Making the transition from talented type in the spring to genuine star in the autumn has been a bridge too far many a three-year-old over the years, but I'm confident Addictive Nature will make the leap. The biggest question I have surrounding him is exactly what type of galloper, from a distance perspective, is going to turn out to be?
I have a feeling that 1200 metres, while fresh, up to a mile may be the answer despite a pedigree that at first glance has a middle distance-to-staying feel about it. (He is a full brother to Savvy Nature, the AAMi Vase winner and Australian Derby fourth placegetter that was sent to Hong Kong for a failed Derby campaign, and his mother is a daughter of staying influence Carnegie, but when you delve a little deeper he does possess some genuine sprinting types in his family, including his grand-dam, La Lagune, a high-class juvenile who ran second in a Blue Diamond, as well as multiple stakes-winning sprinter-miler Titanic Jack, who ran a flashing second in Exceed And Excel's Newmarket Handicap.)
Addictive Nature did a few things wrong in his first prep last year, but he was still good enough to win a Ming Dynasty at Group 3 level, and, judging by what we've seen in his two recent trials to have him ready for this, he appears to have learned plenty. I loved the way he was able to settle in those behind the speed and show a quality turn of foot with essentially no pressure applied to him.
I think that's his big asset -- a high class burst of speed when popped the question -- and hopefully Bjorn Baker has been able to get him to settle in the early part of his races so he gets every opportunity to display the acceleration.
I think we're looking at a future Group 1 winner, and it could be this campaign that he realises that potential if they can find the right race for him.
Around The Grounds
Logan River is an extremely well-bred son of Snitzel, and I've got little doubt he is a two-year-old with, at the very least, stakes-grade potential. However, little has gone right for the Tony McEvoy-trained youngster in his two runs to date.
I'm not convinced he appreciated the heavy track on debut in a good race at Sandown in early December, and absolutely nothing went his way when McEvoy sent him to Sydney for the Inglis Nursery. He got caught wide from a bad draw, got lost coming around the turn, and was way out of his ground by that stage, before hanging in the straight and, for the last part of the race, never really being fully extended; still, he finished only two-and-a-half lengths from the winner in a race that was essentially dominated by those on speed.
He now gets back to Melbourne, draws perfectly, and, perhaps of most importance, gets the blinkers on for the first time; hopefully the headgear sharpens him right up. Expect Jamie Kah to have him right on the speed for this, and I feel confident we'll get the chance to see the real Logan River and what he's capable of.
Torgersen has only won the one race since being shifted to the Queensland stable by Chris Waller, but he's been placed multiple times and is yet to finish further back than fifth in any of his seven starts.
That fifth placing was his latest run, and it was an eye-catching effort: He got well out of his ground in the Sunshine Coast Cup last Saturday before running home strongly behind comprehensive winner Most Important. That was a much better and deeper field than he'll face here, as he's dropping back in class to an open handicap, while he goes up trip to his more favoured mile journey.
Expect Robbie Fraad, who's been riding extremely well, to take advantage of barrier No.1 and have Torgersen a lot closer to the action up front than we've seen over the shorter trips he's faced of late, and he should be able to get a sweet run in transit.
This really does look his race. He's certainly short enough for a horse who doesn't necessarily win out of turn, but he needs only hold his current form to be too good.
Oink is building to a win this prep after two runs back, and this looks a fantastic race for him to notch up his fifth career victory.
Oink has competed in quality Brisbane company for most of his racing life, and that's probably the biggest reason his record isn't better. Also, his racing pattern is to get back and finish strong late -- and naturally that can be conducive to becoming a victim of either a lack of speed or traffic issues in his races.
He was great behind Of The Day in his latest run, and his effort signalled he has his foot right on the till. Now he now gets up to the more suitable distance of 1350 metres, over which he won at the end of his previous campaign, and the likes of I'm A Rippa, Divine Service, Lucky Tom and Plucky Girl should ensure more than enough pace on up front to give him the opportunity to settle back and run home.
Damian Browne might be able to get him a little worse than midfield -- hopefully one off the fence -- and I can envisage him chasing down the leaders given he gets a clear path.
Over The Odds
Dream Finnish is probably more a miler but she's shown on numerous occasions that she can win over sprint trips while fresh, and this race may well set up for her to do the same.
Two of her past three wins have come over 1200 metres first up, one in September 2016, the other at the beginning of her last campaign when storming home at Ipswich to run down Brooklyn Storm.
As far as this race goes, not only is there a heap of pace engaged with genuine on-speed/frontrunners like Upstart Pride, Stella Ombra, Tarzan, Boomwaa, Bullpit and Hanwritten all acceptors but also a few of those are certainly better over 1000m-1100m; if they get softened up by each other in the early part of this, most of them may struggle to see out the six furlongs and will be highly susceptible to something finishing over the top of them late. This is exactly the scenario that Dream Finnish will eat up.
Yes, she'll go back and for a long time she may not seemingly look the winner, but she is well worth something at that quote in the hope that the speedsters cut each other up.
There's a pretty talented galloper engaged in this race in Tversky, who's into an even-money favourite, but if he were to be off his game first up, or happens to struggle over the 1100m while fresh, bearing in mind his four career wins have all come over 1000m, I think it's a wide open affair; Live Fast looks to be way over the odds, and is certainly capable of winning if Tversky doesn't.
He'll need luck for sure, as he's going to get back from that awkward draw, but there should be enough speed in the big field for that to be okay and the 1100m is his best trip. In fact, he finished a closing second to the pretty handy galloper Mishani El Lobo the last time he raced over this trip at Doomben back in September 2017.
His first-up run at the Gold Coast was acceptable -- he raced wide throughout, copped a bump after straightening and was definitely in the inferior part of the track down the outside - and he should be a lot better off for that. With rain expected in Brisbane in the lead up to Saturday, he'll appreciate getting on to a surface with some sting out of the ground.
He's probably a $15 chance in my mind so at his current quote he's certainly worth having something on; also throw him into your quaddie for some value.
Leg 1 - 1,2,3,5,9,10
Leg 2 - 8
Leg 3 - 1,2,3,4,7,8,9
Leg 4 - 4,7,8,12,13
($100 = 47.62 percent)
Leg 1 - 1,3,5
Leg 2 - 1,2,9
Leg 3 - 2,5,6,9,10,11
Leg 4 - 5,13
($100 = 92.59 percent)
TAB Early Market Movers and Big Bets
Race 1 - Problem Solver $6.50 - $4.40 ($375 @ $5.50, $248 @ $5)
Race 2 - Exceltic $4.60 - $4.20 ($3,000 @ $4.60)
Race 3 - Fiesta $3.50 - $3.20 ($500 @ $3.30)
Race 4 - Cellarman $4 - $3.70 ($670 @ $3.80)
Race 6 - Bye See $4.60 - $3.60 ($300 @ $4.60, $1,000 @ $4.40, $368 @ $4.40)
Race 9 - Don't Give A Damn $4.50 - $3.90 ($400 @ $4.20, $350 @ $3.90)
Race 1 - Grey Khan $13 - $9.50 ($1,000 e/w @ $13/$4.70)
Race 2 - Encryption $4.60 - $4.40 ($2,000 @ $4.60)
Race 5 - Eurack $5 - $3.70 ($800 @ $5, $300 @ $5, $600 @ $4.60, $500 @ $3.80)
Race 8 - I Did It Again $9.50 - $5.50 ($1,000 @ $8.50, $500 @ $7.50, $1,000 @ $7, $250 @ $6.50)