After the drama of Eagle Farm being blacked out for two hours on Melbourne Cup day, the return to Doomben has been almost an afterthought in racing discussions this week. But it is a good program chock full of interest and Doomben has been playing very fair. The rail is out 1.5 metres, so it usually favours frontrunners until about race three when backmarkers start coming into play. The forecast is for possible thunderstorms but Doomben is one of the best wet track surfaces in Australia.
R1 12.20pm ST VINCENT'S/MOUNT OLIVET OPEN HANDICAP 2000m
The problem with staying races in Brisbane is you can never tell at what speed they will be run.
LA SPIAGGIA should race on the pace no matter what and was going to win easily last time but didn't stay the 2200m. Much better on this track and distance.
PERPLEXITY hasn't won for a while but is down in weight and should also be handy from the jump.
AMEXED has been running in stakes races in NSW without being disgraced. He will need a strong pace here to win.
EMERALD CITY is up in class here but gets weight relief. He is another who needs a strong pace.
SELECTIONS: NO 4 LA SPIAGGIA, NO 2 PERPLEXITY, NO 1 AMEXED, NO 3 EMERALD CITY.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 2 PERPLEXITY.
R2 1.00pm DR LILIAN COOPER QTIS TWO-YEARS-OLD HANDICAP 1110m
Be very careful here as the Heinrich-Rodgers training partnership has seven of the 15 acceptors, with several of those dual acceptors.
Going to take a punt here and tip DARKTOWN STRUTTER, who has not had an official trial. He is well bred being by super sire I Am Invincible and was scratched from a recent race because of a bad barrier.
ACCEPTILE has a lot of pace and has been good at his two starts. He is obviously a chance again.
CHAMP ELECT has not had a trial but is from a smart stable and Damian Browne has been booked to ride, which is a pointer.
SHE'S SPICY is yet another who has not trialled but the stable is noted for first-up plonks on two-year-olds.
Of the Heinrich-Rodgers horses, RUN ALL NIGHT will be better for race experience last time and CABIN FEVER will improve on his trial fourth.
SELECTIONS: NO 8 DARKTOWN STRUTTER, NO 1 ACCEPTILE, NO 6 CHAMP ELECT, NO 11 SHE'S SPICY.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 4 CABIN FEVER.
R3 1.40pm ZOUKI GROUP QTIS THREE-YEARS-OLD HANDICAP 1110m
TIYATROLANI is a very promising horse who ran a smart time in winning two starts before over racing when beaten at last run before a spell. She would have been the best bet but for the barrier which is a problem. She does have the pace to overcome it.
THUNDER RAIDER could not have been more impressive in her past two wins. She is very honest. At both wins would have had a lot of excuses had she been beaten. It is the sign of a good horse.
BEAUDACIOUS was just caught on the line last start and will be finishing hard here.
ICE FROST has been a very good winner past two in easier races. A couple she has beaten have come out and won since.
There are a couple of other promising horses in the race with wraps on SAVANA AMOUR and STARCOURT.
SELECTIONS: NO 3 TIYATROLANI, NO 1 THUNDER RAIDER, NO 4 BEAUDACIOUS, NO 7 ICE FROST.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 7 ICE FROST.
R4 2.20pm THE EILEEN AND WILLIAM DUFFUS MEMORIAL F&M BENCHMARK 80 HCP 1350m
BIDII BABE has won four of her past five starts and was very strong at the finish of her last-start win at Eagle Farm. The barrier is no help but provided she gets early cover will be hard to beat.
MAMSELLE CORDAY has strong central Queensland form, which isn't normally good enough for Brisbane, but the trainer never comes South unless he thinks he has a real chance and the jockey rode his first Brisbane winner in six years last week.
KIM NOIR led and won last start but stable think she is better ridden from behind, which will happen here. She has a good each-way hope.
KALANDULA will be big odds and was never a hope last start, but she has looked on the big side at her starts this campaign and should be fitter. On old form would be in the finish.
SELECTIONS: NO 2 BIDII BABE, NO 5 MAMSELLE CORDAY, NO 11 KIM NOIR, NO 4 KALANDULA.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 4 KALANDULA.
BETTER LAND (BEST BET) wasn't exactly wonderful at his first start this area but he did win. The stable had expected him to put lengths on a Class 3 Plate field. He did win but looked like he would be improved for the effort. He has a reasonable weight for a horse with his old form in NSW and Victoria and a top jockey in Jeff Lloyd. If he is going to be a chance in the summer open class sprints he will have to win this well. They are talking about him as a sire so he needs to win many more races and most of these are midweek horses.
SELECTIONS: NO 1 BETTER LAND, NO 4 BIG DECISION, NO 11 STELLA OMBRA, NO 2 BROTHERLY SECRET.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 14 SILENTO.
R6 3.50pm SUPERIOR FOOD SERVICE CLASS 3 PLATE 1110m
A couple of horses who would have been top tips are drawn in the car-park so have gone with DENARIUS, who has always had a lot of potential but rarely has any luck in his races. He should be hard to beat from a good barrier here. He was also entered for the open handicap so it shows the stable think he is going well.
ALASSAK (BEST ROUGHIE) is a three-year-old resuming here. He was a strong winner in a good two-year-old race before spelling and he has been working very well. If he gets a relatively easy lead he will be hard to beat.
SAILOR GERRI has been good at the provincials and this isn't much harder. As always with this stable, watch the betting closely.
POWERFUL SAGA has the top jockey and a good barrier. He is racing well and should sit just off the pace here.
JOMARS ELEMENT has been most consistent and has a claim here.
SELECTIONS: NO 3 DENARIUS, NO 13 ALASSAK, NO 14 SAILOR GERRI, NO 8 POWERFUL SAGA.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 13 ALASSAK.
R7 4.35pm QUEENSLAND X-RAY OPEN HANDICAP 1110m
This is the hardest race for some time with a heap of chances including in-form horses and also a lot of good horses resuming.
We went with HARD STRIDE, who has been racing well and isn't harshly treated after in-form Rebecca Williams’ three kilos claim. He seems to find one or two a bit stronger at the end of his races but Doomben looks his best track.
FLYING RIDDLE will be a long way off them in the middle stages but can get home hard. He does like this distance. He doesn't win many but with the pace on is a real chance here.
PROMPT RETURN has been most honest and a good winner last time. He just has a tricky barrier here.
WICKED INTENT was also very good first-up but another with a bad barrier.
The value runner might be ANOTHER WHISKEY, who was handy last time and goes well second-up.
SELECTIONS: NO2 HARD STRIDE, NO 11 FLYING RIDDLE, NO 6 PROMPT RETURN, NO 9 WICKED INTENT.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 14 ANOTHER WHISKEY.
R8 5.15pm MISS MARY BEDFORD CLASS 6 PLATE 1600m
It takes a bit to stun us but the early price of EMPHASIS (NEXT BEST BET) represented very good odds, to say the least. He looks to be about three times his right odds but we have been caught before. He does look hard to beat in a very competitive field. He was a good winner at the Sunshine Coast last start and the 1600m around Doomben should suit. Leading jockey Jeff Lloyd had the choice of several horses here and elected to ride him. He races near the pace so the barrier is a big plus. He ran some good races against some class horse at his previous campaign; he was beaten a nose by top galloper Mr Epic the last time he ran at the Doomben 1600m. In other words, we will be very disappointed if he isn't in the finish.
SELECTIONS: NO 11 EMPHASIS, NO 13 PRIVLAKA, NO 10 DREAM FINNISH, NO 3 L'ENTRECOTE.
VALUE RUNNER: NO 8 SECRET HARMONY.