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By Darren Winningham | Friday, March 24, 2017

We are back at Doomben this week. The track will be rated heavy unless there is some good weather in the lead up to the meeting. The track was used midweek on Wednesday, so it may still be a little chopped up as they seemed to be getting into it at that meeting. The rail Is 0.5m out for the entire course.

This week saw the appeals of jockeys James McDonald and Danny Nikolic – whilst there alleged offences are polar opposites both appeals were dismissed. Jeff Lloyd was suspended for his ride on Houtzen in the Golden Slipper and has lodged an appeal that will be heard on today. He still managed a winning double on Wednesday at Doomben and is now only one off equalling Chris Munce’s record of 103 wins in a season.

In other news this week Matthew Hill has been appointed as the replacement for Greg Miles in Melbourne. Those who read this column may have been able to get hold of the $12 on offer when the corporate book makers framed a market and were besieged by the flood of money for Matt. Winno has some money to bet with this weekend!

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

We open the day with a two year old race. I have noted a massive plunge for Hingus Rose (14) from the Stuart Kendrick stables on the Sunshine Coast – opening at around $25 and now into $9 presently. On exposed trial form I cannot have it, but where there is smoke sometimes there is fire! There has been good support also for Amelia Jane (10) from the Michael Nolan stables in Toowoomba. Although I cannot find any trial form for the filly I note that inform apprentice Rebecca Williams has been booked for the ride – a three kilogram weight relief on a heavy track may be a telling factor if this filly has some ability. Currently she has been backed from $20 to $9 since the markets have opened. Jimmy Orman rides Bold Xavvi (4) here for Garnett Taylor. I hear that the barrier trial win on the Sunshine Coast two weeks ago was impressive – the colt is presently around the $10 mark after opening in some markets at $14.

Personally I like the run of Snitz (2) at Grafton on debut. I think it was a good field and the Matthew Dunn trained gelding was able to win in impressive fashion – a nice price here this weekend at around the $4.40 mark. Others that should be considered are Acceptile (1), who has been racing very consistently since a brief let up, and Wudgang Blade (3), from the Marcus Wilson stables on the Gold Coast, who won on debut when he led at Ipswich. Tegan Harrison retains the ride on the gelding. It has drawn well here and probably will lead again this weekend. Leaders may be hard to run down on this forecasted heavy track – alternatively something that has webbed feet may surprise us all!

Selections: 2-3-10-1 rough chance 4


Race 2

There is a smaller field this week for our stayer’s race.

Magnatude (4) just loves the wet tracks and gets through them the strongest. Last weekend at the Gold Coast the gelding was ridden a treat by apprentice Adam Sewell. Even with the step up this week to Open company I think the conditions will suit the seven year old gelding. There is a slight concern with a poor record here at Doomben, but if the track is bottomless I am sure that this will be in his favour. The other one that likes the wet is Outraged (2), trained by Kelly Schweida. Again the gelding will appreciate the sting out of the ground and has been racing consistently in this grade for several weeks. Morendi (3) will probably blow them both out. The four year old gelding trained at Murwillumbah by Darren Graham has found a purple patch of form. He really does prefer the sting out of the ground and I do recall Darren saying after his last win at Doomben that he goes well in this type of ground. I wonder whether if the horse stays sound that he may be a prospective runner over the Brisbane Winter Carnival or even a prospective 2017 Grafton Cup candidate?

Selections: 4-3-2-5


Race 3

I don’t think many people missed the impressive performance of Perilous Love (1) last start at Doomben when she destroyed a similar field by 5.3 lengths when ridden by Jimmy Orman. I note that she has won in the heavy going as well at the Gold Coast around two months ago. That day she was impressive as well on a bog track – all goes well for her this weekend here. She is short in the early markets at $2.40, but she does look the likely winner.

Ercolano (3), trained by Tony Gollan, won his maiden midweek at Doomben around two weeks ago on a soft track – this weekend the gelding is stepping up in grade but I think she may be good enough to handle the class rise and fill a place here. Let Me Say This (7) is another one up in grade here after a midweek win at Eagle Farm. The Steven O’Dea trained gelding has an impressive winning record of 2 wins from 2 starts in slow conditions and is bred to handle wet conditions – if anything is going to challenge the favourite here this weekend I think it may be this one. It actually looks a good quinella for this race (1 & 7). Up The Tempo (4) has had blinkers applied last start and there was an improved performance behind Perilous Love (2). Maybe second time over the 2000 metre journey there may be a continued improvement.

Selections: 1-7-3-4

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Darren Winningham
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