 8: Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m), 3:44pm
No. 2 Avilius

Capacity field lining up in the feature with an eye towards tougher races in Brisbane later on in the Carnival.

There’s a case to be made for a few, but I’m happy to have Avilius on top after finding the placings in the Chipping Norton and the George Ryder earlier in the Autumn.

The Godolphin-trained seven-year-old has had a gap between runs, and I think he can be forgiven on his latest effort when fifth in the Doncaster after running into some traffic down the straight.

He should be in peak condition now fourth-up from a spell, and with a couple of wins on both the soft and the heavy on his resume, a wet track won’t bother him.

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Race 9: Listed Silk Stocking (1400m), 4:24pm
No. 7 Wonderful Riri

This is a big step up in class for Wonderful Riri, but I thought she was good last time out at Doomben where she stormed home from the rear to win by three-quarters of a length over Saturday’s rival Gem Of Scotland.

She’s been in the money in all three of her starts this time in work and also laps up a heavy track with two wins to her name.

Ben Thompson has proven the difference on her this campaign and he should enjoy a nice run in transit off the speed from barrier 6.

Two wins over 1400m in the past also reads well.