Speed machine Nature Strip holds a slight advantage over Osborne Bulls in the betting for the 2019 Group 1 $800,000 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) at Doomben today.
Ladbrokes.com.au still have Nature Strip marked as the $2.30 favourite while Osborne Bulls at $2.90 is the only other runner under the $10 mark on race morning.
The Chris Waller trained Nature Strip has been well supported since the final Doomben 10,000 field was released on Wednesday and his price has firmed in from $2.80 while Osborne Bulls has had plenty of interest after $3.60 was bet before his price tighten up.
Jockey James McDonald and Nature Strip will be attempting to score back to back Group 1 wins after the pair combined for a heart stopping nose win over Pierata in the $700,000 OOH!Media Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 23.
McDonald used Nature Strip’s natural speed to secure the all the way win in the Galaxy and the top jockey will have to use similar tactics after the four year drew barrier eleven in the thirteen horse Doomben 10,000 field.
Nature Strip will race with the Ear Muffs on for the first time and Waller is hoping the new gear will help the free striding gelding settle better in the race.
“We trialled him in ear muffs after the Galaxy and he won it easily although they went slowly and he didn’t settle all that well,” Waller told AAP.
“They will stay on for the 10,000 and I think in a race it should help him settle.”
Leading Brisbane trained Tony Gollan is expecting his Doomben 10,000 runner I’m A Rippa to utilize his good gate speed and McDonald will have to decide if he is to take on the local or try to settle Nature Strip in behind the leader.
“He raced too fresh at Eagle Farm. Getting back to Doomben on good ground is a plus,” Gollan said.
“He’s a far better horse rolling. We will ride him to his strengths.”
I’m A Rippa is marked as one of the outsiders at $91 while Gollan will also saddle up $15 chance Outback Barbie who will wear the blinkers for the first time.
Osborne Bulls will also have the blinkers on and Kerrin McEvoy will be able to give the James Cummings trained five year old a nice run midfield from barrier four.