AD Hollindale Stakes Tips and Best Bets
The Hollindale Stakes signifies the ramp up in racing action in the Sunshine State with Brisbane’s Winter Carnival drawing into sight. The Group 2 Hollindale is the first of the big races to draw some of Australia’s best racing talent to the state.
Run over a distance of 1800m The Group 2 Hollindale is run under weight for age conditions and this year carries an impressive $500k prize pool.
When we compare the Hollindale Stakes to other races on the calendar it is a relatively juvenile race having first been run in 1989 under the banner of the Southport Cup. While the race itself may be young there have been a number of big names win the race.
Previous winners have include the great Might and Power, Shogun Lodge as well as Rough Habit who won two editions of the race in 1991 and 1992. Overall there have been 4 dual winners of the Group 2 with Shogun Lodge, Rough Habit and Leebaz all having won the race twice.
The fourth dual winner of the race is this years race favourite. Annabel Neasham trained superstar Zaaki! The Group one winner has won the last two renewals of the race and is aiming to become the first horse to win three editions of the Hollindale Stakes.
2023 A.D. Hollindale Stakes Race Overview
Zaaki currently sits as a $1.70 stand out favourite to win his third consecutive Hollindale Stakes and enters the race having only just started his Autumn / Winter campaign. Zaaki mised the majority of the Sydney Autumn Carnival but put on an impressive showing in the Group One All Aged Stakes which suggested he could be back to his best.
On the second line of betting we see a familiar face as Chris Waller fields the Emancipation Stakes winner from Rosehill, Atishu. This 5yo Mare has been mixing it with some decent company recently and sits as the only other runner at $7.50 in betting.
Overall Chris Waller fields a strong contingent in the race with the Sydney based trainer also entering Skyman ($13), New Mandate ($18), No Compromise ($46) and the old war horse that is Kolding ($71) with a five runner assault to stop Zaaki winning a third Hollindale.
There are a number of other familiar faces heading to Queensland with recent JRA Plate winner Diamil ($10) lining up for John O’Shea, Zeyrek ($12) for the Team Hawkes and Huetor ($17) begins a new Brisbane campaign for the Snowdens.
With Desert Icon and Bois D’Argent both scratched from the 2023 Hollindale Stakes field we see 12 runners lining up for the Group 2 Weight For Age contest on Saturday.
2023 Hollindale Stakes Top Picks And Best Bet
With soft conditions set to create an even track on the weekend we look through the field and pick out our top three chances which include our best outside chance, the main danger and of course our best bet for the 2023 Hollindale Stakes.
2023 Hollindale Stakes Outside Chance - 3. Heutor (7)
Trainer - Peter and Paul Snowden
Price - $15.00
Our outside chance is the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Huetor who most recently finished 3rd behind Diamil in the JRA Plate at Randwick.
Huetor returns to the familiar surroundings of Queensland where he was winner of the Group One Doomben Cup in May of last year. He’s had four runs this prep and appears to be improving each time he returns to the track.
His most recent win in the Group 3 JRA Plate was impressive where he rounded the field from near last on the turn to keep finding all the way to the line. When entering the straight he was 12 lengths off the leaders yet was able to keep finding until he finished a length of the winners and was continuing to close after the line.
The stable look to be getting him back to full fitness now and a strong showing should be on the cards once again on the Sunshine Coast. If he can be closer to the speed on the turn he should be able to wind up on the big track and challenge late.
2023 Hollindale Stakes Main Danger - 4. Zeyrek (3)
Trainer - Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
Price - $11.00
Our main danger for the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes is the Team Hawkes trained Zeyrek who provides great value in the market at $11.
Last time out he settled to far off the speed and wasn’t able to land a glove on the quality of Anamoe and Dubai Honour in the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He did manage to quicken off towards the end finishing seventh just 7 lengths off the winner.
Before that he had put together an number of impressive runs including a second place finish in the Group Three Furphy Sky High Stakes before winning the Neville Sellwood Stakes in the same grade with a huge run when widest of all the runners at Rosehill Gardens.
Back in a lower grade where the quality of the field is lower than that of the QEII Stakes he should be competitive at the price and definitely worth an each way bet to be fighting out the finish.
2023 Hollindale Stakes Best Bet - 1. Zaaki (10)
Trainer - Annabel Neasham
Price - $1.70
It’ll come as no surprise that Zaaki is our top pick for the Hollindale after his return to the race track in the All Aged Stakes looked like the Zaaki of old.
He missed the majority of the Autumn after a poor showing at the trials led Nesham sending her stable star back to the paddock. He was top choice for the All Star Mile in March however Zaaki wouldn’t begin his Autumn / Winter campaign until the end of April in the All Aged Stakes.
No one was going to stop Giga Kick claiming a maiden Group One title however Zaaki was a clear next best in the field having put the others to the sword in the home straight.
At a recent trial, Jockey James McDonald claimed the 8yo gelding is back to his best and in the hunt for more Group One glory.
He’s the best horse in the race and if he lives up to that he should be winning easily here and claim a record setting third win in the Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes.
2023 Hollindale Stakes Best Bet - Back Zaaki to win