Chris Nelson’s Gold Coast Preview


Magic Millions Day on the Gold Coast kicks off with a Country Cup, if any race is going to throw up a few surprises it’s likely this one with plenty of different form lines coming together. BROCKY hasn’t raced for over 80 days however he is quite effective when fresh, no doubt trainer Liam Birchley would have set him for this & his recent form against the likes of Zarastro, Standing Order, Vodka Martini etc. is well above anything else in this race. He also gets in well with only 53kg. No knock on what PARTY SPIRIT has done this prep, shooting for 4 straight wins today. Good draw for HODGSON who is never far away & handles all types of ground.

Numbers: 11 – 15 – 6 – 9

Suggested Bet: Box up top 4 selections in exotics.


The first of the ‘Debut’ races is for the fillies where it’s no surprise to see the Waterhouse/Bott trained runners at the top of the market. I’m with TOO DARN LIZZY who showed plenty of speed to lead her trial before given a bit of a liven up in the straight racing right away, looks a readymade 2yo who will be right up on speed from the outset. Stablemate DOMINETTA won her trial narrowly, she’s a half to Hartnell will be right in this. FROEBEL won well at her Wyong hit out, in good hands also.

Numbers: 9 – 4 – 5 – 2



BARRACUDA & THE HAMO get the nod from me in the male’s division of the ‘Debut’. Happy to back both as they are hard to split coming through trial sessions in different states. The former was run over by Highness who was fresh off the Wyong MM win, which may well turn out to be a very strong form line later in the day? THE HAMO showed good speed & kept on going to win his Doomben trial, gate one should be a positive. DUE CALZINI scraped home in his recent trial win, wouldn’t overlook though.

Numbers: 2 – 10 – 12 – 5



Intriguing. Race is all about ROTHFIRE & what price is a fair price from the gate, had he drawn a decent alley he’d be very short & extremely popular however from the carpark draw will he be trapped off the track & made to work overtime, it’s crystal ball stuff, nobody knows. If around the $3.00 mark is available I’ll take the punt his class will get him home should he endure a tough trip. HATCHET & STEADY READY the dangers, both with no weight the latter did chase ROTHFIRE home at Toowoomba & was taking ground, meets him 5kg better for a 0.3L defeat. Big test for HATCHET in this company however well drawn with a good second up record he gets a run off speed & can find the line.

Numbers: 1 – 14 – 16 – 6

Suggested Bet: ROTHFIRE TO WIN/Savers nos. 14 & 16


Keep coming back to the classy ZENZELLA in what is a race where many are more than capable on their day however predicting that day is the tough part. Caught the eye running on well fresh before strong to the line the latest. Don’t see the wide gate being a major concern as on my map she is a good chance to lob in behind the leading pack, if there is a query it’s the 500m rise in trip third-up. Big weight for SKYLAB however class wise this is very suitable assignment, will he get buried from the inside draw though? Wide gate for WARNING however he’s got a bit on most if not all of the others.

Numbers: 3 – 1 – 2 – 9

Suggested Bet: ZENZELLA TO WIN


We haven’t seen the best of PRINCE OF BOOM this prep having drawn wide gates & pulling up with issues. Again today he draws poorly however I’m of the opinion he can slide across & sit outside the likely leader Golden Boom, from there he’ll get his chance & his better form is lengths above anything here. I’ll leave the resuming GOLDEN BOOM in the placings, trialled well & has always had big wraps on him, time to step up is now. ELEVEN ELEVEN saves his best for this day each year, can’t overlook.

Numbers: 1 – 4 – 2 – 12

Suggested Bet: PRINCE OF BOOM TO WIN (small bet)


There looks sufficient speed up front to give the off-pace horses their chance & the likes of BALLER & KING OF SPARTA do look the most obvious. Both draw gates where they can obtain smothers & be saved up for big finales. I’m going to lean to KING OF SPARTA who is unbeaten here (on the old track) & has raced well this prep with the only failure coming at Randwick when never on the track facing the breeze, he won this race last year & carries 2kg less this time around with J. Mac to again do the steering. BALLER was good fresh back in early December & has been kept that way, his closing sectionals were very solid, expect similar here. NETTUNO can lob across into a good spot from his wide draw, certainly not out of the hunt.

Numbers: 3 – 1 – 7 – 2

Suggested Bet: KING OF SPARTA TO WIN/saver BALLER.


2YO Magic Millions. On pacers nos.1, 2, 5, 7, 9 & 14, I’ve left Arabian Summer out of that mix, gut feel is she’ll look for a sit/trail. Confidently with STORM BOY who will roll forward, he has three runners from that on-pace list drawn to his inside (5, 7 & 9), he may not lead however I don’t see that being an issue. He’s the one I can’t punch any holes into form wise, dominant on debut he then worked the first 400m of the McLachlan out 3 & 4 wide yet won by 2.4L clocking the quickest final 200m split of the race. On debut he beat Traffic Warden with ease & that one has come out & won his only other start (Caulfield). The Ballarat MM form is usually questionable however this year’s winner ARABIAN SUMMER looks a definite chance, she took a trail last week, expect the same here. HIGHNESS ran down SPYWIRE at Wyong over 1100m, I have a question mark over SPYWIRE here over 1200m with pressure on from a wide gate, happy to take on. HIGHNESS however is a bit of an unknown, trialled well since there’s plenty around who will tell you he can win this & the gate is a good one.

Numbers: 1 – 8 – 4 – 3

Suggested Bet: STORM BOY TO WIN


Plenty of speed on paper in the 3YO Guineas, I’ve got no less than eight on-paced runners! Looking for lady luck to shine on me as my selection is the first emergency SHOW ME MERCY who first of all needs to gain a start & secondly a dry track. He was terrific first up in the Gold Edition however just didn’t handle the damp ground & did pull up with heat stress in the Vo Rogue last start. The gate isn’t great either however settling back with all the speed up front may end up a good thing. CIFRADO & CHRYSAOR have met twice the with the former winning both, with the better gate & fitness gained the latter can turn the tables. No knock SYDNEY BOWLER bar the gate, guessing the plan will be to go back?

Numbers: 19e – 2 – 1 – 10

Suggested Bet: SHOW ME MERCY EACH-WAY (small bet)


Very tricky race with so many of the better chances drawing poor gates, TAMERLANE & ZARASTRO are prime examples with both liking to race on speed, how much work will they have to do? FAR TOO EASY who likes to settle back draws poorly as well, he’s going to give a bigger start than connections would have hoped for. Think I’ll back a couple of ‘roughies’ being REVULUTIONARY MISS who maps well & comes into the race of consecutive wins & KING OF HASTINGS who found the line well second up, inside draw sees him closer, will need a gap or two though.

Numbers: 9 – 7 – 2 – 1

Suggested Bet: Backing top two selections each-way (small bets).


Looking for $3 or better about LADY LAGUNA in this closing race. She’s a super consistent mare who has better form than the majority of these having placed in 4 Group races last prep & winning a Listed affair. The only negative I have is the gate, without doubt she’ll need luck from the awkward draw, hopefully J. Mac can slot her in with some cover & if so she’ll get her chance. JUNQUIERA loves is here on the Gold Coast, strong win last week no surprise to see connections back up & she maps well with a positive ride early on. WILLINGA BEAST has the right form, not the right gate, Blake Shinn will need all of his skills to get her into a winning spot.

Numbers: 3 – 13 – 10 – 1

Suggested Bet: LADY LAGUNA TO WIN ($3 or better)/saver JUNQUIERA

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