For the second week in a row we are at Doomben, which is standing up remarkably well to a heavy workload of racing. The track has had more than 80 meetings in the past 18 months but is still racing far more truly than Eagle Farm, where it is almost impossible to predict race patterns. On Wednesday at Eagle Farm they were running slow to heavy track times on a Good 4! At least at Doomben, with the rail out 3.5 metres and a Good track, it should be the usual with on-pace horses suited early and the backmarkers coming into play as the day goes on.
QUADDIES (Races: 5-6-7-8)
WIDE QUADDIE 1-3-11-14-19/1-4-9-17/2-5-7-10-18/1-2-3-6
SKINNY QUADDIE 1-14/1-17/2-5/3
R1 12.27pm Mekka Raceday Open Handicap 2200m
These races are always hard to predict because the early pace never seems to be the same from week to week.
VIVA ESPANA was the run of the race when third in the Queensland Cup. But that was over 3200m and she gave the leaders a huge start. She won't want to try the same thing here but this does look a race she can win and she has been placed twice over 2200m recently.
REDNAV is racing very well and won the Grafton Cup last start, which is a much better race than this, but he has gone from a Class 3 horse in February to carrying 59kgs in an open in town in July.
BRAVE ALI has won 12 races including an Ipswich Cup but it has been a while between victory drinks. On the comeback trail from injury and usually it would be hard to tip a rising 10-year-old in an open handicap. If you can forgive the run in the Grafton Cup, his previous form is good enough to win this weak race.
SUPER FORCE has been okay in lesser races but this is so weak he has a real chance at good odds.
SELECTIONS: NO5 VIVA ESPANA, NO1 REDNAV, NO2 BRAVE ALI, NO7 SUPER FORCE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO7 SUPER FORCE.
R2 1.02pm Coca Cola Benchmark 85 1615m
MORE ENERGY failed at 1800m at his last start and for some reason is at big odds here, but his previous win at Doomben over 1600m was very good. He has won at 2000m but the stable believes he is much better at 1600m at this stage of his career. He does need a fast early pace and that is not certain here. With 51kgs after the 3kgs claim, this looks to be a race he can win.
HI SON has been racing in open company and was good last time. It has been a while between runs but with a 3kgs claim he might be able to lead by himself here.
DESERT GENERAL has had a few chances of late but at his best would be a top chance. He looked home last start on a bog track but was out-slogged in the final 50m. Should get the run of the race from his barrier and this looks like a race he can win.
EMERALD CITY hasn't won for a while and was a fair run in the Rockhampton Cup. But he did trial well recently and this type of race suits.
SELECTIONS: NO9 MORE ENERGY, NO2 HI SON, NO6 DESERT GENERAL.
VALUE RUNNER: NO4 EMERALD CITY.
R3 1.40pm Absolutely Fabulous the Movie QTIS Two-Years-Old Handicap 1050m
The last two-year-old QTIS bonus race of the season has attracted a capacity field.
RED HANDLE has always had a wrap on him and won a trial before he was a first-up winner at Ipswich. Isn't the best of barrier draws but for some reason since the distance of this start has been increased from 1010m to 1050m, horses can win from wider.
SPOT THE DIFF is having her 13th start and normally you would say a spell is needed. But she is as tough as old boots and is aiming for her sixth win. Not harshly treated after the 3kgs claim here and does have a nice draw.
O'REILLY CYRUS is a quality filly but the barrier and the 1050m do not suit. Watch for her running home late and she could finish over the top of them.
FRENCH JET was a very good winner in Toowoomba at only start and the stable do have a wrap on it. Nicely drawn and despite a mix-up in who was going to ride him, he has a real chance here.
REBEL MISS is from a smart NSW stable and drawn the rails here. Won a Gosford trial in the lead-up to first-up failure. Will be decent odds here.
SPIRIT AND FIRE is an expensive horse who won a Rosehill trial but is an emergency. At time of writing did not have a start but if he gets into the field will be hard to beat.
SELECTIONS: NO7 RED HANDLE, NO1 SPOT THE DIFF, NO13 O'REILLY CYRUS, NO5 FRENCH JET.
VALUE RUNNER: NO14 REBEL MISS.
R4 2.17pm Smirnoff Open Handicap 1350m
CHOICE BRO has only won one race at 1350m but races like he now wants the extra distance. He won a Listed race to start his campaign but has gradually got right down in the weights. Another who is suited by a 3kgs claim here and actually gets in under the limit.
SALUTER also has a 3kgs claim and is much better placed here than last start. He did not go one metre on the heavy track last start. Goes much better on dry tracks and could lead by himself here. Is overdue a win on a dry track.
LUCKY TOM is another who was not suited by the bog last start. He does need a track on the soft side and gets that at Doomben where he usually races well. Down on the minimum, he has a real chance here.
ALPHA BEAT has won in Listed class in the south. Now trained at Caloundra and won a trial there this month in good fashion. Will get back, which may not suit here but does have strong claims.
TIME TO PLUNDER is a funny horse as he needs everything to go his way in his races. But he can finish fast and has been around the place in much better fields. Looks good value here.
SELECTIONS: NO3 CHOICE BRO, NO2 SALUTER, NO8 LUCKY TOM, NO6 ALPHA BEAT.
VALUE RUNNER: NO7 TIME TO PLUNDER.
R5 2.57pm Moet & Chandon Chairman’s Club No Metro Handicap 1350m
MONSTER OF ENERGY looked home last start but just stopped last 50m to go under in a close photo finish on a bog track. Should be better suited here and this type of race suits him.
FREE BILLY is much travelled but is very consistent in country races. He has a big weight but this isn't much harder than the races he has contested of late. At least he is always honest.
SHOWER OF HEARTS was scratched at the barriers at Doomben and then went to the Gold Coast and won well. Stable thought it could win the Doomben race so has to be a chance here in a race where luck is going to play a major part.
ARENA SALON has always shown potential and hasn't been far away in similar races of late. Will need some luck but not the worst here with a 3kgs claim.
UMGENI won three in a row and then given no hope at all last start when a good fourth. Has a terrible draw but will be good odds because of it.
SELECTIONS: NO14 MONSTER OF ENERGY, NO1 FREE BILLY, NO11 SHOWER OF HEARTS, NO12 ARENA SALON.
VALUE RUNNER: NO3 UMGENI.
R6 3.37pm Country Music Raceday Class 3 Plate 1200m
These races have turned out to be good betting affairs as they are so open. This is another with a stack of chances, some of which are drawn badly.
SHORELINE has been racing very well in easier races. Has a 3kgs claim and a good barrier which are two major plus factors.
SLYDINI was a good second at Randwick at last start but is far better on wet tracks. If there is rain he will be hard to beat with a 3kgs claim but on a dry track be careful.
COMIC STORY is the most promising horse in the field and has been racing and trialling very well. He has an awkward barrier draw but this race looks ideal for him.
LITTLE CAPRI is very fast and should be up on the pace. The last 50m can find him out at 1200m. He is unlikely to get an easy lead but if he did would be hard to beat.
RHYME NOR RHYTHM has been going well at Toowoomba. This is harder but has drawn the rail here and should be able to get a handy sit just off the pace. Looks the best value runner.
SELECTIONS: NO17 SHORELINE, NO1 SLYDINI, NO3 COMIC STORY, NO4 LITTLE CAPRI.
VALUE RUNNER: NO9 RHYME NOR RHYTHM.
R7 4.17pm Hamilton Hotel QTIS Two and Three-Years-Old Plate 1200m
RIVER RACER has the unwanted tag of Queensland's best two-year-old maiden after some very good runs. If he is ever going to win a race this could be it as he gets in with a light weight and is one of the few chances to get a good barrier. He should be at peak fitness and does deserve a win.
MOST IMPORTANT was brave on a wet track last time and will be fitter for this.
MAGNUS COR is a class act who was scratched from another race today. He gets back in the field which is no help but there will be pace here and if he gets luck in the straight he could win this.
COLINELLE was an excellent winner last week and is obviously a chance again but he has a difficult draw for his racing style. Nevertheless, one of the top chances.
MADOTTI has just about sent us to the wall and was second again last week. Once again looked to be the winner at the 200m but just peaked. Again hasn't got the best of barriers but she is very consistent.
DYLAN’S LUCK was good last week and previously had been racing extra well. Looks like being one of Damian Browne's only rides for the day. Looks good value here.
SELECTIONS: NO16 RIVER RACE, NO2 MOST IMPORTANT, NO18 MAGNUS COR, NO 5 COLINELLE 4.
VALUE RUNNER: NO10 MADOTTI.
LEGAL PROCEDURE has been done no favours with the barrier. However, he was very good last time and didn't handle the camber at Eagle Farm when travelling like a winner. The Doomben 1600m looks suitable for him and he is down in the weights. Just needs some luck from the barrier draw.
SAGARONNE was Group One placed as a younger horse and is all class. She was scratched from a wet track recently so it is a month between runs. But on sheer class alone has to be respected here.
MR EPIC is very honest and was a good winner last start. He has a 3kgs claim here and he is a horse who always tries very hard.
SANGUINE RED was handy last time but might need a wet track. Nevertheless looks one of the better chances from a fair barrier.
ROSIE POSIE has been winning at short odds at the provincials. The efforts have been good and she does have a claim and a good barrier here. Stepping up a lot in class but does look to be one of the main chances.
SELECTIONS: NO3 LEGAL PROCEDURE, NO2 SAGARONNE, NO1 MR EPIC, NO13 SAGUINE RED.
VALUE RUNNER: NO6 ROSIE POSIE.