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The Brisbane Winter Carnival heats up on Saturday at Doomben, with the key race being the Fred Best Classic (1350m), with a potential Stradbroke start on the cards for the winner. The weather is fine, the track is soft (5) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

Fred Best Classic 🏆: View the Field for the Fred Best Classic

Chairman’s Handicap 🏆: View the Field for the Chairman’s Handicap


Race 1. (11:15) Racecourse Shopping Ctre-bm72 1050m

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Back Me

Think this is good placement by Matty Smith when it comes to the mare 3 Koonunga (Bet Now: $4.50), who resumes. Daughter of Not A Single Doubt that resumes, having not raced since December 6 when a solid second on the Kenso track, getting every chance and just wasn’t good enough. Trials leading in have been good and this doesn’t appear to be the strongest race going around.


10 Gin ‘N’ Beers (Bet Now: $2.50) is a Billy Healey trained mare that has had two runs back from a spell, both at the Sunny Coast. Resumed with a strong on speed win before going to the Chief De Beers and was far from disgraced in defeat behind Pennino. That form has to read well for what looks a relatively weak Benchmark 72.

Long Shot

Think 800m Gatton form can come to the fore here via 4 Hi Fiver (Bet Now: $17.00) for Brian Wakefield. Was a real eye catcher first up over 1000m at the Sunny Coast behind Totally Charmed before going to the Gatton 800m where his class really came to the fore late and was too good from off the speed. Back up to 1000m I like and he’ll be strong at the end.

Race 2. (11:50) Ascot Green (bm90) 1600m

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Back Me

8 Star Of Michelin (Bet Now: $3.40) has a really good engine under the hood, but upstairs, I don’t think the elevator reaches the top floor. Ran over 1400m at the Sunny Coast off a freshen up, where the market said he had three legs. It was right in the sense he didn’t win, but another 50m and he wins in a really good effort. He’s got the class/ability to take this out. Just needs to show interest earlier in the race.


6 La Pulga (Bet Now: $5.00) is a Michael Costa trained galloper that is around six weeks between runs since racing over 2200m at the Gold Coast where he arguably should have won outright instead of deadheating given he was badly hampered by the riderless horse. Fresh legs, back in trip is a little query, but has residual fitness and will be strong late.

Long Shot

4 Langhro (Bet Now: $5.50) is unknown at the trip, but the O’Dea camp has him going well and potentially with a soft lead, he could get the 1600m here. Ran over 1350m here three weeks ago when near the speed and battled away pretty well in defeat when third to the in form Red Chase, who won again last Saturday to frank the form.

Race 3. (12:25) Tab Hcp (c6) 1200m

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Back Me

2 Oriental Runner (Bet Now: $2.25) had his first run for John Smerdon on his new home track at the Gold Coast where he was well backed and under a lovely ride from Ryan Maloney just off the speed, the gelding was strong late and too good for his rivals, including the much hyped Fisticuffs. This isn’t a strong Class 6 and his Sydney form does read very well for a race like this.


9 The Tenor (Bet Now: $6.00) will make sure this is a truly run 1200m. Resumed over 1050m at Doomben where he was able to find control at a decent enough clip and admittedly, there were unlucky runners in behind, but he did it from the front and was too good. Harder here, but if they jump/run with him here, he’ll take some catching.

Long Shot

1 Right Or Wrong (Bet Now: $9.50) can be a big improver here at odds. First run since October 20 2018 when resuming at the Gold Coast over 1200m where the late market flucs suggested he would need the run and that’s how it panned out in a sit/sprint won by the very promising Soxagon. Saves his best for Doomben and has a good second up record.

Race 4. (13:00) Bill Carter Stakes 1110m

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Back Me

1 Gotta Kiss (Bet Now: $2.35) is an absolute beauty for Steve O’Dea. Just looked in need of the run first up at the Sunny Coast behind Isotope before going to the 1110m at Doomben three weeks ago and I really liked the way she knuckled down to eventually get past a gallant Goldsborough. Little query at 1200m, so like her at this trip against her own age/sex.


Back to Fillies grade should suit the Rob Heathcoate trained 2 Minjee (Bet Now: $10.00). Took on some big boys in the Ken Russell at the Gold Coast and while beaten six lengths by Wisdom Of Water, she was far from disgraced in defeat and the winner looks one of the main candidates for the JJ Atkins, so think that form has to be respected here.

Long Shot

8 Plutocrat (Bet Now: $51.00) should be suited now she’s fitter. Resumed a few weeks ago over the 1110m at Doomben where she got back to near last in the run and failed to come on behind Gotta Kiss in a somewhat disappointing return. Had trialled up well leading in, and did lead throughout on debut, so think she deserves another chance.

Race 5. (13:40) Pam O'neill Stakes 1600m

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Back Me

Hard seeing 2 Vanna Girl (Bet Now: $3.60) not running well again. Class got her home two back over 1400m at the Gold Coast before going to the mile at Doomben three weeks ago where she got the A1 run just off the speed before getting the split and like at the Gold Coast, took a while to get going, but her last 75-100m was her best work, attacking the line with purpose. Has upside to come and is hard to beat.


3 Jeweliana (Bet Now: $9.00) is racing as if she will eat up the mile for Steve O’Dea. Ran over 1400m at the Sunny Coast just over two weeks ago when ridden cold, back to near last in the run, before Nothdurft got splits nearer the inside and the class of the filly came to the fore to win well. 1600m should be fine and is a definite chance.

Long Shot

11 Miss Penfold (Bet Now: $41.00) looks like she will appreciate racing against her own age/sex. Loved the way she found the line two back at the Sunny Coast behind Profit before finishing down the track behind Vanna Girl and on face value, was disappointing, but they walked in front, and considering she was back near last, just forget she went around. Off the Sunny Coast run, she’s right in this.

Race 6. (14:15) Hinkler Hcp 1110m

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Back Me

19 Hold The Line (Bet Now: $11.00) is a David Vandyke trained mare that had trialled up really well prior to resuming in the Chief De Beers at the Sunny Coast where I thought Jake Bayliss rode a 12/10 race on the mare, tracking up beautifully between runners, but was no match for the heavily backed Pennino. Fitter, extra trip, upside, she’s likeable.


5 Spurcraft (Bet Now: $7.50) will look the winner for a long way I think. I think the big tick is Les Tilley jumping aboard given he knows the horse and rides the horse better than anyone. Probably not in the A1 ground last start at the Gold Coast over 900m when third ti Boom Chicka Boom, but a tick over trial win was sharp and he should lead and roll.

Long Shot

7 Pennino (Bet Now: $10.00) is a quality mare for Darryl Hansen that was backed as if she was Winx when resuming in the Chief De Beers just over two weeks ago at the Sunny Coast and under a lovely ride from McGillivray, she was far too good for them and landed the big bets, into $4.80 after being as much as $15. Can she go on with it? Market will tell you.

Race 7. (14:55) Chairman's Hcp 2000m

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Back Me

4 Another Dollar (Bet Now: $4.80) is the safe option here. Chris Waller trained mare who was an impressive winner of the Gosford Cup at Randwick under a lovely steer from Bossy, finishing best. Has gate one to get a lovely run just off the speed and she has a good record at Doomben.


10 Black On Gold (Bet Now: $13.00) should love the rise to 2000m with enormous upside to come. Resumed over the mile in the Scone Cup and gee he was an eye catcher from the back when a close up sixth to Dr Drill and clocked the best last 200m of the meeting. Not the best of second up records but off the resumption, has to be respected.

Long Shot

Back up to 2000m is a definite tick for 8 Magnufighter (Bet Now: $11.00), who won at this track/distance two back before going to the Wayne Wilson over the mile and was good late behind Victory Eight, just lacking the turn of foot to put them away. He is well suited back up in trip and is proven at this level, so giving him respect.

Race 8. (15:35) Fred Best Classic 1350m

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Back Me

I think each way, can’t go wrong backing 12 Exhilarates (Bet Now: $4.80). Resumed in the Gold Coast Guineas two weeks ago where she was eased back from the wide gate and worked home strongly behind Hightail. Think she can sit much closer in the run from the good gate and Larry Cassidy does have a good record when steering Godolphin runners. Hard to beat and $8/thereabouts is more than acceptable.


3 Dawn Passage (Bet Now: $2.15) can confirm himself into the Stradbroke and as one of the hardest to beat in the big one via winning this. Admittedly, didn’t beat a great deal overall two weeks ago in the Scone Guineas at Rosehill but he put them away like a good horse and produced a strong sustained run to the line. Good test here, but he is tough, versatile re racing pattern and has class.

Long Shot

7 Garibaldi (Bet Now: $15.00) is a Tony Gollan trained three year old that was ridden far too hot in the Gold Coast Guineas, leading at a good clip and tiring late. Much better ridden with cover and has the gate to make sure that happens. Doubt he wins, but a must for multiples.

Race 9. (16:15) Helen Coughlan Stakes 1350m

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Back Me

Think 2 Teleplay (Bet Now: $11.00) is one of the better gambles on the program. The Price/Kent stable trains this mare, who was very good fresh at Caulfield before failing in the Robert Sangster. Then went to the Dark Jewel at Rosehill where she was eased back to near last from the wide gate and worked home strongly I thought with the big weight. She can take advantage of gate one and be strong at the end.


Buttering up with 4 Multaja (Bet Now: $5.50) for James Cummings. I was really keen on her in the Silk Stocking at the Gold Coast but unfortunately she was tardy away, got back to near last in the run and with the slow tempo, she was no chance of running on well enough. Actually did a good job to get as close as she did. Definitely worth another chance.

Long Shot

9 River Racer (Bet Now: $31.00) should be forgiven for her effort in the Silk Stocking. She was wide most of the way without cover and she’s a mare who needs cover and a drag into the race to be effective, which didn’t happen. She’s always thereabouts at this type of level and if she gets the right set up, she can win without surprising.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Two Number 8 Star Of Michelin

NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 1 Gotta Kiss

LONG SHOT: Race Nine Number 2 Teleplay


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 3, 5, 7, 19

Leg Two: 4, 8, 10, 14

Leg Three: 3, 7, 9, 12, 13

Leg Four: 2, 4, 8, 9, 15

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