RAFHA’S CHOICE - A winner of his first two career starts including a two-year-old plate at Rosehill back in November 2015, the Graeme Murray-trained Rafha’s Choice is ready to do something at his third run back from a long spell when the now four-year-old lines up in the Happy 50th Ronelle Sears Class 2 Handicap. After the promise he showed at the start of his career, Rafha’s Choice went off the boil at his remaining three first preparation before being immediately turned out after one run last time in, obviously there was something amiss as Rafha’s Choice wasn’t seen for 692-days before the son of I Am Invincible returned to racing on May 4 finishing down the track in a class three handicap at Wagga. Rafha’s Choice showed considerable improvement at his second run back from a break when just over two-lengths from the winner Shantou in a class two at Gosford. It would be reasonable to assume there is still scope for improvement in Rafha’s Choice and it that’s the case he will be right in the finish on Saturday.
PRIMA STELLA - There are signs the John O’Shea-trained Prima Stella is set to improve sharply having his second run back from a break in the Markey Saddlery Provincial Benchmark 72 Handicap (1400m). The blinkers back on and a senior riding taking over suggest $17 in early betting markets is huge overs for a horse that won four races last preparation after the addition of blinkers. After missing a place at Kembla resuming last preparation when trained by Richard Litt, the blinkers went on second-up with the four-year-old son of Redoute’s Show winning at Mudgee and the gelding going on to win an additional three races in the preparation wearing the blinkers on each occasion. Prima Stella didn’t fire at Canterbury resuming last start on a heavy (9) racing surface but had trialled nicely on a couple of occasions leading into the first-up run. Stepping up to 1400m on Saturday with the shades back on and Jeff Penza taking over from an apprentice, Prima Stella is well worth a throw at the stumps.
ON THE SPOT - On The Spot is a well-bred four-year-old by the ill-fated Beneteau who may have either been aimed too high or didn’t live up to his potential when trained by Clarry Conners in Sydney. During that time he won three races the best being a class two at Kembla Grange but also competed in group races such as the Hobartville, Eskimo Prince and Phar Lap Stakes which were clearly beyond him. On The Spot has now been moved on to Toby Edmonds who has a good record with these type of horses and his recent trials have been encouraging. A brother to the Listed placegetter and three-time winner Aegean Sea there should be upside and a class four over 1100m looks within his grasp. Glen Colless rides the Gold Coast track well and from gate two On The Spot should be handy throughout and can start his Queensland career on a good note.
WOODDITTON - Woodditton fought on well at Ipswich in a good class three last start following consecutive wins at Grafton and Ballina when resuming. Stephen Lee is now training out of the Gold Coast and this four-year-old mare by Artie Schiller looks well placed in this class two over 1400m particularly with Glen Colless to ride from gate three. Woodditton has been very consistent throughout her 12-start career winning twice and only finishing once out of the top four, that occasion being on a heavy track. The 1400m may be as far as he wants to go but once again, Woodditon should be handy throughout and be right in the finish.
DAZZLE US AGAIN - Dazzle Us Again put in an excellent effort here when resuming over 1200m and wasn’t far away second up over 1400m in a class five despite being hampered at the 200m. He can take a few runs to get going and prefers soft ground but has won third-up previously and this Benchmark 70 over 1800m is within his capabilities. Since joining David Joice’s stable Dazzle Us Again has been very consistent with three wins and finishing in the top four 9 times in 13 starts. Jackson Murphy rides these 1800m races on the Gold Coast as well as anyone and the 1.5kg claim is a bonus. The trainer has had a few winners lately at the Gold Coast and if this fellow is fully wound up he should be hard to hold off.