Market drifter McCreery is the best wet tracker of trainer Chris Waller’s three runners in Saturday’s Group 1 $650,000 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben.
The Doomben track was rated a Heavy 9 on Friday afternoon and McCreery is the winner of four races on rain affected tracks while his stablemates Preferment and Vanbrugh have one win on a soft surface between them.
Waller has taken the blinkers off McCreery since his last start ninth to Doomben Cup favourite It’s Somewhat in the Group 2 $358,000 Attwood Marshall A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 6 and the five year old is expected to be at home on the wet ground.
“Fortunately he is there because if the rain does come, he is one that will handle a heavy track,” Waller said.
“We have taken the blinkers off since last start, I just thought he had been a bit keen and he races so well without them.”
“He also worked well on Tuesday morning at the Gold Coast.”
McCreery has drawn barrier fifteen in the original draw but will move in two places if both emergencies fail to gain a start and will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy who was board the five year old at his three starts prior to Jeff Lloyd riding him in the A.D. Hollindale Stakes.
McCreery has been a notable drifter in the market at Ladbrokes.com.au from $13 to be currently marked at $20 while Waller’s other two Doomben Cup runners are also at double figure odds with Vanbrugh marked at $26 and Preferment the longest priced of the stable runners at $31.
The wet track will play against the chances of Preferment who has worked well at the Gold Coast since finishing a first up fourth in the A.D. Hollindale Stakes
“Since the last run Vanbrugh and Preferment have stayed up there, appreciating the warmer weather in Queensland and the sun on their backs and thriving,” Waller said.
“Preferment ran terrific at the Gold Coast finishing fourth over 1800m and 2000m will really suit him and his work through the week has been spot on.”
As well as the wet track to contend with, Preferment will also have to overcome a wide barrier, seventeen in the original draw, but Waller said he was in good hands with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.
“Tough draw but Hugh Bowman aboard, that is a big plus and he is riding so well at the moment, basically three winners every meeting. He knows the horse well,” Waller said.
The last of Waller’s Doomben Cup runners is Vanbrugh and the premiership winning trainer is hoping for a fairy tale end to his career on the race track before he begins his stud duties at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand in the upcoming breeding season.
“Another one with a slightly awkward barrier. He and Preferment would struggle if the track got to heavy, but on a soft track they would run,” Waller said.
“Vanbrugh is heading to New Zealand to stud after this race so he will go there as a Group 1 winner as a three year old in Australia.”
“Certainly a good looking horse and I am sure he will do a good job at stud. So let’s hope he can go out on a good note.”
Glyn Schofield takes over form Hugh Bowman on Vanbrugh who is likely to jump from barrier ten in the capacity sixteen horse field.
The Darren Beadman trained It’s Somewhat at $4.20 and Darren Weir’s German import Articus at $4.40 are fighting out for Doomben Cup favouritism ahead of Amelie’s Star at $9 and Single Gaze at $10.