Jockey Shane Scriven has said he is 100 per cent focused on riding Scenic Shot to victory in this weekend’s Doomben Cup despite the overhanging issue of his notorious whip stealing appeal approaching.
Scriven admitted to stealing apprentice jockey Ben Looker’s whip in the closing stages of an Ipswich race last month and is preparing to face a Queensland Council and Administrative Tribunal for a hearing to appeal what he called a “harsh” five month suspension.
Describing the incident as a “one-second brain snap”, Scriven has assured connections of his Doomben Cup mount Scenic Shot that there will be no such snap on Saturday.
“I’ll win the Doomben Cup first on Saturday and worry about the appeal later,” Scriven said.
The 45-year-old hoop is booked to ride Dan Morton’s veteran Perth galloper Scenic Shot in the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m), the rising nine-year-old looking for their second victory in the Brisbane stayers feature after Scenic Shot won the race back in 2009.
Morton’s Scenic gelding has shown excellent form befitting of a horse half their age this season, winning the Listed Member’s Quality Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm on April 23 with a hefty 61kg on their back before their gallant last-start third when beaten three quarters of a length by Doomben Cup rival My Kingdom Of Fife in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 7.
“He ran a nice race when he ran third in the Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast last run and I couldn’t be happier with him,” Scriven said.
“His enthusiasm is better than ever and the Hollindale at the Gold Coast wasn’t the ideal race for him.
“It was a race which just fitted in well on his program for the Doomben Cup.
“In another 50 metres he would have won.”
Scriven is the regular rider of Scenic Shot having paired with him for six of his seven starts this year.
He also has enjoyed dual Group 1 wins on the galloper in the 2009 McKinnon Stakes and 2009 Doomben Cup, and is enthusiastic of their chances on Saturday.
“He’s better than ever and still has that zest,” Scriven said.
“He’s an old warhorse and he still has the determination to win.
“Before he won the Doomben Cup two years ago he ran okay in the Hollindale Stakes beforehand but his Hollindale run this time was a lot better.”
Doomben Cup markets are a narrow battle of the imports, Michael Moroney’s Glass Harmonium the current $3.80 favourite to bring the Chris Waller-trained My Kingdom Of Fife’s unbeaten run on the Aussie turf to an end.
The former Queen-owned horse and $4 second favourite My Kingdom Of Fife is tipped by Scriven as a definite Doomben Cup danger, but he is also wary of Glass Harmonium after their impressive Australian debut in the Hollindale.
“If Glass Harmonium has improved from the Hollidnale he’ll be a definite chance again,” Scriven said.
“But quite often horses who race well in their first Australian run don’t do it again.”