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Barry Baldwin is surprised by the quality of racing at the two regional metropolitan meetings in southeast Queensland

Veteran trainer Barry Baldwin is surprised by the quality of racing at the two regional metropolitan meetings in southeast Queensland.

Racing Queensland, in an effort to keep racing during the COVID-19 pandemic, has divided the state into five regions for racing with the metropolitan meetings restricted to north and south areas.

It means there will be two major metropolitan meetings a week with the Gold Coast on Fridays and Brisbane on Saturdays.

Baldwin trains at Eagle Farm, which is in the northern region, and he had intended to run two of his better horses Lady Appleton and Motion Granted at Doomben on Saturday.

But Baldwin has elected not to start them because of the strength of the fields.

“It shows how much depth we have here when you can effectively halve a metropolitan meeting and still come up with good fields,” he said.

Baldwin’s star galloper The Candy Man has gone to the paddock for what is likely to be a long spell.

“We scrapped a Doncaster start in Sydney for the winter carnival but now it is off as well,” Baldwin said.

“There is talk of a revised winter feature program and I will look at it for The Candy Man.

“But at this stage he can have a long spell and come back for the spring. It will be his first proper spell since he was three.”

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