Getting To Know Your Queensland Racetracks

Brush up on the Sunshine State's racing venues with The Professor

Doomben racecourse

Not too familiar with Queensland racing, or the different tracks around south-east Queensland?

Never fear… our new Champion Bets Queensland analyst, The Professor, is here to give us a primer on what to look for in the Sunshine State.


Doomben has a reputation for being quite leader-ish and on-pace. This can be true at times, but I think it generally plays quite fairly – it did so through the Winter Carnival we just had.

As with all tracks, you definitely want to pay attention to where the rail is… that’ll affect which runners are going to be advantaged and disadvantaged. And you definitely want to pay attention to the barrier stats, particularly with some of the shorter distances where it can be an advantage to be drawn inside.

In general I think it gets a bit of a bad rap for being a leader’s track. I think it’s a lot fairer than people give it credit for and I enjoy betting there.

Gold Coast

It’s not the best track around, but still one where you can find an edge if you do your work. Of the main tracks in Queensland it’s definitely the one that’s the most on-pace and leader-ish, so it’s one you could have a bit of trouble with – often whoever gets to the front ends up winning.

But of course if you get one that’s a leader, it can be a real fill-up. So you’ve really got to pay attention to your maps. 

One of the better wins I’ve ever had was there when Lucky Hussler came up and won the Magic Millions Cup (2016). I couldn’t get enough on it… the Magic Millions is a great event, I really enjoy it.

Sunshine Coast

It’s up there with Doomben as one of my favourite tracks. Nice big straight, every horse gets its chance. It’s one where we can get a bit of an edge because it has a reputation of playing fair, and it usually does.

Depending on the rail position there can be some bias sometimes, but it’s one where I tend to do well. It’s a really good surface, too. A great place for a punt.


You always want to be looking at your speed maps no matter what the track, but this is another one where you especially need to be across them.

You really want to be off the fence most of the time. So a wider draw’s not bad, and horses sitting outside the lead can be really good chances. It’s one I’ve done well on, because if you do your speed maps and find the horses that are going to be advantaged, it can be a real fill-up.

Or you could just back every Ben Currie runner! He dominates there and it actually can make it a bit tricky if you like one from another trainer.. you really have to double-check everything.


It’s a funny track because it’s a short straight and is another one that can have a bit of bias. Again, I like to look for runners that are going to be off the fence. Particularly over the shorter distances, the wider barriers tend to do better.


Not too many meetings at Gatton – maybe one a month. These country tracks are the types you can do well on because not everyone’s paying attention, so you can find an edge.

It’s a funny track, that’s for sure. It’s another one where you want to get off the fence, and you definitely want to be right up on the speed – it’s a really tight-turning track. Three-wide no cover isn’t necessarily too bad!


The first thing that comes to mind is how hard it is to do replays from Dalby… the camera’s so far from the horses. You can barely even see the numbers.

Once again, like all of these smaller tracks you want to be up on the pace at the turn… though it does probably play a little fairer than other small tracks. There’s a long stretch to the first turn at most of the starts.


The Moonee Valley of the north! It’s a very, very short straight so they need to get up on the pace. It’s very hard to win from the back.

It’s a tight-turning track and inside draws are usually a positive. If you pay good attention to your maps you can do well. Perhaps not a track the purists enjoy, but for punting it can be good for us.


Most annoyingly, the angle of the camera to the finish line is so out-of-whack that you can think you’ve won and you’ve been done by two lengths! Another of these small country tracks where you get maybe one meeting a month.

Again it’s a fairly short straight. A bit similar to Dalby in that you’ve got a chute start for the 1000m up to the 1400m, so it’s a fair way to that first turn and wide barriers aren’t necessarily a bad thing.

And finally… a word on our long-lost friend –

Eagle Farm

Who knows! I think the talk is they want to have a meeting there before the end of the year, but they’ll definitely take their time. I’ll just be watching for the first meeting or two to see how it plays.

It will be great to get it back to have something different in Brisbane and a longer straight. We’ll wait and see.

The Professor begins his punting career with Champion Bets today at Ipswich, before diving into one of his favourite tracks, Sunshine Coast, tomorrow with a full set of ratings.

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