Western Australian warhorse Scenic Shot gets his chance to emulate New Zealand legend Rough Habit if he can take out his third Doomben Cup tomorrow.
Scenic Shot and Shane Scriven are two time winners of the Group 1 $500,000 WFA Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m) having won last year and back in 2009 while Rough Habit with Jim Cassidy on board won the time honoured Cup on three successive occasions from 1991 to 1993.
Rising ten year old Scenic Shot and Scriven are in the twilight of their careers and a win would be a great achievement for them both who have reach stellar heights along the way.
Apart from two Doomben Cups, the Dan Morton trained gelding also was successful in the 2009 Group 1 $750,000 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington and his seventeen wins have netted him over $3m in prizemoney.
Scriven’s love of Scenic Shot was the telling factor for him being back in the saddle after spending almost twelve months on the sidelines due to suspension from the whip stealing incident at Ipswich last year and his subsequent weight increase to over 70kg.
“I put all my faith in this old horse,” Scriven said.
“He made me get out of bed and work my guts out. The thought of riding him again made me go for exercise instead of eating a meal. I love the horse. Why wouldn’t I? ,”
Scriven realises that the job ahead is not easy and acknowledges that his rivals look to be better performed leading into Saturday’s Cup.
“But on form I think third is his best finishing place,” Scriven said.
“I think Manighar is coming off the best weight-for-age form of the year by a fair way. If he brings that form to the Doomben Cup, only bad luck can beat him.”
“I really liked the win by Shez Sinsational in the Hollindale. I just hope they both have come to the end of their campaigns. I hope they are in B grade form.”
But no doubt Scriven will devise a plan to give Scenic Shot the best possible chance to knock off the Peter Moody trained Manighar who is currently sitting at the top of the market order at $2.40.
Len Morton, who is deputising for son Dan while in Brisbane can’t go past Manighar either as the one to beat coming off outstanding Autumn weight for age form with three successive Group 1 wins in the $1m Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10, the $400,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 24 and the $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 7.
Manighar’s winning run came to an end last start when he finished second to More Joyous in the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 28 and on paper definitely looks the one to beat.
“He’s a genuine wfa star. It is a big task to beat him if he is in the same form,” Morton said.
“But everything has gone right for our old horse. It was a hard run in tough conditions in the Hollindale but he came up really well after a few days recovery.”
“There is no doubt this field is a bit tougher than what he beat in the other two Doomben Cups but it would be a wonderful thing if he could pull it off.”
Scenic Shot is down the market order at $14 coming off a fifth to Shez Sinsational in the Group 2 $300,000 Gold Coast Turf Club A D Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 5 on a heavy track.
The top Kiwi mare is holding down the second favourite position at $5 ahead of Moody’s other runner Lights Of Heaven who returned to form with a close second to Shez Sinsational at the Gold Coast.