The John Thompson trained Hooked has been well supported at long odds to score a first up win in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Hooked has firmed in from $26 when the final field for the Doomben 10,000 was released on Wednesday to be marked at $17 with Ladbrokes.com.au on Friday afternoon.
The Casino Prince five year old hasn’t raced since finishing eleventh of twelve in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and Thompson has prepared Hooked for his first up assignment with three barrier trials.
“He has had three trials to get him ready for this. He seems in very good shape and he goes very well fresh so we thought it would be a nice race to kick him off in,” Thompson told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
Thompson is trying to replicate the training efforts of Chris Waller who was able to prepare multiple Group 1 winner Boban to score a first up win in last year’s Doomben 10000 when he beat Charlie Boy.
While Hooked’s first up record reads two from six, Thompson was able to produce the five year old to score a first up win in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick during the 2015 Sydney Spring Carnival.
Thompson admits that Hooked has been just below Group 1 level in the past, but pointed out that this year’s Doomben 10,000 is not the strongest on record with only nine runners to do battle in the weight for age sprint on Saturday.
“I wouldn’t see it is a vintage 10,000 and it might be one that he could run a big race in,” Thompson said.
“He has probably been a length below the top line horses. He ran into horses like Criterion a few times.”
“On his day he goes very well and a race like this with that field is well within his grasp.”
Hooked has drawn barrier three with Brisbane’s leading jockey Jim Byrne to ride.
Doomben 10,000 market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.90 Azkadellia, $5 Delectation, Fell Swoop, $6.50 Dothraki, $7.50 Music Magnate, $17 Hooked, $20 Charlie Boy, $21 Two Blue, Scarlet Billows.