O’REILLY CYRUS - O’Reilly Cyrus was originally with Liam Birchley and considered good enough to be taken to New Zealand for the Karaka Million following his maiden win. On return to Australia he had four more runs for Birchley placing twice in Saturday company before a failure in the Group I Golden Rose. He was then transferred to Joe Pride where he performed in more modest races, winning a Benchmark 60 on the Newcastle Beaumont track and placing four times in restricted company from 11 outings. Now with Toby Edmonds he has had one outing at Coffs Harbour running third in a blanket finish in a class three over 1200m. O’Reilly Cyrus will be improved by that outing and with Jim Byrne to ride over 1400m will find conditions to his liking. Toby Edmonds has a habit of improving horses sent from southern stables and this could be another.
GRIM REAPER - Grim Reaper put in three good runs at his first preparation chasing home the dominant early two-year-old Blue Book on each occasion. He has been gelded and resumed with a sound effort in the Listed Dalrello Stakes over 1200m. Grim Reaper will be improved by that run and being by Domesday should find 1400m on the bigger Sunshine Coast much more to his liking. Paul Hammersley stays on and from barrier three he should be perfectly placed throughout. With conditions to suit here he should be too strong and break through for his first win.
MADAME GISELLE - Madame Giselle was formerly with Anthony and Edward Cummings and whilst she has placed three times in ten starts has been unable to break through and has been moved on to Toowoomba trainer Lindsay Hatch. The trainer has opted to bring the now five-year-old mare to Rockhampton to help her find a Maiden win and has put apprentice Baylee Nothdurft on reducing the impost to 56kg. Madame Giselle is by Charge Forward out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Belle Gisele whose progeny include the top racehorse Messene and Listed winner Cordero who has won his last four straight. Whilst Madame Giselle is unlikely to replicate her relatives she can get a score on the board in this moderate maiden.
BOLD SENSATION - I always pay attention when Garnett Taylor brings an unraced one to Rockhampton and this filly by Spirit of Boom is out of a Shovhog mare with the grand-dam by Bletchingly. You don’t have to be a breeding buff to know that means speed and the dam has already thrown a useful one in the seven-time winner Bold Gypsy. Bold Sensation has had one trial at the Sunshine Coast, gets winkers and Anthony Allen has come up to ride. The market may be a guide but in a moderate two-year-old maiden from gate five over 1100m if she lives up to her pedigree, Bold Sensation could be hard to run down.
MR MARKOU - Mr Markou is an enigmatic performer who undoubtedly has frustrated Ben Currie greatly since his arrival from Tony McEvoy. There is no doubting he has the ability to demolish a class two field but his fractiousness brings him undone. The trainer has opted for a barrier blanket and ear muffs to keep him calm as well as a tongue-tie to prevent him getting the tongue over the bit. Skye Bogenhuber rode him last start and whilst he was beaten a long way the winner was the highly promising Spurcraft who has won again since. His previous trial was strong and if Skye can keep Mr Markou’s mind on the job he will be too good.