Part two of our horses to follow towards the Brisbane Winter Carnival – where we’ll be looking at the remaining four Group 1’s including the big one – the Stradbroke Handicap!

Racing – Winter Carnival Horses To Follow (Part 1) HERE

Stradbroke Handicap – Impending

Impending will once again travel north in a bid to capture Queensland’s richest race for the second consecutive year.

The Godolphin colt has mixed it with the best sprinters in the land in the months following that victory, placing behind star gallopers Redzel and In Her Time in premier races since.

Missing the rich Sydney Autumn Carnival with eyes solely set on defending his Stradbroke Crown, he returns to Queensland in ominous form.

Resuming in last weeks G2 Victory Stakes at Doomben, Impending was sent out the drifting $2.80 favourite.

After striking traffic for much of the straight, the James Cummings trained colt sprinted stylishly once he saw clear air, letting down powerfully to kick off his preparation in the best possible fashion.

Godolphin’s managing director, Vin Cox said Impending would target the big three Queensland sprints in the Doomben 10,000, Kingsford Smith Cup and Stradbroke Handicap.

“They are all Group One races and he will contest them all. He won last year’s Stradbroke and we were always keen to give him a chance at repeating that,” Cox said.

“He is off to stud at the end of the winter and more Group Ones won’t do him any harm.”‘

Currently sitting on the third line of betting at $9 for this year’s Stradbroke, Impending will be a main player again and looks a great chance to defend his crown before heading to the breeding barn.

Queensland Derby – Higher Ground

Another up and coming three-year-old for Chris Waller, Higher Ground put his Queensland Derby credentials on the table with a strong victory in the G3 Frank Packer Plate.

The son of So You Think was able to just outlast stable mate and multiple Derby place-getter; Tangled in the shadows of the post, in what was his biggest victory to date.

The win affirmed jockey, Lee Magorrian’s thoughts after an earlier win in Higher Ground’s preparation.

“He’s really going to relish the 2000 to 2400 metres when he steps up over it,” Magorrian said.

“I think it will be right up his alley”.

Installed the $4.40 favourite in the current Queensland Derby market, the colt should relish the 2200m distance of the event and take a power of beating come the big race. 

JJ Atkins – The Autumn Sun

That stable again, and Waller looks to have unearthed another talented juvenile in the form of The Autumn Sun.

A $700k yearling purchase, the colt by Redoute’s Choice couldn’t have been anymore impressive on debut, powering home for a convincing win at Randwick.

Chris Waller’s racing manager, Charlie Duckworth was particularly effusive of the performance post-race.

“Watching it in the middle stages we were thinking this is exactly what we didn’t want to see on a horse having their debut run being three wide, but obviously he was too classy for them,” he said.

“He’ll head to Queensland now. That’s exactly what we want to see on debut, doing everything right despite not having the greatest of runs in transit.”

The $7 market elect for the J.J Atkins, The Autumn Sun looks to have an incredibly bright future, and with a stable that has an affinity with winning this race, looks the main one to follow towards the two-year-old feature.

Winter Stakes – Moss Trip 

The last Group 1 of the Brisbane Winter Carnival, the Winter Stakes (formerly the Tatts Tiara) serves as the last chance for fillies and mares to have their shot at the top level.

Moss Trip, a filly from the all-powerful Team Snowden yard, certainly put her hand up as a key contender for the race following her astonishing win in the G3 JHB Carr Stakes.

After bungling the start, the filly settled at the tail of the field, spotting the leaders a seemingly impossible start.

On a day where it was hard to make ground, McEvoy peeled the filly to the outside, where she unleashed a withering burst down the centre of the track to get her nose down on the line and notch an incredible win.

Post-race, trainer Peter Snowden was equal parts relieved and excited by the victory.

“I was blowing up at the start thinking she’d lost her chance there but to her credit on a day where it’s very hard to come from the back, to run the time she did, she’s done amazing,” he said.

Moss Trip’s next start is likely to be in the G3 Fred Best Classic (1350m), before a tilt at the Winter Stakes.

A filly with untapped potential, she looks the main horse to follow heading towards the fillies and mares weight-for-age feature.