The Ex Factor with Nathan Exelby 06-04-21

Well known QLD media man NATHAN EXELBY is a constant at the track and has all the inside information as we head into another big weekend of racing in the ‘sunshine state’.


How far will TYCOON EVIE run?

Photo: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography


The pedigree page suggests anything beyond a mile will be a stretch.

Trainer Rex Lipp admits the 1800m Gold Coast Bracelet will be a fork in the road for the daughter of Written Tycoon, determining if he presses on in pursuit of another Queensland Oaks, or changes his sights to shorter targets.

Tycoon Evie is a sister to former speed machine Winning Rupert, but she’s already outpointed older bro in winning over 1600m. That’s new territory for the family.

Tycoon Evie’s five siblings to race have won over no further than 1300m.  Mum Winaura (Show A Heart), won five races up to 1200m.  Her siblings won over no further than 1400m.  So there’s some questions on that score.

What’s not in question is her ability.

To come back from the mile and towel up those handy horses on Saturday was a tidy effort, proving she’s among the state’s better three-year-olds.



It might have been hard to tell which was Rex Lipp’s favourite winner on Saturday.

Tycoon Evie obviously has bigger targets, but the veteran IN HIS STRIDE’S win came with huge satisfaction for the trainer, who had flagged retirement for the eight-year-old prior to this.

While In His Stride might have carried a bit of sentiment, it was a sick watch for the majority of punters.

WREN’S DAY just ambled up to them halfway up the running and looked set to produce a carbon copy of his previous win. But he then wanted to wander in and Leah Kilner had to straighten him up.

From there it was game over.

This punting game requires plenty of resilience!



CLEARANCE SALE won despite himself first up as trainers Bryan and Daniel Guy plot tougher assignments for him heading towards the carnival.

Michael Rodd labelled Clearance Sale the best horse in the Guy stable after he notched a narrow – but authoritative win over older horses first up on Saturday.

The son of Hinchinbrook is tipped to be better over further than the 1200m he coped with here.

“He didn’t help himself early, he bobbed in the air out of the gates and then they slackened up and he got pulling really hard,” Rodd said. “It wasn’t until about the 700m until he started relaxing.”

Rodd said Clearance Sale would have won by a bigger margin had he made his run down the outside of the track.

“It was a really good win. He could be a Queensland carnival horse. He has got a lovely big relaxed action on him,” he said.

Bryan Guy said he had been looking for a 1400m race to kick off in, but after wet tracks and bad barriers, he decided to go to this shorter race first up.

“1200m being a bit fresh and you saw what he could do,” he said.

“I will probably go to a 1350m with him now, then we will see where we go from there, but he is a very nice horse.”



Chris Waller often talks about how important confidence is to a horse and he reiterated that belief after Hungry Heart made it two in a row by claiming the Group 1 Vinery.

The same theory may well apply to WALKING FLYING, who has made a lovely transition to the Queensland stables of Toby and Trent Edmonds.

After winning the Silver Bowl final last July, Walking Flying went unplaced in five summer runs, rating well below her best. But a soft trial followed by a first up ‘kill’ on a Heavy 10 rated track has her back A-1 form, as she showed by nailing Kubrick in the Class 6 Handicap (1600m).

Having been beaten only 1.7L in last year’s G1 Australasian Oaks (2000m), there’s no shortage of options open to Team Edmonds.

Speaking of confidence, could this second placing be just what KUBRICK needs to return to the winning list?

Punters probably aren’t ready to concede that point yet (!), but it was nice to see something like a semblance of form from the inaugural Bondi winner. 



A pre-race track walk and knowledge of rival jockey habits gave Ronny Stewart the confidence to “roll the dice” and land ABERLADY a $26 winner on Saturday.

Having walked Eagle Farm, Stewart was of the view the surface was fairly even across the surface. He also knew the tendency for jockeys at headquarters is to get away from the fence, so it was always his intention to ride Aberlady stone cold and look for the shortcuts.

He followed his plan to perfection, sitting out near the back, sticking to the fence and saving many lengths as heads turned for home.

“To walk I couldn’t find much difference (from inside to outside),” Stewart said.

“They always seem to get off here. I thought we’d roll the dice and it paid off. When horses are at a bit of odds, sometimes it is worth the gamble.”

The win netted a quick return for trainer Kelvin Hickmott, who took over ownership of the seven-year-old mare only nine days before Saturday’s win.



Punters who shopped early with EAST ASIA would have considered themselves hard done by when she had to be content with a second placing first up.

Easter Asia took care of her main betting rivals, INGEAR and DIS DAH WUN, but then couldn’t overpower the Chris Munce trained CENTREFIRE ($11).

Perhaps East Asia came up one run short.

She looks one to follow, but alas for her earlybird backers last week, not likely to be at the same enticing odds next time around. Luke Dittman suggests the former Sydneysider will be suited over a shade further next time around.

Check out the latest TAB Futures markets here.



DIXON Bay was found to be lame post-race. Punters who backed him into $3.10 knew well before the vet report their bets were confetti. He was gone the moment he was slowly away.

A post-race veterinary examination of GOTTA KISS revealed the filly to be coughing a number of times. Co-trainer Steve O’Dea undertook to advise Stewards of the results of Veterinary examination including the satisfactory results of an endoscopic examination.

Vets found nothing abnormal with MONTEZ, who was a flop behind Alpendurada.

Jockey Robbie Fradd reported SHE ZA BOSS failed to respond when placed under pressure. A post -race veterinary examination did not identify any obvious problems with the mare.

PIZONIE blundered on jumping in the last. He raced keenly following that and jockey Ryan Maloney reported concerns with his action. Vets found Pizonie to be short striding in both forelegs post-race.

Co-trainer Will Hulbert advised stewards that Wirnpa would be retired after pulling up lame in the same event.


Catch Nathan Exelby on The Playbook every Thursday night on Sky Thoroughbred Central (Ch528). Nathan also appears on Sky Thoroughbred Central’s weekday coverage, RadioTAB’s Saturday morning preview of Queensland’s feature meeting and the Brisbane Racing Club website and social media platforms.


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