The Brisbane Winter racing carnival continues with the Group 1 Queensland Oaks as this weekend's feature race. The track is rated a Good 4 and the rail is out 4.5m the entire circuit.
Tim has provided his in-depth preview with tips for every race below! You can also listen to Episode 61 of the Before You Bet Podcast, where Tim chats about today's Doomben and Rosehill meetings!
Best Bet: Race 2 - (10) California Zimbol
Best Value Bet: Race 5 - (2) Amanaat / (17) Sei Stella
Not a deep two-year-old race and very litte stands out here. The fact I'm putting a Newcastle maiden winner on top suggests as much but (4) Autocratic gets the nod. His first three runs this prep were poor but they were all on wet tracks and in much harder races. He then got back onto good ground at Newcastle last start and broke through for his first win. The form out of the race has actually turned out pretty good, with Prince Fawaz coming out and winning last weekend at Randwick, beating the talented Reloaded. From the good draw and with JMac on, he should get his chance. (7) Shadow Hero ran 2nd behind Autocratic on debut at Newcastle. He came from back in the field after drawing awkwardly, but he's drawn the inside gate here so we might see him much further forward. With natural improvement and a huge jockey change, he should be right around the mark.
Looks a nice race for (10) California Zimbol, who had absolutely no luck in the Bill Carter Stakes here two weeks ago. He was sent out a well-backed favourite on that occasion but was caught four-wide without cover throughout, though still only beaten 2.25L. Drawn much better in barrier 6 today so should get a comfortable run. He meets many of the same opposition today so given the enormity of his run, combined with the fact he was so well supported, means he's the one to beat here despite his defeat last start. (2) Guntantes could be a blowout chance at $21. He looked a promising type in his debut prep, but went off the boil last campaign. He's been gelded this time around and trialled impressively recently. Drawn the inside barrier, he's shown enough speed to be right on the speed and he could run a bold race. (7) Longbottom makes its stable debut for Kris Lees so keep an eye on the market.
After scratchings, it looks another good race for (1) Meet Mr Taylor, who now comes up an odds-on favourite. He's won six of his eight races and didn't get any luck at all last start when caught wide without cover all race. Prior to that he on by 6L first up. Apprentice Corey Bayliss takes the ride today, giving the horse a useful 3kg weight relief, and he's drawn much better in barrier 3 as opposed to 11 last start. He should be too good for this field. (5) Prue's Angel looks a good one to throw into numbers at $26. She ran reasonably well first up for 3rd and she's never finished out of the top two from her three starts when second up from a spell. It will be interesting to see how they ride (7) Gaulois first up here from barrier 17. I don't think he'll win but he can certainly run well, but the barrier makes it difficult. (16) Jami Lady ran well behind Zoustyle and Plague Stone last start. A repeat would see her be competitive, while (11) Splitter is a place chance from barrier 1.
Tricky little race that could become quite tactical. The two that interest me most are (1) Viridine and (4) Brave Song. Viridine looks to have returned to somewhere near his best form after a good win at Scone last start, and he didn't get a lot of luck behind Trekking two starts ago in the Hall Mark Stakes. The little queries for him today are the fact he carries at least 1.5kg more weight than any other horse and the form out of his win last start didn't really stand up in the Group 1 last week. Brave Song comes into this third up from a spell and the biggest issue for him will be his racing pattern. He tends to get a long way back in the run and it's typically hard to come from back in the field at Doomben. The positive is he gets Glyn Schofield replaced by James McDonald. If he's close enough on the turn, he definitely has the ability to run over the top of them. (6) Winter Bride has a good record at this track and distance and will be the one they're chasing. She should settle up outside the lead (or could even lead).
(9) Plague Stone is quite clearly the one to beat here. He bolted in first up and then ran 2nd to Zoustyle last start and he'd just have to hold that kind of form to win this. With that said, I think there's a couple at good odds worth having something on. (2) Amanaat looks big odds at $16. He's first up from a long spell here but he's a classy animal. He's won nine from 14 overall and has won four from five at this track. His only failure here at Doomben was last time we saw him, when he was caught four-wide without cover all race. He's drawn awkwardly here but Damien Oliver is a strong booking and it wouldn't shock me to see him win or at least be very competitive. (17) Sei Stella probably needs to improve on what we've seen from her in the past (this is a much harder race) but she's placed in seven of her eight starts, including four wins. She's never lost first up and she should take up a forward position, so at $13 she's not the worst bet. (10) Darktwon Strutter has never placed from five runs at Doomben but she's undefeated from three starts when second up from a spell, so I could include her in numbers at big odds. (11) In Good Time is returning to her best form in recent starts and is capable of winning.
Whether he's got the class to win this remains to be seen but the race sets up nicely for (12) Natch. He's third up into this after winning first up and running Ef Troop to half-a-length last start. Draws well and has a good record at the track and distance, so he gets his chance in this grade today. I backed (2) Niccanova first up and he never got fully clear in the straight, so I'll stick with him again today. He's drawn awkwardly in barrier 12 but the form behind Tyzone looks reasonably good and Niccanova's overall record at this track and distance is very good. He's double figure odds again today so it could pay to stick with him. (4) Intuition is flying. He gets JMac back on board today from the good draw. Never placed at this distance but he looks a different horse this prep. (5) Mr Marbellouz is back up in distance and draws well. His last start was the first time he's ever missed a place at Doomben from eight starts here. (3) Redouble was well-beaten in Group 1 company last week but comes into this on the quick back-up. (11) Silvera not hopeless first up for the new stable.
This is a nightmare of a race to sort out. (5) Nantaali drops back from 1400m to 1200m after running in Group 1 company behind Pierata and Osbourne Bulls last start. She's fresh off a six-week break and draws well. Whether 1200m is short of her best is the issue but she'll get her chance. (2) Pedrena is a horse that interests me at big odds. It's been a while since we've seen her at her best but her best is good enough to win this. Her last win came in Group 3 company at this track. She looks to have trialled well enough and she's drawn the inside gate so you'd hope to see her do something today. (3) Multaja continues to run well but I fear the barrier and her racing pattern will beat her again today. She will get a long way back from the wide gate and as we saw last start, it's hard to give them a headstart and run them down at Doomben. (4) Moonlover bounced back to form last start with a good win down the Flemington straight over 1000m. She recorded the best last 600m of the meeting in doing so. Up to 1200m today and drawn awkwardly. Interesting to see what tactics Damien Oliver uses as we've seen her lead in the past. Chances don't end there.
Will stick with (1) Princess Jenni here, who comes off a last-start win in the Australasian Oaks at Morphettville. She's still only had four runs this preparation and comes into this with four weeks off, so she should still have a bit left in the tank. She's got the runs on the board and barrier 9 looks ideal or her. No reason to jump off today. (3) Etana is coming into form at the right time and justified solid market support with a win in The Roses last start. She's drawn well in barrier 7 and has to be rated highly. (12) Angel Of Heaven has built nicely into this. She was luckless two starts ago at Warwick Farm but proved she's up to the grade with a solid run in Group 3 company over this distance at Eagle Farm last weekend. On the quick back-up, drawn an inside gate, will be up on speed and has no worries with the distance. (16) Dutchess Of Lennox was a huge run in defeat here last start. She will have no problem with the distance but the big query is barrier 21. She'll get a long, long way back in the run, which could mean she's left with too much to do given this is run at Doomben. If it were Eagle Farm if might be a different story. (15) Our Intrigue will have its supporters, coming off a dominant win on the Sunshine Coast. My query is this horse split Lord Arthur and Bobby Dee in New Zealand three starts back. Those two horses didn't measure up at all last weekend, when both very solid in the market. So the form is questionable.
Basically a re-run of the Doomben Cup two weeks ago. (9) Kenedna was my on-top selection at double figure odds that day and duly saluted, defeating (2) Life Less Ordinary and (6) Sixties Groove. If you take out her failure on the heavy track two starts ago, Kenedna's form looks very solid, with a huge run at Moonee Valley followed by victories in both the G1 Coolmoore Legacy and G1 Doomben Cup. 2000m looks her pet distance and she's obviously in outstanding form, but it will be interesting to see how she handles 2200m today. Life Less Ordinary was a dominant winner of the Hollindale Stakes on the Gold Coast prior to his terrific run behind Kenedna last start. He's fourth up today so really should be at peak fitness. He didn't get the clearest of runs behind Kenedna so it wouldn't shock me to see him overturn the result. Barrier 1 is meant to help, but he's bound to need luck at some stage. I'm actually tipping Sixties Groove to beat the both of them. His run in 3rd in the Doomben Cup was enormous and unlike the other two that cut back to the inside, he came right to the outside. He was only second up on that occasion and comes into this third up. Drawn nicely in barrier 2 and Damien Oliver takes over from Larry Cassidy, so he's got everything in his favour to win this. Has two wins from three starts at the distance and he was clearly taking ground off the other two last start. I'd be surprised if the winner came outside those three.
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