Doomben Race 8 | Stradbroke Handicap | 1350m Open G1 HCP | 3:40pm

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail out +0.5m. There is an 80% chance of 1-5mm showers Saturday afternoon, but otherwise it will be fine 22c.

The rail is back from the 5m position last Saturday, which creates the potential for that 4.5m strip to be superior to the worn ground further out. That combined with the general history of Doomben suggests the track is likely to suit those racing on-pace or at least handy, who are able to peel out and find those preferred lanes in the early part of the straight.

Horses further back will either need to weave through the field looking for gaps closer to the inside (requires luck), or come wider in the ground which may not be as suitable.

Speed and Tactics

This looks likely to be a high-pressure race. Jungle Edge (4 – after emergencies come out) will naturally look to lead, but then he’ll have to contend with plenty of pressure from the outside. In Her Time (12 after emergencies come out) will have to press forward, as well as Burning Front (9) and most likely Hooked (11). The pace should give those from the back the chance to get home if good enough, although in such a large field it will take a special performance to give the lead 7 lengths or more at the 600m and win.

Early Pace Rating: Solid to fast

Late Pace Rating: Moderate to slow

Best Suited: 2L to 5L off lead

WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

The Stradbroke is naturally a very open race with plenty of winning chances. The lead up form and overall profile of key contenders suggests that a rating of at least 104 at the weights will be required to win and potentially towards the 106 mark.

Race Assessment

1. Clearly Innocent: Forecast 103-108. Assessed $7

He was outstanding winning at Eagle Farm last start and although likely to get a mile back here, there was enough quality in that win to say he can spot them a big start and run on to be in the finish. The BIG query is whether he can run to that same level here. The very large majority of horses regress a little off such a big spike to the level he reached last start, which has to be considered in the price assessment. I can’t mark him any shorter than $7 and could potentially mark him a little longer.

3. Burning Front. Forecast 103-105.5. Assessed $8

He looks the standout value in this race. He’s been super consistent this preparation and at the weights here his recent wins measure right up to the likely winning mark. Just as importantly, he’s proven many times in the past that he can race up near the lead in fast high-pressure races and keep running to clock fast overall time. This is a tough race to win, but he profiles as a nice bet.

8. Mackintosh: Forecast 102.5-105. Assessed $8.50

First up here with the blinkers on and has a number of ratings that make him competitive.

4. Counterattack: Forecast 102.5-105. Assessed $9

He’s found his best form again this preparation and has the quality to be right in the finish. The concern is getting buried back a little in the field on the fence and needing a stack of luck to find clear running.

10. Ulmann: Forecast 101.5-103.5. Assessed $11

Looks set to peak here and at his very best can be somewhere in the finish.

6. Hooked: Forecast 100-104. Assessed $17

He’s started to find something like his best again this preparation and brings a strong last start rating when second to Burning Front. He also has numerous other performances in the past that can measure up here. If he can get the right run from a wide gate then he’s capable of surprising. He’s the best longshot in the race.

13. Egyptian Symbol: Forecast 100-102.5. Assessed $26

She’s racing well but needs to go to a big new peak here.

2. Jungle Edge: Forecast 96-103. Assessed $31

Looks the big unders in the market. He’s flying this prep and has the ratings to be very competitive, but he’s a wet tracker and all of his runs this prep have been on Heavy. He comes back to a Good rated track here where his figures are significantly inferior… he’s just not the same horse. I’ll be very surprised if he can race on the lead in such a higher-pressure race on Good ground and fight them all off over the final stages.

5. Good Project: Forecast 99-104. Assessed $31

Comes into this race first up with a couple of ratings that put him thereabouts.

16. Impending: Forecast 98-103. Assessed $31

Should appreciate getting back to good track and has the figures to surprise, but his big problem will be giving them a mile head start.

7. In Her Time: Forecast 98-103. Assessed $34

Needs a big new peak to measure up here and that seems unlikely from a wide draw.

9. Hopfgarten: Forecast 98-102. Assessed $34

Has a couple of spike runs that suggest he’s not totally hopeless, but his general level of form is comfortably below this.

11. Rageese: Forecast 96-103. Assessed $51

Doesn’t look to be going anywhere near as well this preparation as the past.

14. Gold Symphony : Forecast 96-101. Assessed $51

His best is at least a couple of lengths below the standard needed to be competitive here.

18. Bonny Oreilly; Forecast 97.5-100. Assessed $51.

She’s won five straight, but hasn’t yet run any figures that get her in the mix at this level.

21. Oak Door: Forecast 97-100. Assessed $51.

Needs to run a big new peak of at least 2 lengths to get in the competitive zone.

17. The Virginian: Forecast 96.5-99. Assessed $61

Surprised when third in this race last year, but hasn’t improved much and doesn’t look up to the mark here.

12. Kaepernick: Forecast 95-102. Assessed $67

His figures this prep are well below the standard needed here and he’ll likely to be a long way back in the field.

20. Too Good To Refuse: Forecast 93-100.5. Assessed $101

His best figures are well below the standard needed here.

19. Yesterday's Songs: Forecast 96-100. Assessed $126

His best figures are well below the standard needed here.

Betting Strategy

This is a very open race with a number of winning chances, but betting around the two that appeal as the best value on current market prices.

 BACK (WIN) Burning Front at >$8.00 – Stake 0.5% of your total bank.

 BACK (WIN) Hooked at > $18 – Stake 0.25% of your total bank. He could get to a terrific price on the Exchange during trading.

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