Trainer Kris Lees is hoping for a fast pace up front in the Group 1 $500,000 Titan Energy Services Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday to give his import Slow Pace a good chance of scoring a maiden win on Australian soil.
Lees has Slow Pace ready to produce his best at his fourth run for the stable and will be happy to see the French import settle midfield for veteran jockey Jim Cassidy before chasing the leaders down in the straight.
“I think we might have ridden him a bit close last time,” Lees told AAP.
Slow Pace was having his third Autumn Carnival run when an unlucky third to Spillway in the Group 3 $150,000 Crust Gourmet Pizza Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 26 and Lees was happy with the run.
“He didn’t have much luck and it was probably the run of the race. It should have topped him off nicely for Saturday,” Lees said.
“I think he compares favourably with other good stayers I have had at this stage of their careers.”
Slow Pace had won four races in France including a win in the Group 3 €80,000 La Coupe (2000m) at Deauville but has only had one outing at Group 1 level was when thirteenth on a heavy track in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 12.
Slow Pace is one of the outsiders of the ten horse Doomben Cup field and is marked at $15 with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the three time Group 1 winner Streama the early favourite at $4.20, just shading last start Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup winner Leebaz at $4.40.
The Darren Weir trained Akzar is also getting solid support following his six lengths Listed Warrnambool Cup win and is quoted at $4.80 ahead of Chris Waller’s Junoob at $5 and Mr O’Ceirin who has drifted slightly to $9.
The Guy Walter trained Streama is on track for a fourth Group 1 win after scoring a comfortable half length victory over Mr O’Ceirin in the Group 2 $358,000 Wimmers Soft Drinks A. D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 3.
Streama is stepping up to the 2000m for the first time since winning the 2012 Group 1 $550,000 Australian Oaks over 2400m at Randwick while her other two Group 1 wins were both over the Randwick Mile in the 2011 $400,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) against the three year old fillies and the 2013 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at weight for age.