Fri, May 19, 9:55am by Staff Writer
It’s Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) day on Saturday. On Friday the track was rated a soft-7 however more rain is predicted leading into Saturday and with the track backing up after last week, the rail is out 2.5m the entire circuit.
Godolphin’s It’s Somewhat ($4) will sport the number one saddlecloth in the Cup as he vies for four straight wins this campaign. His last start Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) win was off the back of a Group 1 Doncaster (1600m) victory and on Saturday he’ll get the services of James Doyle who will be the gelding’s fourth jockey this prep.
Darren Weir had some transportation issues last week in an attempt to get his horses to Brisbane but there have been no such dramas this week and he’ll saddle up three in the race. Ex-European Articus ($4.80), is having his fourth Australian start winning his most recent by 1L at Flemington in an Open Handicap over 1800m with ex-WA galloper, Star Exhibit ($13) (nine wins from 18 starts) and ex-Sydney mare Amelie’s Star ($10) five wins from 11) also lining up.
WATCH: Our Preview of the weekend’s racing
Sense of Occasion ($9.50) was a G2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) winner back in the summer and has three placings since then with one being in the Doncaster and another in the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m). His most recent run was when sixth to It’s Somewhat in the Hollindale. Single Gaze ($9.50) was runner-up in the Hollindale after a win and a third prior to that while Benzini ($26) is a seven-year-old gelding from New Zealand with 11 wins from his 45 career starts – his most recent win being in last year’s Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
Maurus ($14) is a consistent galloper with six wins and ten minors from his 24 race starts and he comes off a last start third in the Hollindale while stablemate Astronomos ($41) hasn’t finished further back than fourth from his five runs this campaign albeit in lesser grade.
Chris Waller takes three into the Cup with Vanbrugh ($20) (barrier 12), McCreery ($19) (15) and Preferment ($23) (17) all drawing wide and while they are all not without chances and around the $15-$26 mark in betting, Sydney’s leading trainer holds a much stronger hand in the Group 2 Roses (2200m).
Dawn Wall ($3.40) is equal favourite for the Roses and she comes off a last start win in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) a fortnight ago. Invincibella ($12) was fourth in the race after finishing second to Raiment at Randwick before that while Oklahoma Girl ($9) comes off a third placing and a win from her last two starts – both against the boys at BM78 level.
Kenedna ($3.30) opened up as equal favourite alongside Dawn Wall and she’s a last start runner-up in the G1 Australasian Oaks (2010m) which was coincidentally won by another Waller filly in Egg Tart. Queensland’s Candika ($11) and Team Snowden’s The Pinnacle ($7.50) are the only other runners given a chance according to the markets.
The Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) is the final race of the day and with 15 runners and at $5 the field, it’s a tough one for punters to end the day on.
Jungle Edge ($7) is one who’ll be hoping for the forecast rain to arrive and the more the better for him. Splurge ($4.60) is a NZ entire with seven wins from 11 starts, his best being at Group 3 level over 1200m. Federal ($8), who caught the eye when third to Religify two weeks ago will be joined by stable mate Handfast ($10). Ulmann ($6.50) was a big winner during the Warrnambool carnival, Snippets Land ($11) is fresh after a nice trial leading into this while every punter knows Strawberry Boy ($16) but he’s now in the stables of Matthew Dunn who also has Perfect Dare ($26) in the race.
Suggested Bet: Back It’s Somewhat to win at $4
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