Doomben Winter Carnival Action Offers Quality Racing Action
Thoroughbred flats racing is wending its way to the conclusion of the 2017 – 2018 season in the sense of the marquee Group races, that is.
May is as good as done, leaving only June to attract the punters. All the top-flight action will be in Doomben, what is left of it, as Eagle Farm was unequal to carrying its share of the load due to a case of landscaping gone awry.
So far as Group 1 racing in June is concerned, it will be the Stradbroke Handicap (1350 m open handicap), the Queensland Derby (2200 m 3yo set weights) and The TJ Smith (1600 m 2yo set weights).
Five Group 2s grace the calendar in June. There will be six Group 3s.
Those 14 races are spread across the month and there is always racing of some sort being conducted at metro and country tracks all across the country, so there is no true cause for alarm.
The Stradbroke Handicap, the Queensland Derby and the TJ Smith, or if you prefer, the J J Atkins Stakes, are all held on June 9 this year. Doombens’ Group 2s and Group 3s will be staggered over the course of the month and it seems like a fitting way to taper down from the big meetings of March, April and May.
This far out, it is hard to say for certain which horses will run and which will not. The list of nominations for the J J Atkins is extensive, with early favourites The Autumn Sun, Lean Mean Machine and Zousain leading the list.
Much the same can be said of the Queensland Derby, plenty of names in the early stages. Live And Free, Lucky For All and Dark Dream occupy the top three lines.
For the Stradbroke, the top three favourites are Champagne Cuddles, Impending and Le Romain. In Her Time will be skipping the race to focus on The Everest.