Despite the cold and wet weather, the racing is set to heat up north of the border this Saturday. We head to Doomben for the running of the Group 1 Doomben Cup, and with $600,000 up for grabs, we have an all-star cast lining up at the barriers! Can anyone stop the evergreen Zaaki, who looks to have one hoof on the till?
Doomben Race 6
#11 King Kapa
King Kapa is a winning machine! The Capitalist gelding put four wins together before failing at his latest outing in a red-hot form race. A recent freshen-up and barrier trial win will have his confidence up, and he deserves his shot at a decent race against quality opposition. If he doesn’t get too far out of his ground during the race’s middle stages, I expect him to figure in the finish.
Prime Candidate looks dangerous from the perfect inside draw. The Denman gelding should be fitter after a recent outing, and I expect him to roll forward and set the tempo. The rising nine-year-old is racing in great spirit, and if he is allowed to dictate the speed, he may prove hard to run down. His winning record is the primary concern.
Axe can run a drum at a high price. The Written Tycoon gelding has an impressive first-up record, and he will get every chance to take up his favourite role as leader from a favourable inside draw. He has been well-backed since markets opened, and I expect his quote to shorten further if the track continues to deteriorate.
Suggested Bet: King Kapa @ $3.30
Doomben RACE 7
Zaaki made an impressive return first-up in the All Aged Stakes before proving too classy in the Hollindale. The veteran is showing no signs of slowing down and looks to have this race at his mercy. The Annabel Neasham trained eight-year-old can roll forward from barrier eleven, and if he left to his own devices on top of the speed, it could be curtains a long way from home. He has been a marvel since arriving in Australia and is a well-deserved favourite.
The Derby favourite Kovalica was a stunning winner of the Queensland Guineas second-up from a spell. The Ocean Park gelding has made an incredible start to his career, and he arguably should be undefeated. This is a step up for the Chris Waller trained three-year-old. However, he looks very promising with a big future. If the favourite over races through the middle stages, he could prove too strong in the shadows. He has the world at his feet!
Atishu can bounce back after a disappointing run at her latest outing. Her first two runs this campaign were ultra-impressive, and it may pay to forgive her last performance. The Savabeel mare got too far out of her ground from the wide gate, and it was a hard watch for loyal supporters. I expect her to be closer in the run on Saturday, and if she is presented at the right time, she can figure.
Suggested Bet: Zaaki @ $1.95
Doomben Race 8
#3 Cardinal Gem
Cardinal Gem will start favourite after putting two wins together at Sandown. The Choisir gelding deserves his shot at this level, and he looks well-placed to threaten on Saturday. He usually peaks around this preparation stage, and the 1350m plays in his favour. Jumping from barrier twenty-one is the primary concern.
Scallopini is too consistent to dismiss. The Snitzel gelding resumes here after a little freshen-up, and his form prior during the early autumn was delicious. From barrier eleven, I expect him to roll forward and take up a prominent position, and if he can take a mid-race breather on top of the speed, the race could be over before the final furlong. The evergreen galloper has been heavily backed in early betting, and I won’t be surprised if he challenges for race favouritism.
Excelida is over the odds. The Exceed And Excel mare is knocking on the door, and she meets easier opposition here. Her recent barrier trial leading into this event will have her cherry ripe, and I expect her to figure if she can overcome the tricky barrier. She needs to turn eye-catching performances into victories!
Suggested Bet: Cardinal Gem @ $4.20
Doomben Race 9
Premise comes to Brisbane following consistent performances during The Championships at Randwick. Her effort in Adrian Knox was eye-catching, and she was game in defeat in the Oaks. The Contributer filly handles all conditions, and her teasing trial leading into this event will have her poised to strike. Her winning strike rate is the only deterrent.
Sakura Girl can bounce back after being beaten as a short-priced favourite in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks. The Iffraaj filly is building an impressive career record, and she looks well-placed jumping from a middle gate. The 52.5kg is a luxury, and with even luck in transit, I expect her to be there when the whips are cracking. The length of her preparation could come against her.
Super Chilled caught the eye in the Princess Stakes before being grabbed in the shadows of the post in the Bracelet. The Churchill filly is knocking on the door, and the heavy track conditions are advantageous. The Chris Waller and James Mcdonald combination will attract market support, and she is ready to step out in the distance at this stage of her preparation. The wide barrier is the biggest issue.
Suggested Bet: Premise @ $10.00