In-form jockey Blake Shinn will be chasing a hat trick of Doomben Cup wins when he partners Kiwi galloper Volkstok’N’Barrell in the Winter Carnival weight for age feature race at Doomben on Saturday.
The Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs trained Volkstok’N’Barrell is on the third line of betting with Ladbrokes.com.au at $6 for the Group 1 $650,000 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m).
Blake steered the Guy Walter trained Streama to victory in the 2014 Doomben Cup and then teamed up with Gai Waterhouse to win on French import Pornichet last year.
“There’s a few horses there that I know pretty well, including Leebaz, I also rode Messene in the Wagga Cup last start so hopefully we can make it three in a row,” Shinn told Racenet.
Volkstok’N’Barrel was racing in superb form in New Zealand early in the year and put two Group 1 wins back to back with victory in the NZ$200,000 Haunui Farm Classic (1600m) at Otaki on February 27 followed by a win in the NZ$200,000 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 12.
The Tavistok four year old then failed on a wet track when tenth to Winx in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on the first day off ‘The Championships’ on April 2.
Shinn was having his second ride on Volkstok’N’Barrell when third behind Leebaz and Hauraki in the Group 2 $358,000 All-New Jaguar F-Pace A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 7 and said with a bit of luck could have finished closer to the winner.
“Throughout the race I was pretty happy with where I was positioned but I just got slightly impeded at about the 500 (metres) with horses coming back in my lap so I had to circle the field,” Shinn said.
“Hauraki got a dream run through so I could make a case where my horse could have finished closer so I’m confident going forward to Saturday that I can turn the tables on him.
“At the Gold Coast they are turning all the time while at Doomben you get that run down the back straight, so I think the track will suit him a bit better.
“I really enjoy going up to Brisbane every year. It holds a special place in my heart. Winning on Streama is something I’ll never forget.”
Volkstok’N’Barrell is up against Leebaz and Hauraki again in the Doomben Cup and Shinn is hoping to reverse the placings.
Volkstok’N’Barrrel has drawn barrier five in the ten horse field and is likely to settle in the second half of the field as is the John O’Shea trained Hauraki who has drawn barrier one.
Leebaz settled just behind the speed when he made it back to back wins in the A.D. Hollindale Stakes and Michael Cahill will be looking for another spot on the pace from barrier two.
Leebaz’s stablemate Messene scored an all the way win in the Listed $150,000 2016 Wagga Wagga Gold Cup (2000m) at Wagga Wagga on May 6 with Shinn in the saddle and the Lonhro seven year old looks the likely leader again with Brisbane’s leading apprentice Jimmy Orman taking over the reins.
Market order for the Doomben Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Hauraki, $5.50 It’s Somewhat, $6 Volkstok’N’Barrell, $9 Our Ivanhowe, Noble Protector, $10 Spiritjim, $12 Leebaz, $14 Lady Le Fay, $17 Messene, $18 Maurus.