This is the second Doomben meeting in three days, but the track has been holding up well. The rail is out a further two metres to four metres but that should make little difference. There are showers about in Brisbane, but Doomben is probably the best drying track in Queensland, if not Australia, at the moment. The track should be good.
HARD STRIDE hasn't won for 18 months but he is a stakes winner in Melbourne. Failed at his only two starts this area in April but was far from disgraced. He has since had a spell and two solid jump outs in Toowoomba. He has a three kilos claim and is very well drawn here. Looks the one to beat.
SALUTER is the other class runner in this field. He has been scratched a few times of late because of wet tracks. He is back in distance here but with a three kilos claim. He does look very well-placed on his best form.
ESPIRITU has been disappointing lately but she is a class mare on her day. She gets down in the weights here and has barrier one. This is a weak open handicap and if she can get anywhere near her best she would be very hard to beat.
FLYING RIDDLE is a funny horse because he needs everything to go his way, but if he gets a solid early speed and can get to the outside in the straight he can finish very quickly. He has a bad barrier and an unfashionable rider, so will be big odds.
SELECTIONS: NO2 HARD STRIDE, NO1 SALUTER, NO4 ESPIRITU, NO5 FLYING RIDDLE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO5 FLYING RIDDLE.
R2 12.52pm Bartercard Country Cup Special Conditions Handicap 1200m
As would be expected from a race which is for recent non-city winners, this is very hard to line up.
However, MISHANI GLADIATOR is a last-start winner at Dingo, a country track in central Queensland. He has won at some strong racing centres and as a younger horse he won at Doomben, beating the subsequent Magic Millions Classic winner Real Surreal. If he is anywhere near that form, he should win this.
ROBERT'S COMMAND won three races in a row on country tracks before a spell. He has won twice when first-up and looks to be the main danger here.
SHOULDA TO SHOULDA won three races on dirt tracks in his latest form but does have some grass form. The stable is one which rarely comes to the city unless they have some chance.
BIZARRE ROCK is a prolific placegetter who deserves a win. He will be at value odds and is nicely placed with a three kilos claim.
HEROIC ACTION will be in the market and was good at Toowoomba last start. He should go in the multiple bets.
SELECTIONS: NO2 MISHANI GLADIATOR, NO5 ROBERT'S COMMAND, NO7 SHOULDA TO SHOULDA, NO10 BIZARRE ROCK.
VALUE RUNNER: NO10 BIZARRE ROCK.
R3 1.27pm Integrapay Open Handicap 2200m
CRAMMING was a fast-finishing second at Doomben two weeks ago at 2000m. He is now out to his pet distance of 2200m and he beat some quality horses at the track and distance earlier this year. Just watch out it doesn't rain too much as he wants a dry track, but he should be very hard to beat.
MY DIAMANTINE was good in the Queensland Cup back in July and his only run since was a solid finishing third at this track two weeks ago. Back out to 2200m, he has to be given a very good hope.
PANNO ROSSA may have found the track too hard last time when he was fourth, but his previous form was solid and he is much better off back out to 2200m. He hasn't been well treated at the weights against some of this field but he should get the run of the race from the inside barrier to offset that.
ANTON EN AVANT has won his past two starts at 2200m, but both at Eagle Farm. However, he has won at this track and is down in the weights, which should suit.
RANKED is well-placed here after a three kilos claim and will carry only 51kgs. He is fitter for recent racing and he did race in good company earlier in the year. His form at 2200m is solid.
SELECTIONS: NO6 CRAMMING, NO5 MY DIAMANTINE, NO3 PANNO ROSSA, NO7 ANTON EN AVANT.
VALUE RUNNER: NO9 RANKED.
R4 2.07pm Super Butcher Qtis Three-years-old Handicap 1200m
RINGO'S A ROCKSTAR (BEST BET) won a trial brilliantly and then lived up to that with his last-start Doomben win. He looks very well placed here with a 3kgs claim. As the winner of two races, it means he is meeting most of the field better at the weights. Also, he is drawn at barrier three, which means he can either lead or take a sit just behind the pace. There are big plans for RINGO'S A ROCKSTAR next year and he should justify that line of thought in this. This is a hard race to make a special but some of his main rivals have a few things against them.
SELECTIONS: NO1 RINGO'S A ROCKSTAR, NO4 MYMANCHARLES, NO9 ANOTHER SLIPPER, NO2 BAGUS.
VALUE RUNNER: NO10 THUNDER RAIDER.
R5 2.43pm PFD Foods BenchMark 85 Handicap 1200m
This is by far the best race of the day and therefore there are plenty of chances.
SONY LEGEND was far too good at Eagle Farm at his last start and has always shown ability. His second-up record is very strong and he is a two-time winner this track. From the inside barrier he does look to be one of the main players. Also, his jockey Larry Cassidy is desperate to re-establish himself in the city after a long injury lay-off and this is his chance.
BIG TREE is almost a professional runner-up but there is no doubt he is a class horse. He has run second to some of the best horses in Queensland and had no luck in the process. He is resuming here and has trialled solidly twice at the Gold Coast in the lead-up to this. He hasn't won first-up but has been second twice (what a shock).
LAND OFFICE was brilliant last start and demolished an easier field running a very fast time. He is again suited at the weight scale.
ROYAL OCCASION needs everything to go his way in his races as he often gives away a big start, but this will be the lightest weight he has carried in a while and one thing for sure is that there will be plenty of pace here.
PROMPT RETURN won the Maribynong Plate as a two-year-old and has been getting back to something like that form. He has been most impressive his past two starts with wins this area. This is his biggest test to date but looks to be a definite hope and should be value odds.
SELECTIONS: NO6 SONY LEGEND, NO4 BIG TREE, NO13 LAND OFFICE, NO7 ROYAL OCCASION.
VALUE RUNNER: NO11 PROMPT RETURN.
R6 3.22pm Heaton Ferns & Anthuriums Fillies And Mares Class 6 Plate 1350m
PEPPERANO is gradually getting back to her form from two seasons ago when she was rated among Queensland's best two-year-olds. She has run second at both her starts since a spell and has a light weight here. She is drawn to get the run of the race.
PIENKNA is another who is getting back to her best and was a strong last-start winner. The wide barrier is no help here but she might be able to get across and get cover. The stable has always rated her a future stakes winner so class might tell.
ACTION BUTTON was a good third this track last start in easier company. She has drawn perfectly for her racing style and has the top jockey in Jeff Lloyd. She should be in the fight for a long way.
SECRET PUZZLE won in a trot last start at Eagle Farm and has been in good form at the Sunshine Coast as well. The big question is whether she is up to this class on a dry track as she is very good in the wet (which she got last start).
TALTARNI (Roughie) has been only battling in Sydney of late. But this is more to her liking and the stable has a very good strike rate in Brisbane. Looks a value hope here.
It is hard to know what to make of SEA RED, who yet again failed at Eagle Farm last start. This is her best track and distance but hard to tip her on top because she needs everything, and we mean everything, to go her way.
R7 4.02pm Connected Australia Colts, Geldings And Entires Class 6 Plate 1350m
MONSIEUR GUSTAVE steps up in class here but does look promising. Ran a slick time in his last-start win and drops substantially in weight here. He should be able to race in the lead or on the pace again. Many of his main rivals won't have the same luxury.
MOST IMPORTANT is also down in the weights. Forget last start when didn't handle Eagle Farm. He also likes to run on the pace and has a strong jockey on board.
MAN OF HIS WORD again has a horror barrier. He has been crying out to win a race like this but he will again need a stack of luck from the barrier. There are few horses who can finish as quickly but he is often giving away a huge start. If he has any luck he will be in the finish.
LEGENDARY LUKE is another with a heap of potential and he will be a lot fitter for his first-up run at Eagle Farm. He looked the winner in that race at the 250m but stopped. There will be pace in this race and he will be finishing hard.
BEAUMARIS was a good winner at Ipswich and then should have won last start. This is much harder but he has claim and if they go silly in the early part of the race he can finish quickly.
SELECTIONS: NO12 MONSIEUR GUSTAVE, NO13 MOST IMPORTANT, NO11 MAN OF HIS WORD, NO7 LEGENDARY LUKE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO3 BEAUMARIS.
R8 4.42pm 4 Real Milk Benchmark 75 Handicap 1615m
SILENTO (Next Best Bet) looked disappointing at the Sunshine Coast after a good first-up win at Doomben his previous start, but he is a horse who needs early pace in his races and they walked at the Sunshine Coast. It was impossible for him to win the way the race was run. His trainer Rob Heathcote has made no secret of the fact he rates SILENTO very highly. His failures in races are when he wants to pull because of no pace. He has a Group One jockey in Damian Browne, who is noted for getting his mounts to settle and he has the right distance. This will be a good betting race, so he will be at nice odds and does appeal strongly.
SELECTIONS: NO13 SILENTO, NO14 BOUND FOR LOVE, NO6 REVITALISE, NO9 FUSINA.
VALUE RUNNER: NO6 REVITALISE.