This weekend will see the spotlight on Doomben with the running of the BTC Cup and the weight-for-age Doomben Cup. This years BTC cup has pulled a much healthier size field than normal with more than a few big guns!
There is no Black Caviar as we saw in 2011 and I'm sure the punters will feel loyalty to more than one star, however there is a horse that boasts an almost unblemished record and that is the Hawkes trained Our Boy Malichi. Formally the super star of Rockhampton he can boast a strike rate of 19 starts for 17 wins, 1 second and a fifth. A Group 3 winner last start in the Hallmark at Randwick over 1200m was his hardest task to date, however this week is his first crack against the big boys and girls.
Speaking of girls let's chat about the woman in this race, the 515kg Srikandi. From the in-form Ciaron Maher stable, she is undoubtedly one of my favourites and if Maher can win this year's Group One with her it will be a super effort. We had a good look at her last year when she won the Silk Stocking at the Gold Coast before winning the Juanmo and then the Glen Logan stakes. She then mixed it with the big boys in the Stradbroke with 51 kg on her back as a 3YO and lost no admirers when finishing 3rd behind River Lad. There is no doubt she is a much stronger and a more furnished mare this year and her win in the Victory Stakes at the Gold Coast two weeks ago when first up was superb. Having super calm Damien Brown on board is just an extra bonus.
The Group 1 BTC Cup is set to jump at 4:07pm (AEST). Check the full TAB.com.au market here.
The rest of the field is pretty tidy also with the NZ Telegraph winner Sacred Star resuming for Tony Pike and looked to work well on Tuesday morning.
The Doomben Cup shapes up as another stunning Group One with many big time performers stepping out. Chris Waller will saddle up five runners in the race, including I'm Imposing and Foreteller who both finished off well in the Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast 1800m two weeks ago when there was a considerable bias and fast lane.
The Group 1 Doomben Cup is set to jump at 3:27pm (AEST). Check the full TAB.com.au market here.
Even a Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon graces us with his presence this year, only problem is he hasn't won a race since the Cup in 2012! Leebaz is the underrated galloper here, 2nd in last years race behind the mighty mare Streama and coming to hand at exactly the right time this year winning the Hollindale last start. With a bullish physique, Doomben is the best track for him.
Gai's charge Pornichet is another who will love Doomben - he will be on pace and improved for his win n the Toowoomba Cup 7 days ago. Silent Achiever had a bad belly ache after her last run so this Bonny mare worth a risk this week!
Join me and the team for comprehensive coverage of Doomben on Sky Thoroughbred Central (Ch521). Good luck!
G3 - The Bet365 Classic Trial (class 1)
G3 - The Bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes (class 1)
G2 - The Bet365 Mile (class 1)
TG1 - Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hdle
Grade A - Punchestown Novice H'cap Chase