The rail is in the true position at Doomben on the first Group One day of the Brisbane winter carnival. The weather has been patchy and it will hopefully stick to the forecast of no rain, meaning the track will be good. Two weeks ago at Doomben, the track developed fast lanes and it may again be wise to look for horses up near the pace on the early part of the day.
R1 12.15pm GREEN OPTIONS RACING QTIS Three-Years-Old Handicap 1050m
SECRET SAGA looks suited here from the good barrier draw but in her case it is provided she jumps with the field. She was third in an open company stakes race last time and probably should have nearly won. Don't take silly odds because she can be slow to jump and there is a field of fliers here.
DIVINE CENTURI was scratched from the Gold Coast last Saturday because she was drawn very wide. It was a smart move as the race turned out but she gets her chance here in a weaker event. She probably wants 1200m now but if she can be within a few lengths of them at the 200m, she will be hard to beat.
BLUE DESERT MOON suffered her first defeat in five starts last time but she was injured just after the start. Forget that run and go on her previous form. She has the pace out of the barriers to lead these.
LA DOLCE VITA trialled very well against a hot field before her first up effort when she knocked up in the straight. She will be a lot fitter here and Doomben suits her much better. She should be able to get a sit just off the pace here.
ALL TROOPS could be the best roughie and has been racing very well at the provincial tracks. He has a very good barrier draw and should get the run of the race.
SELECTIONS: No2 SECRET SAGA, No3 DIVINE CENTURI, No4 BLUE DESERT MOON, No6 LA DOLCE VITA. VALUE RUNNER: No9 ALL TROOPS.
R2 12.51pm CRISCON COMMERCIAL + INDUSTRIAL CONSTRUCTION Class 6 Plate 1110m
ANOTHER WHISKEY has been in career-best form with two brilliant wins at his past two starts and he has drawn the rails here. He should get the run of the race and he doesn't look harshly weighted. Connections are looking at the Queensland Lightning if he can win.
COURT MARTIAL MISS was very well backed last start but had no luck at all. On her day she would be very hard to hold out here and especially at the weights. There is a stack of pace, as you would expect, and that is a plus for her.
UPSTART PRIDE is always capable of winning a race such as this but you have to catch him on the right day. He can get stirred up behind the barriers and then want to over-race.
LADY JETSETTER missed the start last time and had to come from a mile back. She was previously racing on the pace in her races and if she jumps, she is well placed here.
SELECTIONS: No2 ANOTHER WHISKEY, No12 COURT MARTIAL MISS, No6 UPSTART PRIDE, No7 LADY JETSETTER. VALUE RUNNER: No12 COURT MARTIAL MISS.
R3 1.26pm LED SUPER SCREENS BenchMark 85 Handicap 1350m
ELEGANT COMPOSURE is heading for her seventh win from seven starts. She will get beaten one day but again she looks beautifully placed here. The distance is ideal at this stage of her campaign and she isn't harshly weighted. The barrier is no help but she is so adaptable she can be ridden from just about any place in the field.
GOTYACOVERED scored an upset win last start but it was an impressive effort. The only problem might be that he was in a fast lane on the day. He has a claim here and should be able to get across to get cover from a tricky alley. But a repeat of his last run will see him in the finish.
DESERT GENERAL can find a way to get beaten but his run in stakes company last start was very good. He needs things to go his way in races but if they do he will be hard to hold out.
MAGIC DALLAS can hit the line hard but always seems to find one better. But he does have good second up form and had a nice effort here last start when he had little luck.
SELECTIONS: No7 ELEGANT COMPOSURE, No4 GOTYACOVERED, No15 DESERT GENERAL, No10 MAGIC DALLAS. VALUE RUNNER: No10 MAGIC DALLAS.
R4 2.06pm JRA CUP (2016) PRESENTED BY JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION 2000m
SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD was scratched from the Hollindale last week to tackle this easier race. His Sydney form is solid and he does look well placed here.
REAL LOVE is a class act and his Melbourne form has been good. Real Love is better at longer distances but this isn't the strongest staying race of recent times.
LOCK’S LEGEND has finally got down in the weights. He won five in a row last year and paid the price with the handicappers. He has a strong final burst which should see him much better placed with the minimum weight here.
OPINION is much better placed here at the 2000m. Again probably wants it a bit further but does look to have claims in this field.
SELECTIONS: No3 SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD, No6 REAL LOVE, No7 LOCK’S LEGEND, No2 OPINION VALUE RUNNER: No7 LOCK’S LEGEND.
TIYATROLANI has won her only two starts at Ipswich and Doomben by big margins. She is very fast out of the barriers and has the perfect barrier draw. She is bred to be a handy miler so the step up to 1200m should be no problem for her.
WINNING RUPERT has plenty of pace but he will need it from the outside barrier. If he can get across and take a sit just off the pace, he will be very hard to beat. Winning Rupert was green at his only start when a Sunshine Coast winner and will be a lot wiser this time.
DREAMS APLENTY has a very big wrap on him and was a bit unlucky behind Winning Rupert at the Sunshine Coast and protested unsuccessfully. The step up to 1200m is a plus and the stable rates him as their best two-year-old. It is saying something because the stable has won 10 two-year-olds this season.
CANDIKA has had a run back and she is another who will relish the distances as they get longer.
R6 3.26pm SINGAPORE TURF CLUB TROPHY (MEMBERS' HANDICAP) 1600m
BEWHATYOUWANNABE is very good at the 1600m distance and has won three times at the track and distance. He has developed into a stakes horse of late, winning two black type races at 1600m. Bewhatyouwannabe doesn't look harshly weighted in this race and he is drawn to get the run of the race. He looks the best each way bet of the day.
BRETTAN will be good odds and he does have a tricky barrier. But he should go forward here and he is on the minimum. His last start win at Doomben was very good and he looked to have improvement in him.
RUDY is the key to this race. He hasn't won since the 2014 Villiers in Sydney. His recent trip to Sydney produced some solid if not outstanding form. There is no doubt Rudy is a superior horse on rain affected tracks. He shouldn't get that here and he has 59kgs. But on class alone he has to be given some hope of winning.
JUMBO PRINCE would be the top tip after an eye-catching last start third. But he seems to struggle at the Doomben 1600m, which is strange for a Derby placegetter as a three-year-old. He has had three goes at the Doomben mile and never run a place. But he has won at Doomben and he deserves one more chance in this type of race.
FELL SWOOP is one horse who is in form and has been proven recently at weight for age. He has a tricky barrier but, provided there is plenty of pace, and there should be, he will get his chance for cover in the run. The stable reports he has done a lot better since his narrow Victory Stakes win and he should just about get away with this race.
SACRED STAR is over for his third carnival from New Zealand. He has raced well here on occasions and probably should have won the past two Stradbroke Handicaps. Things went against him both times. He is not getting any younger but does look one of the class acts in this field as a dual Group One winner.
DELECTATION is another class act and he is at the right distance range for this stage of his campaign. He has won two recent trials in handy fashion and he probably would have been the top tip except for his bad barrier. He will want some luck from out there.
JAPONISME is another genuine Group One horse and his last win was a good pointer. He is one horse who has an ideal barrier draw and should get the run of the race.
CHARLIE BOY is a length below being a Group One horse but gets his chance to win one here. He is a very good fresh horse and is noted for winning at good odds. The stable have set him for this race and they won it last year with Hot Snitzel. He looks to be the best roughie.
SELECTIONS: No2 FELL SWOOP, No5 SCARED STAR, No1 DELECTATION, No11 JAPONISME. VALUE RUNNER: No7 CHARLIE BOY.
CYLINDER BEACH was most impressive first up in winning the Gunsynd Classic. He is a horse which is proven in Group One company and many thought he would have been hard to beat in the Australian Derby, if he had gone to Sydney in the autumn. He was saved for the Queensland Derby and looks right on course.
ESCHIELE is from the Godolphin stable and has won well in easier races in NSW at his past two starts. He is bred to run a trip and looks a nice horse. We will be a lot wiser about his Derby hopes after Saturday.
EAGLE WAY has always indicated he would stay and forget his second up run when had no luck in the Gunsynd Classic. He wasn't far away and he will be much better suited here.
MACKINTOSH is much the same as Eschiele as he was very good landing a plunge in an easier race last start. He shows a ton of promise but we will again be a lot wiser about him after Saturday's race.
FLYING LABELLE is going to win a good race one day but whether it is Saturday remains to be seen. His recent runs from bad barriers have been very good. This time he has the draw to be handy the whole way. He looks the best rough chance here and probably of the day.
SELECTIONS: No2 CYLINDER BEACH, No8 ESCHIELE, No 3 EAGLE WAY, No 6 MACKINTOSH. VALUE RUNNER: No13 FLYING LABELLE.