This month’s Doomben Cup is shaping up as a battle of the imports with Chris Waller’s in-form galloper My Kingdom Of Fife the narrow favourite over the up-and-coming Glass Harmonium from the stables of Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Michael Moroney.
Last Saturday Kingmambo six-year-old My Kingdom Of Fife became a triple Group winner in Australia, backing up from their elite level victory in the Queen Elizabeth stakes with a gritty win in the $300,000 Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast.
Holding on to defeat fellow European import Glass Harmonium by a long neck, My Kingdom Of Fife surged into favouritism for this year’s Doomben Cup on May 21 now paying $4.20 to maintain their flawless record on Aussie shores.
However, just as gallant in defeat as the winner was in victory, runner-up Glass Harmonium also emerged as a genuine Doomben Cup contender.
In their Australian race debut, Verglas five-year-old Glass Harmonium put the pressure on My Kingdom Of Fife and staked their claims for Group 1 glory in the Doomben Cup, now the $4.40 second favourite in the futures markets for the 2020m weight-for-age feature.
If the tables are to be turned on My Kingdom Of Fife in the Cup, it is Glass Harmonium who has the ability to bring down the Kingdom.
Jockey Hugh Bowman, aboard Glass Harmonium when just overshadowed in the Hollindale, is firmly on his mount’s bandwagon for the Doomben Cup rematch.
“I’m confident I’ll get his (My Kingdom Of Fife’s) measure in the Doomben Cup,” Bowman said.
“My bloke had every chance but the other horse just had a couple of runs under his belt.
“It was an excellent run and he’s right on track for the Doomben Cup.”
My Kingdom Of Fife has turned out to be a revelation for Sydney trainer Chris Waller.
Purchased for just over $96,000 at a Tattersalls sale last year, the horse has already amassed $567,000 in prize money from their trio of wins in Australia.
“He’s the highest-performed horse we’ve ever had, so we will be going back looking for some more of him,” Waller said of his new prize asset.
Top hoop Nash Rawiller, who maintained his association with the import in the Hollindale after being aboard for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory, was also full of praise for My Kingdom Of Fife.
“He’s a very nice horse and whatever he does I think he’s going to be better next preparation,” Rawiller said.
Without getting too far ahead of himself, Waller was quietly confident My Kingdom Of Fife would grow into a Melbourne Cup horse in the spring.
“We won’t get carried away about Melbourne yet, but who knows, they normally improve with their second preparation,” he said.
There are still over 40 horses vying for a spot in the $500,000 Doomben Cup field this year.
Other gallopers firmly in the market include John Wallace’s Gold Coast hopeful Shoot Out ($7) and WA warhorse Scenic Shot ($9).
On Saturday in the Hollindale the Daniel Morton-trained Perth stayer Scenic Shot, winner of the Hollindale back in 2008, was a brave third behind My Kingdom Of Fife and Glass Harmonium finishing less than a length away.
In a very close fourth was fellow Doomben Cup hopeful, Mick Price’s Heart Of Dreams followed by Shoot Out.
Of third placegetter Scenic Shot, trainer Len Morton was happy with the run from the rising nine-year-old who won the 2009 Doomben Cup.
“Both the bloody Pommy horses beat us home,” Morton said summing up the Hollindale.
“My horse was too far back and had to make up a lot of ground.
“I thought his run was very good.”