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By Darren Winningham | Thursday, August 2, 2018

Doomben this week. The track is rated “GOOD” (Thursday afternoon) and the rail will 5 metres out the entire course this weekend.

As I am keeping warm and getting a suntan in Darwin I am going to keep it brief this week.

Time to review the meeting.

NB: As this form assessment was made prior to race-day, please check final fields and track conditions for any changes on the day.

Race 1

Tough race to start the day over 1050 metres.

A small field with the Rex Lipp trained Red Stina (3) tipped to break her maiden status in this race.

The likely challengers must be the pair from the Scott Morrisey stables on the Gold Coast – Pumps (1) and Lucap (2).

Lucap (2) comes off a nice win over 1200 metres last start at the Coast and Pumps (2) ran a great race here over the mile when just being grabbed on the line by Miss Quaintly after leading all the way.

Short and sweet for this race!

Selections: 3-1-2-4


Race 2

A large field here to contest a BM 70 sprint.

I have looked to the bottom of the field here for my chances.

Toby Edmonds trains Linlithgow (11) who returned with a solid win at the Gold Coast three weeks ago. She likes to lead and I think, drawn handy in barrier 6, she should be hard to run down.

Tony Gollan who won the Brisbane Trainers Premiership for 2017/18 (well done Tony and team Gollan) has Divine Messenger (14) engaged. She doesn’t win too often but seems to be very consistent in finding a placing.

Mel Eggleston has Licitra (15) resuming here. This mare has a lot of ability but has been plagued by injury. She had had 7 months off racing after winning first up on her home track at the Gold Coast back in January this year. She always runs well fresh and loves genuine tempo in her races. She will get that here.

La Vida Loca (18) from the Schweida stable is third up here. She could just pop up now she has had few runs under her belt for her new stable.

Overall a tough race.

Selections: 11-14-15-18 rough chances 3 & 5


Race 3

One of these glorious distance races – where each week we seem to have a different winner.

Endless Days (1) led the field last weekend. I am not sure whether this was a change of tactics or just that he would not settle. He is best ridden off the speed – so overlook the run.

Shotacross the Bow (5) looked the winner three times in the straight two weeks ago but was just beaten. I think he gets his chance to return to the winners stall this weekend.

Glen Ord (7) was well supported last start at Grafton for the Diane Murphy yards when beaten by Brilliant Jet who won here last weekend.

Lope De Lope (9) won over the Grafton Carnival – only over 1700 metres but looked like he would get the longer distance. She will settle off them and if the Jenny Graham trained mare from Port Macquarie can let down fast she could prove a knock out chance here.

Selections: 5-7-1-9


Race 4

The Tim Bell Memorial Handicap. In memory of a wonderful talent who was taken from us too early. We really didn’t get to see the best of this young man in the saddle.

Just Orm (13) from the Gollan Racing team resumes here and has won a recent trial at Deagon. He always races well fresh and $7 represents good each way value for mine. Stable jockey Jim Byrne is aboard.

Time To Torque (10) is trained by Gary Doughty on the Gold Coast. He normally races well fresh and despite no barrier trials I expect him to be competitive here this weekend. Ironically – Gary bred this Show A Heart gelding.

Tarzan (3) is the likely leader again this weekend. He has been well supported from $9 to $5.50 since the markets have opened. Jackson Murphy’s claim here will assist his chances. With the rail out so far this weekend he may just get out in front and give nothing else a chance.

Toby Edmonds and Jimmy Orman combine with Prompt Return (4) who is probably due to show something – he is the dark horse of the field.

Selections: 13-10-3-4 rough chance 9


Race 5

An Open class race over the mile.

Sabkhat (1) led here last weekend over 1350 metres and held them off. He is on a quick back up. Not sure if he will appreciate this. But with the rail out so far if leaders are kicking on and winning he may be a good choice.

No Annamossity (2) was terrific in the Tatt’s Mile and that’s probably not a bad form line for this race. Matthew McGillivray is aboard again for the run and despite the increase in weight looks well placed here by Rob Heathcote.

I like the chances of Honour ‘N’ Strength (9) who was solid at Grafton last start. He got back and out of his ground before storming home out wide and being narrowly beaten over 1400 metres. Melissa Leitch trains this gelding and on that run, it would suggest the mile may suit him this weekend.

Matthew Dunn trains Contralto (10) who was narrowly beaten at Grafton in the Mother’s Girt won by the Chris Anderson trained Romney’s Choice. On that occasion she took a while to wind up and then powered to the line just going down by a small margin. This weekend the mile will suit and with some speed on in the race she could be the one to show up at some nice odds.

Selections: 2-9-10-1 rough chance 3


Race 6

The first leg of the Quaddie this weekend.

Italia Bella (10) was super impressive winning over 1350 metres a fortnight ago. She loves the mile and has won two over the trip. I am just not too sure how she will handle the increase in the weight for this race. I am not saying she cannot win but she is at prohibitive odds this week around the $2.40 mark, so I have looked for some value.

Cedarwood (6) is trained by the Waller team on the Gold Coast. He was beaten two weeks ago by Pressway over the mile here and I think that is good form for this race. He is fourth up this preparation, so he should be ready to crack a win.

The stable mate is Sacred Rebel (3) who is coming off a solid win at the Sunshine Coast over 1400 metres last start. He was at long odds for that win ($21) but was very good in winning the race. He should strip fitter for that run and could prove hard to beat again.

Chris Munce trains Son Of A Brut (16) who has won third up previously. He does perform better over these longer distances and at around $20 could be a long-priced chance to win the race. Mark Du Plessis rides the Captain Sonador gelding for the first time. I think he is a genuine knock out chance here this weekend.

Selections: 6-10-16-3 rough chance


Race 7

On The Spot (7), trained by Toby Edmonds recently won a Class 5 race at the Gold Coast with Jimmy Orman in the saddle. The same combination fronts up here this weekend in a No Metro Win race looking to win in town for the first time. This runner has been smashed in the early markets firming from $5.00 to $3. There must be come confidence around this runner.

Capital Connection (15) looks the one hardest to beat. He is trained by Tony Gollan. He resumed last start at Ipswich as a short-priced favourite and won in great style. He has an awkward barrier to contend with here however Jim Byrne is in the saddle and he will be eager to get off to a good start to the new racing season – in fact he could be the rider to beat in 2018/19 with any luck!

Tversky (13) is resuming from a 3 month spell this week. This Gary Duncan trained gelding went around in a trial at the Sunshine Coast two weeks ago and wasn’t really tested. Despite drawing barrier 22, I expect him to be competitive at some decent odds.

Selections: 7-15-13-10 rough chance 4


Race 8

Prue’s Angel (4) resumed at Ipswich and got the job done at $1.65 favourite with Brad Stewart riding. The pair combine here looking for her first metropolitan win on a Saturday. She has a solid second up record and has drawn well in barrier 8 in this large field.

The danger must be the Steven O’Dea trained Sornja (14) to be ridden by Jackson “McLovin” Murphy. This mare resumed last start when beaten by Tabbing.

The form out of this race has held up in recent weeks with several runners out of this race, including the winner, going onto win. At $9 and with the claim for Murphy I think this is a solid bet each way! Her second up record is puts her right in the thick of things (3 starts for 1 win and 2 seconds). I like this one if you hadn’t figured it out!

Oradonna (3) comes off a win at the Sunshine Coast. She will be competitive here – but I just think she can sometimes struggle to run a solid 1200 metres.

Ferniehirst (7) is the likely leader from barrier 9. He ran a super race at Grafton over the Carnival in a good class 6 Plate race won by King Lear – so if they leaders are dominating on the program this runner must not be underestimated.

Selections: 14-4-3-7 rough chance 12


Race 9

Natch (6) from Gollan Racing has been going well. He likes to lead and with the rail out and hopefully with some other speed in the race he will either lead by himself or be ridden in behind anything that decides to press forward. Either way he looks well in here and could finish off the program for punters in a nice fashion at good odds of around $3.50.

Fortensky (3) resumes here for Chris Waller. He worked well in a barrier trial on the Gold Coast three weeks ago. He goes well fresh having three wins from four starts when resuming. Michael McNab managed to post his first Saturday winner last weekend aboard Irish Optimism. He may go back to back this weekend.

Kelly Schweida trains Shogun Sun (14) who went average second up at the Sunshine Coast. He was caught wide and I think the 59.5 kilograms was the telling factor. Back to a light weight and with Jim Byrne aboard look for an improved effort this weekend.

Taillevent (11) is around $21 and may just sneak in for a place in our exotics. Trained by Bruce Hill his form and efforts are a lot better than what you see in the race book. Do not underestimate him.

Selections: 6-3-14-11 rough chance 2


Jockey Challenge

Well it looks a close challenge this weekend with the opening Saturday of the 2018/19 season. Matthew McGillivray, Jimmy Orman and Jim Byrne all have some nice rides. The result will come down to the last race. I am thinking that Matthew may just pip Jim Byrne. But it will be close!

Early Quaddie (races 2 to 5 NSW only)

11,14,15 / 1,5,7 / 3,10,13 / 2,9,10 - cost is $81 to $1

Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

6,10,16 / 7,13,15 / 3,4,7,14 / 3,6,14 - cost is $108 to $1

Value Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

6,10 / 7,15 / 4,14 / 3,6,14 - cost is $24 to $1

Treble (races 7 to 9)

7,13,15 / 3,4,7,14 / 3,6,14 - cost is $36 to $1

Value Treble (races 7 to 9)

7,15 / 4,14 / 3,6,14 - cost is $12 to $1

Good luck and good punting!

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