It is back to Doomben this week and the form is very well exposed. The only problem is likely to be a few showers. However, Doomben, thanks to being banked and given a sand base, is now one of the best drying tracks in Australia. The rail is out 4.5 metres which should suit all horses, although early in the program there could be a frontrunner bias.
R1 12.03pm WINDSOR MANAGEMENT INSURANCE BROKERS OPEN Handicap 2200m
MAURUS looks to have a clear class edge on this field and was placed behind two top Sydney stayers at his last start. He was a very good second in his only attempt to 2200m. The problem is the eight weeks since his last run and he has had to relocate to the Sunshine Coast.
Maurus has had two trials, winning the most recent at Hawkesbury. He is being set for the Brisbane Cup so won't be fully wound up now but his class might tell as middle distance races at Doomben often aren't genuine staying tests.
LOCK’S LEGEND is being set for the Brisbane Cup and has been racing at 1600m. He won five races in a row last campaign and has paid the price at the weights in recent races. If this turns into a sit and sprint type of race, he will be very hard to beat.
CAILLEBOTTE was far too good in restricted class last start. It usually isn't much of a claim to fame in Brisbane but he looks to be a stayer with a genuine turn of foot. Down in the weights he will be about the place.
VOLKHERE is much better than his last start in the Toowoomba Cup. He was never on the track or on the right leg in that race. He might lead here and that would give him a real chance to dictate the pattern.
SELECTIONS: NO3 MAURUS, NO1 LOCK’S LEGEND, NO7 CAILLEBOTTE, NO2 VOLKHERE. VALUE RUNNER: NO 2 VOLKHERE.
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R2 12.38pm BUILDING EMPLOYEES REDUNDANCY TRUST BRIBIE HANDICAP 1050m
GLENBAWN DAME was a very good winner at Doomben last start after two good trials in Sydney. The barrier is no help but there is pace drawn around her and she has the gate speed to follow them into a handy position. Any rain would also be a help.
ANGELS BEACH hasn't won for a while but his Sydney form isn't bad for a race such as this. The stable has a habit of winning Listed races in Brisbane and she is another who can sit on the pace.
HARD STRIDE loomed as the winner first up in this area in the Weetwood last start but tired. It has been a while between wins but he should be a lot fitter.
INTO THE RED is an honest horse which usually races well when fresh. If there is a cracking pace he is the one to be running home hard.
UPSTSART PRIDE ran a course record in his Ipswich win at 1000m and was then backed as though unbeatable when a Toowoomba failure last time. But he got stirred up in the barriers and probably ran his race before the jump. On his day he could win this despite the barrier.
SELECTIONS: NO6 GLENBAWN DAME, NO1 ANGELS BEACH, NO3 HARD STRIDE, NO 2 INTO THE RED. VALUE RUNNER: NO7 UPSTART PRIDE.
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R3 1.13pm CONSTRUCTION INCOME PROTECTION QTIS Three-Years-Old Handicap 1350m
DEE NINE ELLE has plenty of pace and has been good in three runs since a spell. Well drawn this time and her jockey, Tegan Harrison, is noted for getting her mounts out of the barriers and flying. They will take some running down here.
FIERY HEIGHTS scored a well-deserved win last start but he has paid for his consistency at the weights. He is a horse who might make a stakes winner so still deserves to be in the top few hopes.
STELLA OMBRA turned in the run of the day when coming from last, after missing the jump two lengths, to win a midweek race. This is much harder but it was a good win against the racing pattern of the day.
WALTHAM was scratched from the Gold Coast on Wednesday in order to race here. His win at Ipswich was outstanding as he ran off on the corner but motored home. He has nothing on his back after the 3kgs claim and looks nicely placed.
SELECTIONS: NO7 DEE NINE ELLE, NO1 FIERY HEIGHTS, NO3 STELLA OMBRA, NO12 WALTHAM. VALUE RUNNER: NO12 WALTHAM.
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R4 1.48pm SERVICE TRADES COLLEGE QTIS Two-Years-Old Plate 1100m
CANDIKA is having her first start since being placed in the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic in January. There is no doubt she will be much better at 1400m to 1600m but she has raced well fresh. Candika was fourth in a hot jump out recently and there is a stack of pace in this race. If she has any luck in the straight, she should run over the top of these.
NICCONI LEGGERA is a very fast filly who was just run down last start when second from the outside barrier. She has again drawn poorly but has the pace to be handy. Trainer Chris Munce hasn't taken the blinkers off her and that should also suit.
BAGUS has been very consistent and won at big prize money in Rockhampton at her last start. She stays down in the weights here and has race experience on her side.
TIYATROLANI was a brilliant 7 1/2 length winner on the only start at Ipswich This is much harder but drawn well and has natural pace to be well placed throughout.
ALL PLUCK went well in a jump out and is nicely bred. He is having his first start and is another who is well drawn. The interesting thing is that Jim Byrne got off Nicconi Leggera to ride him.
SELECTIONS: NO7 CANDIKA, NO9 NICCONI LEGGERA, NO8 BAGUS, NO13 TIYATROLANI. VALUE RUNNER: NO6 ALL PLUCK.
R5 2.27pm ARA FIRE BenchMark 85 Handicap 1630m
RECKLESS ABANDON seems to have beaten the handicapper as he is very well weighted for a horse which has won three similar races of late. His trainer, Liam Birchley, is noted for being able to place his horses in races they can win. Another plus is barrier three which means Reckless Ambition should be able to sit just behind the pace. He is likely to step up in distance soon for some of the 2000m stakes races in the winter but this looks ideal.
COL 'N' LIL was run over in the final 100m last start at Toowoomba but she gets down in the weights here. She isn't very big but has a lot of class. The 1630m around Doomben should suit her very nicely.
VA VA VENI has won his past two starts in much easier company. But again he has no weight and an in form jockey, James Orman. He is another who looks suited by the "Doomben Mile".
RULING FORCE has impressed since coming from West Australia in January. He had a lot against him last time when a strong Toowoomba winner. He has won on this track and will claim again with Luke Dittman to ride.
SELECTIONS: NO5 RECKLESS ABANDON, NO7 COL 'N' LIL, NO10 VA VA VENI, NO3 RULING FORCE. VALUE RUNNER: NO7 COL 'N' LIL.
R6 3.07pm NATIONAL FIRE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION QLD VICTORY STAKES 1200m
FELL SWOOP looks to be unbeatable in this race on form. He was second to the best sprinter in the world in Chautauqua at his last start and his previous Group One efforts have been outstanding. There has been a hiccup with jockeys after Damien Oliver was suspended. But replacement rider Jay Ford won the Doomben 10,000 a decade ago on Takeover Target and knows Doomben well. If there is one little worry it is that this race is noted for big-priced winners. The latest was only two years ago when Temple of Boom won at 40-1. It was originally named the Sir Byrne Hart Stakes and was run at Eagle Farm where every second year seemed to produce a boilover. However, Fell Swoop looks like joining the likes of Buffering and Swiss Ace, who are Group One winners to have taken the Victory Stakes in recent years.
DIDNTCOSTALOT ran the third fastest 1200m ever at Doomben when he won the George Moore Stakes in the summer. He has been set for a first up tilt at this race. If left alone, he can reel off some very fast sectionals.
ARTLEE had no luck at all in a Group Three race last start when engaged in a bumping battle in the straight. He also has a change of jockey, with Michael Cahill taking over.
PINCH RIVER is the extreme outsider of the field and it would be impossible to have him on form. But the stable has made some gear changes and they think he will improve lengths for them. He would want to improve lengths but there has always been a wrap on him and he could sneak into the trifecta or first four placings.
TOO GOOD TO REFUSE has drawn poorly, yet again, but does have the form to win this. He is in very well at the weights and just needs some luck to get clear in the straight. His win in the Toowoomba Guineas last start showed exactly what he can do with a decent cover in the run.
I'M BELUCCI will have blinkers for the first time and should be handier in the run.
CYLINDER BEACH has won only one race but he was third in the Sires and fourth in the J J Atkins last year. If he had drawn a better barrier in the Atkins, many believe he could have finished near the winner, Press Statement. He may be a bit dour first up but is a real chance.
EAGLE WAY is also Derby bound but showed he was ready to run a big race when second first up at the Gold Coast. He is owned in Hong Kong by John Moore, who has left him in Australia to win the Derby. He is all class but this track doesn't really suit him.
FLYING LABELLE is poorly drawn and has won only one easier race. But his effort in the Toowoomba Guineas was eye catching and he has some hope at very big odds in this.
SELECTIONS: NO1 TOO GOOD TO REFUSE, NO2 I'M BELUCCI, NO5 CYLINDER BEACH, NO4 EAGLE WAY. VALUE RUNNER: NO11 FLYING LABELLE.
R8 4.23pm PERTRONIC INDUSTRIES Class 6 Plate 1350m
TRUBIA is being talked about as a possible Stradbroke Hcp horse and he has won his past five starts in great fashion. This is a test because of the big weight and the barrier isn't flash. But Trubia has always shown enormous promise and has a class edge on this field. He was a most impressive winner first up.
LORDAG looks the obvious danger as he meets Trubia better at the weights and he is well drawn. Trainer Robert Heathcote expects "to have a lot of fun with Lordag this winter" which means winning.
CANTBUYBETTER also took on Trubia first up and was a good fourth. He is better suited here and must be some chance of causing an upset.
MAHICAN is nicely weighted here and has shown ability in open company. He likes to get cover and race just off the pace. He should get that from barrier eight here.