Race 1 - 11:15am
Pullman Brisbane Airport Hotel Handicap (1200m)
This is a tough way to start the day for punters and there are a host of winning chances in what is a very open contest. The fact that there are 13 horses between the $5.50 and $19 range shows just how open an affair this is and it is a race that is tough to bet into with any real confidence.
There doesn’t looked to be a great amount of speed in this contest and Michael Murphy will have the chance to get a fairly soft lead on Saipan. This is a step-up in class and his record at Doomben isn’t great, but the speed map really does look good and he is worth a gamble at his current price.,
1 Unit Saipan
Race 2 - 11:50pm
LED Superscreens Handicap (1600m)
The market suggests that this is a three-way race between A Shin Rook, Savwell and Divine Unicorn and they do look to be the standouts. A Shin Rook made his Australian racing debut with a very comfortable win at the Sunshine Coast and he still has plenty of scope to improve on that performance. The only issue for him is the wide barrier draw and it is unknown where he will get to in the run, but there is little doubt that he is the class galloper in this field.
Divine Unicorn produced a career best performance to win at the Gold Coast first-up and he has now recorded three wins from his five career starts. He maps to get a much better run in transit than A Shin Rook and he is the main danger. I don’t want to lose on the race if he is able to get the job done.
Update: The scratching of A Shin Rook leaves Divine Unicorn as the clear top-pick in this race and he now looks like one of the best bets of the weekend.
3 Units Divine Unicorn
Race 3 - 12:25pm
Canadian Club Handicap (1350m)
This is another race where there are a stack of winning chances. Emsie Is A Star is now assured a run following a couple of early scratchings and she has impressed in her two race starts this preparation. She will take up the running from the inside barrier and should get a fairly soft lead in a race that doesn’t have a great deal of pace. This is a step-up in class for Emsie Is A Star, but she is over the odds at her current price of $11 in what is an open race.
1 Unit Emsie Is A Star
Race 4 - 1:00pm
Listed Bill Carter Stakes (1200m)
Sizzling Belle didn’t have a great deal of luck when she was beaten in the Champagne Classic last weekend and she has been well-backed to bounce back this weekend. There is no doubt that she is a filly with ability and one of the leading contenders, but I can’t get her as short as her current price.
Eawase showed a lovely turn-of-foot when she recorded a maiden race win at Royal Randwick last start and there is no doubt that she is a progressive filly. She has drawn towards the outside of this field, but that shouldn’t be that big an issue and she will get back anyway. Mark Zahra is a hoop that is excellent form and you always have to respect Team Snowden when they send a horse to Queensland for the Winter Carnival.
1.5 Units Eawase
Race 5 - 1:40pm
Listed Chief De Beers (1050m)
This is a competitive edition of the Chief De Beers and there are a number of horses that you can make a case for. The horse that appeals at double-figure odds is Darren Weir-trained Gun Case. This is the weakest race that he has contested in some time and he should take plenty of benefit from his first-up performance. He is a genuine 1000 metres specialist and Weir would not have sent him to Queensland if he wasn’t going well. The $16 that is currently available is well and truly over the odds.
1 Unit Gun Case
Race 6 - 2:20pm
JRA Plate (1200m)
Chauffeur has not been seen at the races since he finished at the tail of the field in the Roman Consul Stakes and he has not won a race since he was a two-year-old, but he does look well-placed in this contest. His best form does give him a clear class edge over the rest of this field and he is a horse that generally does race well fresh. Josh Parr will settle him in the second half of this field, but he will be storming home late.
1.5 Units Chauffeur
Race 7 - 3:00pm
Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m)
Test The World has chased home Anatola in her two race starts this preparation and she gets her chance without her rival in the BRC Sprint. The majority of the BRC Sprint field do look to have reached their level and Test The World still has plenty of upside. She will make her own luck right on the speed from the inside barrier draw and she will have every possible chance to return to winning form.
Tougherthantherest has strung together three wins on the trot and there is every chance that he could go to another level now that he has been transferred to the care of Chris Waller. The wide barrier draw is not ideal and that is why that he is available at double-figure odds, but he is a horse with plenty of ability and is definitely one to follow.
2.5 Units Test The World
1 Unit Tougherthantherest
Race 8 - 3:40pm
Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m)
The withdrawal of Gailo Chop has really opened up the Doomben Cup and it is a very competitive race. The Hollindale Stakes is always the key form reference and Oregon’s Day could hardly have been more impressive, but it is fair to say that she did get a lovely run in transit and a number of her rivals had no luck in running whatsoever.
Robbie Fradd gave Comin’ Through a shocking ride in the Hollindale Stakes and he was entitled to knock-up like he did in the concluding stages. If you put the pen through that run, the form of Comin’ Through has been outstanding and a repeat of his effort in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes would make him very tough to beat. He has drawn wide once again and will need luck, but Michael Walker does have a good record on the Fastnet Rock. The $10 in an open race does appeal.
1 Unit Comin’ Through
Race 9 - 4:20pm
Listed Bright Shadow Quality (1200m)
Anatola has gone to another level this preparation and she does look like the good thing of the day in the Bright Shadow Quality. She returned to the races with a smart effort at Royal Randwick and she was even more impressive when she led from start to finish to win the Silk Stocking at the Gold Coast last start. Josh Parr will take her straight to the front in the early stages of this contest and there is no reason that she can’t continue her winning ways.
5 Units Anatola