It’s a massive day of racing at Doomben on Saturday and looms as the final opportunity we’ll get to see several horses run before the Magic Millions meet on the Gold Coast in a fortnight.
Five of the nine races at Doomben on Saturday will be contested at black type level, but there is value to be taken from a betting perspective in each.
Race 1 has drawn an open and capacity field of sprinters and there is value to be taken across the board.
Colinelle was unable to justify a big go in the betting last time out, but he should be at peak fitness for his third-up run here and can return to winning form. The son of Denman has been charged with carrying a big weight, but this is a reasonable step back in class and he looms as a live chance once more.
Rich Affair has not been seen at the races since September, but he posted a dominant win at this course and trip last time out and can repeat that performance here after trialling well.
Conniving went extremely close at the Gold Coast last time and will relish soft conditions at Doomben. The Niconni gelding is drawn ideally on the rails and should prove tough to hold out with appropriate luck in running.
Tip: No. 12 Conniving – Each Way ($13/$4)
A capacity field has also been taken for the second and a case can be made for several horses find their way into the winner’ stall.
Fit For Purpose is seeking a third-consecutive race win here and should relish the conditions at Doomben once more. The Show A Heart gelding will drop weight from his last start win, but there is some genuine concern from a wide draw and he may be forced to do a lot of work early.
Pegapus is another horse that is seeking a third-consecutive win, but is yet to be confirmed as a starter as the race’s third emergency. Her win here at Doomben a fortnight ago was dominant and she is drawn and weighted to win again, should she gain a start.
Tip: No. 5 Fit For Purpose ($2.90)
A classy field of two-year-olds will contest this year’s McLachlan Stakes and there is plenty value to be taken from a betting perspective.
The Tony McEvoy-trained Crockett ran second behind Ef Troop in the Phelan Ready Stakes a fortnight ago and should be right in the finish of the McLachlan Stakes. The All American colt will be ridden by in-form hoop Jamie Kah and could receive the run of the race from an inside draw.
Sizzling Ace should plenty of promise on debut and she will be even better with natural improvement here. The Sizzling filly worked home well to finish fourth in the Calaway Gal Stakes a fortnight ago, but will need some luck early from barrier 10. The combination of jockey Jeff Lloyd and trainer Toby Edmonds is the most potent in the country and Sizzling Ace can add to that record here.
Tip: No. 8 Sizzling Ace – Each Way ($9.50/$3.10)
Havasay has found terrific form for Liam Birchley this year and he looms as the horse to beat in the Falvelon Quality. The son of Rothesay won all four of his starts during a winter and early spring campaign and resumed for a credible third in the Bribie Handicap (1050m) a fortnight ago. He is drawn and weighted well and this undoubtedly looms as Havasay’s best chance of posting a win at black type level.
Godolphin gelding Badajoz is drawn awkwardly and has been charged with overcoming a heavy weight, but he is arguably the class horse of this field and should prove tough to beat. Badajoz has been freshened-up since his last run for fifth in the Listed Absolute Stakes (1000m) on Oaks Day, but has trialled well in the lead-up to this.
Snitzkraft is set to resume after fourteen weeks and will have conditions to suit here.
Tip: No. 1 Badajoz – Each Way ($5.50/$2.15)
Twelve stayers remain in contention for the Shoot Out Quality and it is a particularly open affair following the scratching of clear favourite Long Time Ago.
Darren Weir will saddle Night’s Watch in the race and the tough stayer should prove extremely difficult to beat. Night’s Watch has posted four wins from his eight starts this time in, including one on heavy going at Sandown on December 2nd. Drawn and weighted well, the four-year-old also has the luxury of in-form hoop Damien Lane in the saddle.
Last-start winners My Giuliano and Singing looms also loom as live chances in this race.
Tip: No. 9 Night’s Watch ($4.40)
Twelve talented sprinters will contest The Buffering, but it is looming as a race of two between I Thought So and Care To Think.
I Thought So has shown plenty of ability throughout his entire career so far and has finished in the places in each of his four most-recent starts. This is a step back in class from his most-recent run for second in the Razor Sharp Handicap at Randwick and he is proven in soft conditions. He won’t be offered a better opportunity to return to winning form this season.
Care To Think resumed for a smart win in a Class 6 race over 1200m here a fortnight ago and will only improve off that ran. The son of So You Think is drawn ideally in barrier 4 and will be ridden by leading hoop Jeff Lloyd once more.
The other horse worth considering in this race is Torgersen. The Chris Waller-trained gelding has returned to sharp form since arriving in Brisbane and there isn’t a lot to say he won’t go close again.
Tips: No. 11 I Thought So ($3.50)
No. 5 Torgersen – Each Way ($10/$3.20)
Some of the country’s best three-year-olds currently in work will step out in the Vo Rogue Plate, many of whom are seeking a berth in the Magic Millions 3YO Classic in a fortnight.
Pierata has returned to racing in slick form again this season and looms as the horse to beat in the Vo Rogue Plate. The son of Pierro stamped himself as a horse to follow during a competitive two-year-old campaign and has so-far won the Winning Rupert Plate (1200m) and finishing second in the Listed Gold Edition Plate (1200m) this time in. The horse is rock-hard fit, but will have to overcome an awkward draw to return to winning form.
Gold Edition Plate winner Whypeeo is also third-up here and can go on with the job. The I Am Invincible gelding should be able to find a position on pace from a central barrier and will give them something to chase.
Group 1 winner Capital Gain will be better second-up and will also enjoy a step up in distance, while Goodfella is also better than his last run suggested and is over the odds at his current quote.
Tips: No. 5 Pierata ($3.90)
No. 2 Goodfella – Each Way ($21/$5.50)
Several smart horses will contest the Bernborough Handicap, but Sydney raider Cabeza De Vaca is the class horse of the field and is undoubtedly our best bet of the day at Doomben. The Northern Meteor gelding opened up a huge gap on his rivals after being ridden aggressively by Josh Parr in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick a fortnight ago, but he was still able to finish off the race for a close second. This is a clear step back in class and he really does look over the odds at a current $3 quote.
Consistent local Hopfgarten, in-form miler Cantbuybetter and Sheiswhatsheis are all capable of big performances here.
Tip: No. 3 Cabeza De Vaca ($3)
The Nudgee Stakes looms as another outstanding contest and offers punters a great opportunity to take advantage of great odds late in the day.
Godolphin will launch a two-pronged attack in the race and both Ghisoni and Kinshachi would not look out of place in the winner’s stall. The former has not been seen at the races since October, but is a proven performer at Doomben and is arguably the best horse in this field, when in form. The latter will probably be better with this run under her belt, but this does drop back in class and will enjoy a soft track.
All Over Bosanova resumed for a strong second in the Bribie Handicap a fortnight ago and will be better second-up. The Court Command mare will look to take up the running from barrier 4 and will be hard to run down.
Tip: No. 8 All Over Bosanova – Each Way ($8/$2.80)