Sense Of Occasion relished the wet track to record a maiden Group 1 victory in the 2017 Doomben Cup in Brisbane this afternoon.
Expected leader It’s Somewhat was unable to find the lead in the early stages of the race as Auvray kicked up and that pair along with Single Gaze ensured that the race was run at a genuine tempo.
Sense Of Occasion did not appear on the scene until late, but jockey Corey Brown timed his run to perfection on the tough gelding and he showed an impressive turn-of-foot to finish over the top of his rivals in the final 100 metres.
Trainer Kris Lees was quick to pay credit to the ride of Brown and he was clearly delighted that Sense Of Occasion had recorded his first Group 1 victory after finishing in the placings in both the Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes earlier this preparation.
“We were a little bit concerned with the alley, but when the track started to break-up that probably negated that a little,” Lees said.
“Corey just waited and timed his run to perfection.
“I am really happy for the owners and it was a great effort.
“The speed played into his hands perfectly.
“That will probably do him.
“He has had a really good preparation and we will set him for the Spring.”
Brown was critical of his ride on Sense Of Occasion in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast a fortnight ago and he was pleased that he was able to get it right in the 2017 Doomben Cup.
“He won really good,” Brown said.
“This horse is deserved of this.
“He should have won the Hollindale the other day down at the Gold Coast – he was unlucky and I put him in the race too early.
“Today I just let him do his own thing because you can’t bustle him too much early.
“He gave me a great feel throughout and from the 600 I just knew that he just needed to show the sprint that he normally does on a bog track.
“He did just that and won fairly easily.”
Star Exhibit looked like the winner at the top of the straight and it was potentially only a lack of race fitness that cost him victory, while Rudy clearly relished the heavy conditions to finish the race in third.