The Doomben 10,000 is the feature race in Queensland on Saturday and is the first Group 1 race set to be contested at the highest level during the 2017 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Won by the Bjorn Baker-trained Music Magnate over the 1350m course in 2016, the Doomben 10,000 will be run over a distance of 1200m this year following the Brisbane Racing Club’s decision to move and alter several of its seasonal feature races.
A star-studded field of sprinters will take to the barriers for the 2017 Doomben 10,000 on Saturday and will join a glittering list of racehorses who have stepped out in the race throughout its rich eighty-three-year history.
In celebration of what is sure to be another exciting running of the featured sprint, we have compiled a list of the Ten Greatest Doomben 10,000 Winners of All Time.
Lough Neagh – 1934
Lough Neagh won only the second edition of the Doomben 10,000, then known as the ‘Doomben Newmarket Handicap’ in 1934 and was a star of the Australian turf throughout an incredible career which spanned one hundred and twenty-seven starts. Coined ‘The iron horse of the 1930s’, the son of Bachelor’s Persse contested several exciting showdowns with Newcastle-based champion Rogilla and was perhaps best known for winning at least one feature race in each of his eight seasons of competition and is the only galloper to have taken out both the Doomben 10,000 and the Brisbane Cup. Lough Neagh is widely considered to be the best all-round racehorse ever to be produced in Queensland and can be seen in the image below.
Bernborough – 1946
Queensland bred, Bernborough won the 1946 edition of the Doomben 10,000 carrying 10 stone, 5 pounds – a whopping 66.6kgs by today’s standards. Queensland trainer J. Roberts leased Bernborough after his maiden season and he rose to prominence off the back of some outstanding performances at Toowoomba. The Emborough colt was transferred to Sydney when six-years-old, after which he posted fifteen-consecutive race wins including the Newmarket Handicap carrying 63kgs and the Doomben Cup, carrying 68kgs. Throughout his impressive thirty-seven career starts, Bernborough posted twenty-six race wins and a further three minors. The Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m) is contested at Eagle Farm in December each year.
Black Onyx – 1969, 1970
Trained by the legend of Australian racing that was T.J Smith, Black Onyx was a strong and consistent sprinter throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s and became the first horse to successfully defend the Doomben 10,000. Winning his first Doomben 10,000 as a three-year-old in 1969, the son of Pipe Of Peace returned an even better prospect in 1970 and after posting his second win in the Queensland feature race, went on to triumph in a host of races including the Newmarket Handicap and the Lightning Stakes. Only three other horses have won consecutive Doomben 10,000 crowns; Prince Trialia (1990,91), Falvelon (2001,02) and Apache Cat (2008,09).
Baguette – 1971
The impeccably-bred Baguette was an easy winner of the 1971 Doomben 10,000, having already etched his name into Australian racing folklore. Undefeated during his two-year-old campaign, Baguette rose to prominence when he became the first horse to win the two-year-old Triple Crown in 1970 (Golden Slipper, AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes, Champagne Stakes). Baguette’s other notable wins included the 1971 Newmarket Handicap and the 1971 George Main Stakes. By prominent Irish sire Rego, Baguette was out of outstanding broodmare Dark Jewel, who famously produced ten foals for five stakes winners; sixty-eight races in total for close to half and million dollars in prize money.
Manikato – 1979
Towering sprinter Manikato won the 1979 edition of the Doomben 10,000 and in doing so, equalled Baguette’s previously set 58kgs weight record for a three-year-old. Having preceded his Doomben 10,000 triumph with wins in the Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond Stakes most notably, Manikato went on to dominate Australian racing and ended his career with an incredible five-peat in the William Reid Stakes; winning the race each year from 1979 through to 1983. Manikato was the second Australian horse behind Kingston Town to win more than $1 million in prize money and by today’s standards and race gradings, the horse won no fewer than twenty races at Group 1 level.
Chief De Beers – 1995, 1998
A star of Queensland racing through the mid-to-late 90s, Chief De Beers won twenty of his fifty-one career starts; amazingly all at Doomben Racecourse. Trained by Bill Calder to win the 1995 edition of the Doomben 10,000, ‘The Chief’ gained plenty of admirers for his tough performances throughout a long and sustained career and he was able to return to the Doomben 10,000 winner’s circle three years later in 1998. The horse was a smart winner with up to 64.5kgs in tow; a feat that was even more impressive given that he was not a big build. Retired from racing at the conclusion of the 1999 Winter Carnival, The Chief spent more than a decade in the Queensland Police Service.
Falvelon – 2001, 2002
A star of the early noughties, Falvelon was trained at Eagle Farm by Danny Bougoure and was a smart winner of seven of his twenty-four career starts. Posting his maiden win at the highest level in the 2001 edition of the Doomben 10,000 in a record time of 1:17.21, Falvelon enjoyed plenty of success in Queensland, interstate and abroad during the spring and summer of the same year, but returned to his home state to successfully defend his crown in the Doomben 10,000; beating Show A Heart by a length. The Alannon entire retired into a stud career after finishing mid-pack in the 2003 edition of the Stradbroke Handicap and has produced plenty of notable progeny, including 2017 Magic Millions Quality winner Madotti.
The video below shows Falvelon winning the Group 2 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin, between his two Doomben 10,000 triumphs.
Bel Esprit – 2003
Bel Esprit only won two Group 1 races throughout his nineteen-start career, but the entire’s triumph in the 2003 edition of the Doomben 10,000 confirmed a career at stud and would subsequently lead to the production of an Australian racing legend. Following a notable start to his time in the breeding barn, Bel Esprit was booked to service Desert Sun mare Helsinge during the 2005/06 season and that progeny would go to win each of her twenty-five career starts for trainer Peter Moody. Black Caviar is one of the county’s best ever horses and is now also producing potential stars of tomorrow in the breeding barn.
Bel Esprit managed to produce several stakes winners prior to Black Caviar, but this early stud video successfully predicted that ‘the best is yet to come’.
Takeover Target – 2007
World beater Takeover Target was famously owned and trained by former Queanbeyan taxi driver Joe Janiak and was a dominant winner of the 2007 edition of the Doomben 10,000. A ‘broken down castoff’ prior to making his debut, the Celtic Swing gelding won top sprinting prizes in each of Australia’s five major racing cities, as well as at Royal Ascot in the UK, Japan and Singapore. Throughout a career spanning forty-one starts and weathering plenty, including the 2007 equine influenza outbreak, Takeover Target posted twenty-one wins (eight at Group 1 level) and a further eight minors.
Apache Cat – 2008, 2009
Star sprinter Apache Cat returned to racing in career-best form in 2008 and won the Doomben 10,000 by more than five lengths to Murtajill and Turffontein, having posted consecutive wins in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes, Group 1 Australia Stakes, Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes and Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at his four prior starts. Known just as prominently for his striking chestnut and marked coat, the son of Lion Cavern successfully defended his Doomben 10,000 crown in 2009, which interestingly also figured as his final win of eight at the highest level.