Kingsford Smith Cup 2023
Distance: 1300m | Conditions: WFA | Rail Position: True | Track Condition: Soft 5
The Group 1 racing continues in the Sunshine State with the feature Kingsford-Smith Cup over 1300m at Eagle Farm on Saturday. It’s another competitive field with mixed formlines, most coming from the Victory Stakes and Doomben 10,000. A Group 1 debutant heads the betting, but there’s plenty of value around so let’s find a winner!
Anticipating the speed will be hot early but can’t imagine anything other than Eduardo will get to the front and dictate, with Rothfire settling in behind while Gentleman Roy tries to get across from the carpark. From the draw Think It Over should be able to box seat while most of his biggest threats will be coming from behind once that turn for home. Watch for King of Sparta, Paulele, Vilana and Case of You late.
1. Eduardo (5)
The old-timer resumes for this. Looks like the curtains are getting closer to drawing on the career of the great campaigner but connections are sending him around again, and judging off his trials he can still be competitive. The speedster will land on pace and give a good sight providing the track dries out.
2. Case of You (6)
Dual Group 1 winner overseas and has been impressive in all three of his Australian starts. Is well found in the market thanks to his eye-catching run in the Doomben 10,000 and finally gets a draw to suit. Up in trip no problem, nor the damp track. Will be flying home late.
3. Paulele (16)
A Group 1 WFA winner but yet to register a win over 1200m. In saying that, was second in this last year and the way he hit the line in the Doomben 10,000 suggested he will relish the extra 100m. Is a hard one to pin down but if he’s right, he’ll make his presence felt at some point.
One of Queensland’s best and looks to be getting back to his old self. Stuck on to claim the Victory Stakes and gets a little distance rise here which he generally has appreciated. Comes into this relatively fresh which is when we see his best. Chance to add to his Group 1 collection.
5. Vilana (13)
Can never ignore Godolphin’s runners at this level. His win in the Hall Marks suggested he’d be up for this sort of level, giving them absolute windburn. Had excuses in the Doomben 10,000 and I think we’ll see a much improved showing here. Barrier is a slight concern but has the best jock to navigate a path so don’t discount.
6. Converge (1)
Hasn’t lived up to the promise over the last 12 months, but he could be one to keep an eye on here. Gave a good sight in the George Ryder and before disappointing in the Doncaster but had excuses with the conditions. It’s hard to be in his corner, but being back in the state where he dominated as a juvenile, could we see a shift?
7. King of Sparta (2)
Comes into this with genuine claims off a game effort in the Victory Stakes, just missing to Rothfire after making up lots of ground. Prior to that showed a sight in the William Reid but was outclassed. Loves it in Queensland and looks well placed to continue in his nice form up there.
8. Kirwan’s Lane (15)
Nice horse and tries his guts out, but not up to this level. Hit the line nicely in the Canterbury over this distance but that’s as good as it gets for him. Is looking for further.
9. Eleven Eleven (14)
Another one who thrives in Queensland. Has a consistent second-up record but seems up against it here. Wide alley and out of his depth I would’ve thought. Happy to see him go round.
10. Gentleman’s Roy (18)
Brings a bit of intrigue into this following his “almost” Group 1 win in the C.F Orr during what was an impressive Autumn Carnival for the son of So You Think. Market is against him, and he maps pretty poorly from the wide alley but he’s shown he can compete at this level. Is a tough assignment however he isn’t the worst in the field.
11. Think About It (8)
One of the most talked about leading into what is his first crack at a Group 1 after winning seven on the bounce. Defied a big betting drift to claim the Takeover Target fresh in Gosford and looks as though he’ll get every chance from Barrier 8 for this. Oozes class but he’ll need to go to another level to be a show here. I’m not convinced as others but prepared to be proved wrong.
12.Emerald Kingdom (4)
Desleigh Forster trained on-pacer who has earned his shot in this. Has proved he can sustain a gallop and handle the pressure but this is a significant class rise. Is a rough chance for the exotics.
13. Alpine Edge (17)
A last start winner, taking the choccies in The Archer. Significant class rise here and the task isn’t made any easier by the wide draw. Is up against it.
14. The Inferno (9)
His best of old would have him in the mix but he’s showed none of that of late. Will go back from the barrier and hard to see him making much impact once they head for home.
15. Palaisipan (19)
Genuine horse and has plenty of talent but question whether this is her level. In saying that, is unbeaten at the trip, loves Eagle Farm and appears to do her best work third-up so may run a bold race. I won’t be siding with her however.
Am siding with the International who has been progressing nicely for this. Will be taking Case of You to claim the Kingsford Smith Cup each-way.
2. Case of You (1)