It is the final week of the carnival section at Doomben and the rail has been moved out to four metres. It is the sequence they follow every year and usually it means the track will play very evenly. The weather forecast is for fine weather all week and the track will be dry and good. They have been running very fast times but jockeys say there is still a good cushion on it.
Race One - AMBASSADOR TRAVEL BENCHMARK 95 HANDICAP (1200M)
FINE MIST was scratched from a stakes race last week to be saved for this. Her Sydney form is very strong for a race like this. She has won twice second up and she handles all types of tracks and should not be disadvantaged by the tight Doomben circuit.
LE VAL would be in the final for the unluckiest horse ever to race in Queensland. He has had more injury problems than a rugby union winger and luck has deserted him completely in his recent starts. He has been wide, held up for a run and checked among other problems. This is the easiest race he has been in for a while, there should be pace and he should be running home very hard.
SALUTER has won in much better company than this but has never really lived up to his early potential. He won a $1 million race at the Gold Coast as a three-year-old. But he should either lead or sit on the pace so he is a chance here.
ROCK ROYALITY has broken 1.8 for 1200m but he needs everything to go his way. He needs a dry track and a breakneck early speed. He can also sweat up badly before his races.
SLOTS has won in good company on this track and is a hope at odds.
SELECTIONS: No5 FINE MIST, No4 LE VAL, No1 SALUTER, No 3 ROCK ROYALITY.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 SLOTS.
Race Two - SUEZ QUEENSLAND DAY STAKES QTIS THREE-YEARS-OLD PLATE (1200M)
MOGADOR fits the bill and he was very good in a handy race at Scone last time. This isn't any harder and he has the top jockey here.
ROEINDA is from the in-form Bjorn Baker stable and while stepping up in class does look promising. She also raced well at Scone.
BAROOD comes out of the same Scone race as Mogador and there wasn't much between them. He did trial very well before that start and will be fitter here.
MOST IMPORTANT has been gelded and that might make a real horse of him. He hasn't been far off some very good horses during his career. You would see few horses who sweat as badly before races as he does but he does show plenty of fight. The only problem is the outside barrier with plenty of pace drawn inside him. Perhaps being gelded will correct his pre-race nerves.
KAMACITE is one to keep an eye on as he has won his past two starts and is a lovely horse. But he could be a really nice horse if they ever geld him!
SELECTIONS: No2 MOGADOR, No10 ROEINDA, No5 BAROOD, No1 MOST IMPORTANT.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 KAMACITE.
Race Three - GLENLOGAN PARK STAKES (1350M)
GHISONI has a huge wrap on her from Sydney and does look the winner here against a solid field of fillies and mares. The stable was considering running her in the Doomben 10000 and the Stradbroke is still an option.
TRAVESTON GIRL was Group One placed as a three-year-old in the Thousand Guineas and has since won in stakes company. She was well beaten into second place in a trial behind Stradbroke favourite Azkadellia but she slipped at the start and she did finish in front of some very good horses in the trial. She will race on the pace.
AMICUS is a typical runner from the Chris Waller stable. She is very tough and should handle the big weight here. She is a Group One winner although hasn't raced right up to that form in recent times.
JUST A BLUR has a very strong finish. She has been racing in handy company and there will be pace here which suits. She is probably the best value in the race.
SELECTIONS: No8 GHISONI, No6 TRAVESTON GIRL, No1 AMICUS, No5 JUST A BLUR.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 JUST A BLUR.
Race Four - CHANNEL SEVEN PREMIER'S CUP (2200M)
REAL LOVE was lucky to win last start in the eyes of some experts but it was still a dominate win. There is no doubt she had the luck while Sir John Hawkwood had none. But Real Love appeared to have the race won at the 200m and looked to have something up her sleeve. She is even better suited here at 2200m.
HONEY TOAST didn't accept for the Doomben Cup last week to race in this. He was a good winner in the Toowoomba Cup and then he was excellent at big odds in the Hollindale Cup. Honey Toast was caught very deep and made a long run. There is no doubt with any luck he would have finished a lot closer to some class horses.
JUNOOB looked like he would need the run last time when he was fourth and that is how it panned out. He will be a lot fitter and Blake Shinn has stuck with him rather than Rudy.
RUDY is another who will really appreciate the 2200m. Rudy is better known as a miler having won a Villiers and been close up in a Doncaster. But he appears to want a distance now and hopefully will be ridden back in the field. In his only crack at 2400m, he was ridden to lead and had no chance.
Race Five - MITAVITE BRC SIRES' PRODUCE STAKES QTIS TWO-YEARS-OLD PLATE (1350M)
ATTENTION was very good last time when second and will be much better this distance. He hasn't got top-class southern form but he looks a horse who has been brought to Queensland to mature.
SACRED ELIXIR has very strong Kiwi form and was extremely good at his first Queensland run when won at the Sunshine Coast. He sat deep but came away and demolished a pretty handy field although there were no stakes horses in it. However, even the stable are worried about him around Doomben at this distance. They believe he is a top chance at 1600m in the J J Atkins at Eagle Farm in two weeks’ time. But he might still be too classy here.
CANDIKA was third in the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic and is one of a few fillies to get anywhere near the winner Capitalist who went on to win the Golden Slipper. She has been dogged by bad barriers her two runs since a spell. The 1350m will suit her very well and she is much better drawn here.
SOUCHEZ is a class Sydney horse who is favourite for the J J Atkins. Whether Doomben will suit is a major question but does look a major player.
NIKITAS ran second in the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic and is the forgotten horse of the race. He has always been marked as a miler but he could run over the top of these late with luck.
Race Six - PROGRAMMED PROPERTY SERVICES LORD MAYOR'S CUP (1615M)
HOPFGARTEN does look very well placed here at the weights. He loves 1600m and you can forget his second up run because he hates the Gold Coast. Go on his first up win in stakes company.
WORTHY CAUSE is a solid performer who has won in stakes company in Melbourne. His two runs from a spell both indicated he would be getting fitter and would want at least 1600m. He gets the right conditions here.
JUMBO PRINCE was very game when a dead heat winner in the Members Cup last start. He looked sure to win but was caught right on the line. The only problem is his barrier which can be deadly from this start. He will need luck.
AMOVATIO has been racing extremely well at the big NSW provincial races. He has plenty of weight but he is probably the class runner of the field.
AKAVOROUN caught the eye in a trail last week. He went around about 10 deep but kept coming. He can race well here.
Race Seven - JAMES BOAG'S PREMIUM DOOMBEN 10,000 (1350M)
DELECTATION does look very well placed in what is not the strongest Doomben. He is a Group One winner and he was most unlucky in the BTC Cup at his last start. He was flying home when he ran out of room in the straight. If he gets to the outside here with plenty of pace on, and there will be, he should finish over the top of these.
AZKADELLIA is a quality mare who won a Group One at her last start and then trialled very well last week at Eagle Farm. She will be hard to beat but you get the impression she is really here for the Stradbroke in two weeks’ time. There appears no chance of rain and that would have been a bonus.
DOTHRAKI looked certain to win the BTC Cup but just peaked near the line. If he is ever going to win a Group One, this could be it. The race should be run to suit and he has worked well.
FELL SWOOP was pretty well dealt with last start but he should be better placed at the 1350m. He has had a long campaign but he does have form around the very best horses.
DIVINE CENTURI is the extreme outsider of the field but don't leave her out of the exotics. Her trainer, Stuart Kendrick, is very conservative and he wouldn't have her here if he thought it would be an embarrassment. She has shown very good form in restricted class and she will be up on the pace.
Race Eight - MULLINS LAWYERS GRAND PRIX STAKES QTIS THREE-YEARS-OLD PLATE (2200M)
MACKINTOSH has been devastating on his past two starts. They keep saying they want to ride him from behind but he has gone to the front and just demolished the field. He should run 2200m and he looks the one to beat in two weeks in the Derby.
EAGLE WAY has been chipping away and getting fitter for the 2400m of the Derby. He looks well placed here and probably should have run second behind Mackintosh last time.
CYLINDER BEACH has been very good in every start he has had. He has always indicated he could win a middle distance race. There is no doubt he will be much better at Eagle Farm but he does handle Doomben and will be in the finish again.
BRAZEN was very game in the Rough Habit Plate when forced to make a long deep run. If he can get some cover he does look like a horse who can win a good race.
HARVARD only won a race on a Tuesday at Geelong last time but there is a big wrap on him. He looks the value runner here.