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DOOMBEN PREVIEW May 23, 2009 DOOMBEN 10,000 (1350M) Race 5, 2.25pm (Brisbane time) The last time the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) was run on a heavy track was in 1996, when (punters won’t be happy to know) the 20/1 outsider Suntain beat Encores (11/1) and Quick Return (200/1) – some bookies are still counting the stash. After a week of deluge, there is little hope of Saturday’s Doomben surface being any better than a heavy 9. However, punters will be pleased to know that some of the best-fancied runners in this year’s Doomben 10,000 are noted mudlarks. The betting options are numerous. Last year’s winner Apache Cat, who scooted across a good surface to win by 4.8 lengths, is unbeaten in two starts on heavy ground, Danleigh hasn’t raced on a heavy track, but he is unbeaten (3 from 3) on slow ground; Something Anything and Over The Wicket are “mudders”, according to trainer Gary Portelli; and Gai Waterhouse’s exciting sprinter Bank Robber was an easy winner at his only heavy track start. Longshot Jungle Ruler boasts five wins on slow or heavy ground, but he may still lack the class to win a race at this level. Sniper’s Bullet, Sir Slick, Absolut Glam and Mr Slick have shown enough on wet ground to be considered. On the other side of the ledger are the wet track duffers – Marasco, All Silent, Light Fantastic (won on the slow but flopped badly in his only heavy track start), the Group 1 BTC Cup winner Duporth and the comeback horse Court Command.

SPEED MAP Predicted positions on settling

Normally, you’d expect trainers to consider dodging such horrendous conditions, but the Doomben 10,000 is so strategically placed as a lead-up to the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), run at Eagle Farm in a fortnight, that in most cases the horses are forced to go around. One such case is Light Fantastic. Trainer Mick Price believes the horse didn’t handle the heavy track when 10th behind Vision And Power in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (WFA 1500m) at Rosehill on April 4. However, he needs to give the horse a run because the grey hasn’t raced since finishing second behind Danleigh in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (WFA 1400m), on a slow rated track, at Randwick on April 25 – too long to the Stradbroke (June 6) without a race. Duporth, Bank Robber and Apache Cat fought out a thrilling BTC Cup over 1200m. The extra distance will be in Apache Cat’s favour and Bank Robber will be considerably fitter, as it was his first run since November 2008. I expect BR and AC to be in the finish again, but this time I am replacing Duporth with Danleigh, the All Aged winner who has a powerful finishing burst. This looks an ideal race for him. I am expecting Something Anything to be the longshot threat. He was beaten only 1.9 lens in the BTC Cup, his first run for 140 days. The tips: Danleigh to beat Bank Robber, Apache Cat, Something Anything, All Silent and Duporth.

TEMPO – FAST This 1350m scamper will be run at a hectic pace suiting those horses running on late, especially Danleigh. when you start a new paragraph it will change to *Body text. To get bolt text press APPLE B and then type the bold text required, then to get back to normal text press APPLE SHIFT B and keep typing.

AND ALSO It’s B Day at Caulfield on Saturday, and not just because A graders Oliver, Williams, Rawiller, Nolen, Newitt and Rodd are dipping their toes in the Doomben water – in drought-hit Melbourne, the “stop at homes” Boss and Benbow have several live chances. We wouldn’t dare suggest Glen Boss rates a B for reasons other than his initial, but it’s not unfair to put Jason Benbow on the second level. Yes, he has a Group 1 win, but that was as a kid in extraordinary circumstances when Sky Cuddle sneaked into the 2004 Emirates Stakes on the last, wet day of the Melbourne Cup carnival. The relationship with the mare’s trainer, Peter Moody, continues, but as second best to Luke Nolen. With Nolen away, have a nibble at Benbow’s Moody rides (R2, Neverin; R4, La Goulou; R5, Bella Cassini; R6, North East Smile). If there’s any joy there (and if they’re winning from behind with the rail out 10m) splash out on Thorn Lake, Benbow’s ride for Robbie Griffiths, in the last. Don’t laugh, but of Boss’s seven rides, we suggest you back one that has had 31 races since his last win, exactly three years ago next Wednesday. And he’s an old gelding with a cat name – Snappy Tom! Despite that, ST has been thereabouts, with 17 placings (he is 49: 5-14-9 overall) and he’s earned $300,000-plus for trainer Danielle Chapman and her fellow owners. The very good Secret Flyer ran down Snappy Tom two starts back, the solid Posadas last start. Against B-graders it’s time, but eachway might be best. Stephen Howell

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