Our Ivanhowe stormed home from the tail of the field to take out the 2016 Doomben Cup and record his maiden Australian race win at Brisbane this afternoon.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy allowed Our Ivanhowe to find his feet in the early stages of the race and he was settled in the second half of the field, while Messene took up the running from Noble Protector and Volkstok’n’barrell.
Our Ivanhowe looked as though he was going to be blocked for a run in the straight, but McEvoy was eventually able to get him into clear running and he finished over the top of Hauraki and It’s Somewhat to record an impressive win.
McEvoy admitted after the race that he was surprised that the Freedman stable had elected to bring Our Ivanhowe to Brisbane for the Doomben Cup, but he was thrilled with the turn-of-foot the imported stayer showed in the final stages of the race.
“You had to take him on trust and his spring form was pretty impeccable without winning,” McEvoy said.
“I got back further in the field then I wanted to and I was on the back of Hauraki, but they went a nice clip.
“I just sort of got held up and had to manoeuvrer to the outside in the straight, but to the horses credit he showed a really good turn-of-foot and picked up strong.
“Once I gave him a couple of backhanders he was away and I knew I was a winner.
“Well done to the Freedman team – I must say that I queried them running on this type of ground up here, but they proved me wrong.”
Our Ivanhowe made his Australian racing debut on this day 12 months ago in the Group 3 R A Lee Stakes (1600m) and he has produced a number of excellent performances – most notably in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) – but his Doomben Cup victory was his first ever race win in Australia.
Co-trainer Anthony Freedman admitted after the race that they have not had an easy journey with Our Ivanhowe since he joined their stable, but he was thrilled to see the German galloper show just how much he does possess in the Doomben Cup.
“It hasn’t been easy, he has issues,” Freedman said.
“He obviously has high ability, but he hasn’t had a lot of luck in a lot of his races and he probably should have won first three in the Melbourne Cup.
“Nothing has really gone right and it didn’t look like it was going to go right today, but fortunately he got to the outside, had momentum and finished off.
“I took him down to the peninsula and I just played with him and changed everything.”
Hauraki was well-backed in the lead-up to the Doomben Cup, but he was no match for Our Ivanhowe in the final stages of the race and he finished second from stablemate It’s Somewhat.