The News Desk


The Ex Factor with Nathan Exelby

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’.


ANOTHER season draws to a close on Saturday and the awards are all but sorted, with Premiership winners long since decided. Rather than continue the plaudits for those set to be crowned this weekend, I thought it might be of interest to take a deeper look at some of the raw statistics.

So here’s a few different angles of what unfolded on Brisbane racetracks in 2020-21.
(All statistics are based on results from just Doomben and Eagle Farm between August 1 2020 and July 24, 2021)


RYAN Maloney will win the Metropolitan jockey premiership and Jimmy Orman will land the state title, but from a punting point of view, who were the most reliable jockeys to back this season?

Jimmy Byrne snapped at Maloney’s heels for most of the season and when it comes to riding favourites, he fared marginally better. At Doomben and Eagle Farm, Byrne won 29 races from 64 rides (45%) on favourites, for a profit of 9% (based starting price, using proportional staking).

Maloney won 31 from 69 (44%) for a 3.5% profit.

To think you could make a profit backing the two leading jockeys in Brisbane just on favourites is a little surprising. You would expect, if anything, they would both be ‘over-bet’ and not show a profit.

But at 44-45%, punters clearly got it right a good chunk of the time with Byrne and Maloney.

Of the leading riders, they were the most profitable. There were some others to note though, off a lesser base of chances.

Baylee Nothdurft, last season’s Premier rider, spent a good chunk of the season on the sidelines.

From the limited time he had riding at the two metro tracks, he made the most of it, winning 8 from 16 for a 13% profit.

Georgie Cartwright, who came out of her time this season, won 6 from 11 on favourites at the two tracks for a 23% profit.

Mark Du Plessis doesn’t get a lot of opportunities on metropolitan favourites, but when he did, he made the most of it. Du Plessis won 12 from 19 (63%) on favourites for a whopping profit of 57% on turnover.

Of the interstate riders, James McDonald was the leader, winning six races from 13 attempts on favourites (at 8% profit).


TONY Gollan is the biggest name in the Queensland training ranks and naturally saddled up the most number of favourites. And just as naturally, his runners tended to be ‘over-bet’ more than other stables.

From 97 Doomben and Eagle Farm favourites, Gollan had 38 winners at a healthy strike rate of 39%, but overall, punters would have ended up losing 10% on turnover if they backed every one of them.

Chris Waller’s satellite stable continues to be a leading provider of winners in south-east Queensland. At Eagle Farm and Doomben, he had 18 favourites win from 49 runners for just a 4.6% loss.

David Vandyke has established himself as a favourite trainer of punters and this season he had 17 from 38 public elects win but underlining how the Vandyke runners tend to be well supported, even with a 44% strike rate those collective runners showed a 7.2% loss.

From stables with lesser numbers, Steve O’Dea and Matt Hoysted were the standouts. The training partnership sent out 30 favourites, of which 14 won for a 10% profit.

Desleigh Forster (8/17 for a 13% profit) and Kelly Schweida (9/23 for 1% profit) were also good to punters.

Bryan and Daniel Guy also rate a mention here. They had just 10 favourites at the two tracks, but six of them won, returning a 50% profit.

Oh … and Steve Tregea is four-from-four. God give ELOQUENTLY and CHAMPAGNE AUNTY strength on Saturday!

Check out the latest TAB markets here.


THE Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and Doomben share a strike rate of 38% each on favourites across this season.

Doomben’s tally has produced a 5.6% loss, while Ipswich was -7% and Sunshine Coast -8%.

Toowoomba was just behind on the strike rate at 37%, but for a 13% loss, while the Gold Coast had 34% favourites win for a 12% loss. Eagle Farm, perhaps unsurprisingly, proved the biggest conundrum for punters, striking at just 30% for a 23% loss.

Across the state, Mackay was the standout performer for favourite backers, throwing up 84 winners from 182 races (46%) for a 6.7% profit.


WHILE Eagle Farm proved a big loser on the score of favourites, it did in fact prove the most reliable venue in terms of finding next start winners that start as favourite (at Doomben or Eagle Farm).

From 140 favourites that started at Eagle Farm at their previous run, a very healthy 59 (or 42%) won at their next city outing, producing a 5% profit.

Of the others (last start track, having next run Doomben or Eagle Farm): Sunshine Coast: 30/81 (37%), 10% loss;  Doomben: 60/198 (30%), 25% loss; Gold Coast: 22/71 (30%), 18% loss; Ipswich: 14/42 (33%), 11% loss.

Based on where all Doomben and Eagle Farm winners this season had their previous start, the raw numbers showed: 169 from Doomben, 144 from Eagle Farm, 83 from the Sunshine Coast, 73 at the Gold Coast, 50 from Ipswich and 9 from Toowoomba.


THIS week’s Eagle Farm meeting looks to have a bit more meat to it than last week’s Doomben card, where plenty of roughies saluted.

The return of ALPINE EDGE in the fourth event perhaps holds the most interest, with the Magic Millions runner-up having his first run since his tilt in the Todman Stakes in March. On that occasion he was beaten a shade under four lengths by ANAMOE.

While at the time it looked perhaps a plain run, subsequent form from that race showed it to be quite possibly the strongest juvenile race run in Australia this season, outside the Golden Slipper.

Anamoe of course went on to win the Sires and fourth placed STAY INSIDE gave his rivals a caning in the Slipper. PROFITEER started favourite in the Slipper.

The handicapper has highlighted the class Alpine Edge brings to this race, but with Jaden Lloyd offsetting 3kg of that impost, he gets in okay.

He likely gets back from the gate but based on the way he’s trialled in recent weeks, I’m thinking/hoping he’s going to be good enough to round his rivals up.

Check out the latest TAB Futures markets here.


TRIPLE Ace returns to Brisbane after just going under at Eagle Farm a fortnight back at short odds.

He’s going to start short again, this time against the older horses, but with a little weight relief, plus the experience of an Eagle Farm run under his belt, I think he will be too good for these.


Triple Ace, R7 No.7, $2.30
Eloquently, R9, No.1, $3

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.