The Ex Factor with Nathan Exelby 13-05-2021

Well known QLD media man NATHAN EXELBY is a constant at the track and has all the inside information as we head into another big weekend of racing in the ‘sunshine state’.


PUNTERS tumbling into TAB Doomben 10,000 hotpot EDUARDO (pictured) are clearly hoping the law of averages comes around this weekend in a race that has become a bit of a blowout in recent times.

Eduardo was $2.50 on Tuesday morning but had firmed to $2.30 after that night’s barrier draw and as of Thursday morning with the track given out as a Heavy 9, had trimmed even further to $2.15.

Certainly, the deteriorating track has played its part, as second and third picks WILD RULER and TREKKING are not at their best on genuinely rain affected ground.

So, it seems Eduardo has all the ticks.

But there have been a few other 10,000 fancies that have looked similarly ominous on paper in recent times but failed to flatter.

Since the 10,000 was switched back to 1200m in 2017, the shortest priced winner has been REDZEL as a $9 fourth pick in 2017.

ENGLISH was $11 third elect in 2018 and THE BOSTONIAN was a blowout winner in 2019 at $41.

In Redzel’s year, RUSSIAN REVOLUTION was the $3.50 favourite, while FELL SWOOP was second pick at $5. Neither ran a place.

Punters thought they had a better grip on the race in 2018, when Redzel went to the post as the $2.50 favourite and IN HER TIME was $3.70 second pick.

Both were unplaced.

And so to 2019, when NATURE STRIP ($2.20) and OSBORNE BULLS ($2.80) jostled for favouritism.

Nature Strip wound up fourth, while Osborne Bulls was just outpointed by The Bostonian.

Those recent results have added to what had been an ordinary time of it for punters in the Doomben 10,000 in recent years. BOBAN was a $17 pop in 2015 and MUSIC MAGNATE was $9.50 the following year.

SPIRIT OF BOOM is the most recent ‘favourite’ to win, having scored as a $4.80 equal top pick in 2014. He was the fifth public elect in the space of seven years to win the race dating back to APACHE CAT’s first win at $2.60 in 2008.

Since going to WFA in 1997, the Doomben 10,000 has had seven favourites salute, but equally, seven other winners at double figures or longer.


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SO, will Eduardo break the drought?

It’s not hard to make a compelling case as to why he will, but at $2.15 it doesn’t interest me a whole lot.

Similarly, it doesn’t make a whole lot of appeal trying to find one to roll him.

WILD RULER (pictured) was in a different post code in the Galaxy on wet ground … how much drier will it be here?

TREKKING isn’t at his best on genuinely wet ground either and he’s coming off an average first-up run. I am wary of him though if the track improves. He was a giant killer on this day last year and his best isn’t far short of the best sprinters in the land.

Of the others, I can see VEGA ONE running well. He just peaked on his run second-up and will be fitter here. There’s been some commentary around the strength of the Victory Stakes, given PENNINO’s close up finish, but that was Eagle Farm and this is a wet Doomben.

VEGA ONE is very good on wet ground and is sure to have plenty more improvement to come.

So yep, I admit I’m doing a bit of fence sitting on this one.

Looking forward to the race though.


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DOOMBEN was lucky enough to avoid some of the big rain falls on Tuesday night, but found itself in the eye of the storm Wednesday evening when 28mm fell at the course.

The 7mm on Tuesday evening brought the week to 35mm and pushed the track to a Heavy 9.

Track Manager Ross Smith was pleased to wake to sunny skies on Thursday and is still hopeful the track will get back into the Soft range by Saturday.



AFTER catching splinters from the 10,000, I need to be a bit more assertive in some of the other races on the card.

The Champagne, or Spirit Of Boom Classic as it is now known, sets in motion a terrific juvenile series heading to the Sires Produce Stakes (G2) and J.J. Atkins (G1) for $1M each this year.

We know Chris Waller has a phenomenal record across those three races. Since 2012, he has won three Champagnes and the Sires and JJ twice each.

In the Champagne, he’s had BRAZEN BEAU, TANGLED and ZOUSAIN win from just seven starters in the race since 2012.

Which makes the presence of GIANNIS on Saturday all-the-more interesting.

The son of FLYING ARTIE matched motors with Slipper winner STAY INSIDE in his early trials, but still seemed new in his two starts.

At his second run he was a good margin away from Stay Inside, but his finishing effort was eye-catching. So too have his two trials this time in.

Waller has gone for a couple of gear changes here, including a barrier blanket and hopefully he doesn’t have to concede such a huge start.

I’m happy to spec him having taken the big step during his break and hopefully putting himself in the frame to be the next star Waller graduate from the Queensland carnival.



THE Rough Habit Plate brings together four horses who faced off in the Packer Plate last month and I’m hoping the one which was tailed off there can turn it all around.

KHOEKHOE has been a frustrating horse and a change of tactics backfired big time in the Packer Plate.

Trainer Matt Cumani noted criticism of the tactics and has said he will land where he’s comfortable this week.

The Turffontein colt worked in good style at Doomben on Tuesday morning, sitting off handy older horse HANG MAN and picking him up in the straight. Glen Boss, who rode Hang Man in the gallop, told Cumani he was taken with the way Khoekhoe worked.

Prior, his runs in the Derby and Rosehill Guineas were good.

I’m thinking the tighter Doomben circuit will suit a horse like Khoekhoe with a turn of foot, but also a horse that doesn’t necessarily sustain a long run.

It’s a big ask for Justin Huxtable, who had a feel for him on Tuesday morning after taking the Rough Habit ride.

SENOR TOBA obviously emerged from relative obscurity to win the Packer Plate for Chris Waller ($41-$26 there), while HIGH SUPREMACY had his chance but was overhauled late.

I expect one of the three to win but am happy to gamble on Khoekhoe.



WE saw last week Richard and Michael Freedman’s stayer ALAKAHAN come off a Benchmark 72 event on the Kensington track to towel up the local stayers in the Gold Coast Cup.

If he can do that, what’s a horse with Hang Man’s credentials going to do to the Chairman’s Trophy field this week?

Granted, he has the 59.5kg, but he’s earned every ounce, having won the Easter Cup at Caulfield before a tidy effort on the heels of ZAAKI at Randwick last time out.

They seem reasonably handy formlines for this.

Glen Boss can put this horse to sleep off the inside and then have plenty in the tank when he sets out after them in the straight.



R3: Love Tap ($3.30)

R4: Hang Man ($3.40)

R5: Giannis ($5)

R8: Athiri ($3.20)


Catch Nathan Exelby on The Playbook every Thursday night on Sky Thoroughbred Central (Ch528). Nathan also appears on Sky Thoroughbred Central’s weekday coverage, RadioTAB’s Saturday morning preview of Queensland’s feature meeting and the Brisbane Racing Club website and social media platforms.

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