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Australian Racing: Point King eyeing Rosehill crown

All eyes will be on Eagle Farm on Saturday with the 2024 running of the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.

Race 8 Eagle Farm

Amenable @ 8.50

Race 6 Eagle Farm

Zouna @ 7.50

Race 8 Rosehill

Point King @ 9.00

Amenable to take Stradbroke

The James Cummings-trained Vilana is expected to jump as favourite for the previously mentioned Stradbroke Handicap.

The five-year-old has demonstrated solid form this prep, including when runner-up over 1200m in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick in April.

Vilana raced on a heavy 9 surface that day, with the switch to a good 4 track seeing him take The Star Moreton Cup, a Group 2 event here on 8th June.

The son of Hallowed Crown came home over three-and-a-half-lengths clear of his rivals over 1200m that day and he has performed well over this distance in the past.

However, AMENABLE is preferred in this contest, following second-place finishes in three of his four starts this prep.

The second of those efforts saw the gelding lose out by less than half-a-length on a heavy 10 track in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick in April.

While the four-year-old suffered a defeat in Listed company in the Luskin Star Stakes over 1300m at Scone last month, he gets in off a nice racing weight here.

The slight step up in distance is in the Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr-trained gelding’s favour, jumping from a wide alley in this contest.

Zouna to upset Broadsiding in J.J. Atkins

The sixth race on the Eagle Farm card is set to see a field of 14 go to post for the 1600m Group 1 J.J. Atkins.

Broadsiding is expected to start a short priced favourite, having registered wins in each of his last three starts.

The colt won at this level when taking out the Champagne Stakes over this distance on a heavy 10 track at Randwick on 20th April.

The youngster was freshened following that effort and came home a length clear of his rivals, when finishing strongly from off the pace in the Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes.

It’s of note however that all three of his previous wins have come on wet tracks and, back on a sound surface, ZOUNA may prove capable of upsetting the favourite.

Trained by Lawrie Mayfield-Smith, Zouna was beaten in a length into second when ridden from off the pace in the previously mentioned Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes here.

The selection had previously registered a fourth over 1200m in the Group 2 Spirit Of Boom Classic on a soft 7 track at Doomben on 18th May.

Mark Zahra is an eye-catching jockey booking for the colt, who’s only previous victory came at this venue on the forecast good 4 track.

The pick shaped as if a step up in distance would suit when runner-up last time and he is taken to record his first Group 1 success.

King to rule in Winter Cup

The eighth race on Rosehill’s 10-race card is the Listed Kia Winter Cup over 2400m.

A soft 6 track is expected for the race, with POINT KING taken to register his first win since switching hemispheres.

The five-year-old demonstrated good form in Europe, including when completing a hat-trick in saluting in a 2816m set weights event at Leopardstown in August 2022.

The gelding ended his time in Europe with a last of four in the Irish St Leger Trial over the same distance at The Curragh in August.

Trained by Kris Lees, the pick raced over an inadequate 2000m when making his Australian debut in a Benchmark 88 handicap at Randwick last month.

The selection is expected to have improved for that effort, while the step up in distance is also in his favour.

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