The 2017 Doomben Cup Form Guide is essential reading for novice punters and racing fans ahead of Saturday’s feature race in Brisbane.
The Doomben track is expected to soak up plenty of rain throughout the coming days and horses that enjoy soft tracks are sure to take plenty of benefit.
It is a strong and capacity Doomben Cup field set to take to the stalls on Saturday, but we have analysed every runner in detail, to help you find the 2017 Doomben Cup winner.
It’s Somewhat has been a strong and consistent performer throughout his entire Australian career, but the horse has undoubtedly found his best form to date in 2017 and is primed for success in the Doomben Cup. Having returned to the track for a comfortable win in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m), the Dynaformer gelding led from start to finish to win the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) before arriving in Queensland for a gutsy win in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) a fortnight ago. Drawn ideally in barrier 8, It’s Somewhat will be partnered by leading Godolphin hoop James Doyle.
Multiple Group 1 winner Preferment is proven amongst fields stronger than this and is sure to carry plenty of improvement into the Doomben Cup. The Zabeel entire won both the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m) most notably in 2016 and while failing to produce much through two autumn starts this year, resumed for fourth in the Hollindale Stakes. He is sure to appreciate a step up to 2000m and has the notable advantage of Hugh Bowman in the saddle in the Doomben Cup, but has been charged with overcoming a wide draw.
Sense Of Occasion
Sense Of Occasion is another horse that has gone to another level in 2017 and the horse would not look out of place winning the Doomben Cup. After securing ballot-free entry into the Doncaster Mile when he won the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) in summer, the Street Sense gelding hit the line well for third in the feature race on Day 1 of The Championships, before repeating the effort in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) a fortnight later. Having returned from a month between races for sixth in the Hollindale Stakes, Sense Of Occasion will also relish a return to 2000m, but will need luck from barrier 18.
Vanbrugh is a Group 1 winner at the distance of the Doomben Cup and has returned to competitive form leading into the feature race. Winning the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), albeit a ‘soft’ edition of the race in 2015, the Encosta De Lago entire resumed this time for sixth in the Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) on March 17th, before hitting the line well for fourth in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) last time out. Glyn Schofield takes the ride on the horse, who may need to do some work early from barrier 12.
A former Perth galloper, Star Exhibit was a smart winner on debut for Darren Weir and should prove extremely tough to beat under the conditions of the Doomben Cup, particularly after drawing barrier 4. The Statue Of Liberty gelding was a standout during the recent Perth Summer Carnival and arrived in Weir’s care for a comfortable win in the Listed Thoroughbred Club 50th Anniversary Stakes (1440m) on April 29th. His best performances to date have come in races at 2000m and over and the gelding will be partnered by in-form hoop Blake Shinn on Saturday.
Another entrant for leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller in the Doomben Cup field, McCreery is capable of brilliance on his day, but it is unclear to see where the talented gelding will fit into this race and he will require luck from a wide draw. Second in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at the conclusion of an outstanding spring campaign, the Big Bad Bob gelding resumed this time for a smart win in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m), before finishing fifth in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and sixth in the Doncaster Mile. Working to the line well for fourth in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m), McCreery could only manage to beat one runner home in the Hollindale Stakes last start and may have hit the end of his preparation.
Talented local Cylinder Beach has posted some typically smart results this time in, but is likely to be outclassed in this Doomben Cup field and is justifiably at long odds. Winner of the both the Listed Recognition Stakes (1400m) and Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m) most notably in summer, the Showcasing gelding failed to make anything of an impact in the Ajax Stakes in Sydney, but returned to Queensland for a smart win in the Toowoomba Cup (2000m) on April 8th. He was again arguably out of his depth when seventh in the Hollindale Stakes last night and would need to improve tenfold to be any winning chance in the Doomben Cup.
Kiwi raider Benzini is a proven performer in the Brisbane Winter Carnival, has returned to racing in smart form this time and is not without a chance in the Doomben Cup at odds. Winner of the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) most notably last winter, the Tale Of The Cat gelding placed second in the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) first-up on March 16th, before placing third in the Group 3 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) on April 22nd. Kelly McCulloch will take the ride on Benzini from the ideal barrier 3.
One of two Waratah Thoroughbreds in the Doomben Cup field, Maurus has returned to racing in typically competitive form this time and should prove tough to beat in the feature race. The Medicean gelding trialled well in the lead-up to his 2017 campaign and has so-far finished third in each of Royal Randwick 100 (1400m) and the Hollindale Stakes. Another runner who will enjoy stepping up to 2000m, Maurus will be partnered by veteran hoop Damian Browne and may need luck from barrier 16.
Astronomos is rock-hard fit following four races at 2000m this season and should find a good position behind the early speed from a central draw. The New Approach gelding won the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) on March 4th and ran a close second behind Assign in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) three weeks later. Having since placed fourth in each of the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) and Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m), Astronomos will be partnered by Blake Spriggs in the Doomben Cup and is over the odds at his current quote.
Toowoomba gelding Emphasis ran on for second in last weekend’s Listed Member’s Handicap (1600m), but will have to produce a career-best effort to date to finish in the first three of the Doomben Cup. The Domesday gelding has posted six wins and further ten minors through his twenty-five career starts, but this is easily his biggest test to date and he will likely be outclassed.
Articus carries winning form into the Doomben Cup, is drawn ideally in barrier 8 and is a leading chance of winning the feature race. A standout in his native Germany prior to being transferred to the care of Darren Weir, the Areion entire clearly required a run when he finished towards the tail of the field in the Victorian Handicap (1400m) first-up, but powered to the line with 60kgs in tow to win the Chairman’s Club Handicap (1800m) after leading a fortnight ago. In-form hoop Brenton Avdulla will take the ride on Articus in the Doomben Cup and the pair will be tough to run down.
Consistent galloper Rudy has produced a number of smart performances this time in, but the Doomben Cup is perhaps again a bridge too far for the Gold Coast horse this weekend. Placing fourth in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) and third in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) during the Sydney autumn, the Red Dazzler gelding returned to Queensland for fifth in the Hollindale Stakes, having taken a positive position on pace. He’s drawn to get a good run from barrier 2 and will be partnered by in-form hoop Tim Clark.
A Group 1 winner at the distance, Single Gaze has returned to terrific form this season and is a legitimate chance of being crowned the Doomben Cup winner. Requiring a few runs to find confidence and form upon resuming this time, the Not A Single Doubt mare placed third in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) on March 25th and has since won the Listed Tails Stakes (1600m) and finished second in the Hollindale Stakes. Regular hoop Kathy O’Hara will be in the saddle and the horse is treated well at the weights as a mare.
Jessy Belle has produced several excellent results between lacklustre performances and has arguably been at her best since transferring to the care of Lindsay Park. A proven performer at the distance, Jessy Belle placed third in the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m) a fortnight ago, but is a justifiable long-odds chance in this race.
Amelie’s Star has returned to terrific form this season and is the outright Doomben Cup betting market mover at the time of publication. The Testa Rossa mare flew home to win the Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville two weeks ago and will only improve when she gets to 2000m and beyond. Amelie’s Star should find a good position just behind the pace from barrier 10 and she will be partnered by in-form hoop John Allen.
First emergency Sound Proposition has performed well this time in and is not without a chance if he gains passage into the Doomben Cup field. A credible third placegetter in the New Zealand Stakes on March 16th, the Savabeel gelding was last seen finishing fifth in the Group 2 Easter Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 22nd.
Probably unlucky not to have gained an automatic start in the Doomben Cup this year, Auvray will be partnered by leading Queensland hoop Jeff Lloyd and will be jump from the rails, if he starts. Having returned to the races for a credible fifth in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) three weeks ago, the Le Havre gelding is sure to carry plenty of benefit into his next race.