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The horse may be a rising 10-year-old and the trainer may have two other better fancied runners in the race but Sydney’s leading horseman Chris Waller believes his four-time Group 1 winning veteran Danleigh deserves a shot at the 2013 Doomben Cup this weekend.
A final field of 14 smart staying types are accepted for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m), Waller with a strong hand in the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s premier long distance event with three runners.
The best fancied of Waller’s contingent is Ranvet Stakes winner Foreteller who is now the $3.60 favourite ahead of Peter Moody’s in-form mare Lights Of Heaven ($3.70) coming off a win in the Hollindale Stakes where Foreteller finished second best.
Then there is the rails-drawn Beaten Up at $12 who Waller scratched from the Scone Cup this Friday in favour of the Group 1 after the import’s good second in the Rowley Mile earlier in the month.
Rounding out Waller’s Doomben Cup contingent is then $26 long shot Danleigh who will jump from gate six with Michael Walker in the saddle, the evergreen nine-year-old still capable of a good run according to Waller.
Last seen in the winners’ stall in September last year when taking out the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm, Danleigh has since been competitive in a number of elite level assignments including their close third to stablemate Shoot Out in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) in March.
After a close seventh to the since retired super colt Pierro in the George Ryder and then a fifth on a mud Randwick track for the Doncaster Mile, Danleigh was last seen finishing one and a quarter lengths away sixth to Lights Of Heaven in the Hollindale – an effort they can improve on this weekend.
“Danleigh has been a great horse to us, a genuine Group 1 horse, and he has probably run more races that have been Group 1 than any other races,” Waller said.
“I was tempted to go to the mile race (the Lord Mayor’s Cup) with him but he deserved to be in the Doomben Cup.
“His run in the Hollindale Stakes was good as was his run in the Doncaster, he is a genuine weight-for-age horse.
“Danleigh has been in the stable for a long time, and he is part of the furniture now.”
But the horseman couldn’t be persuaded to name his favourite for Saturday.
“I train them all to win,” Waller said. “I can’t pick a favourite.”
Another veteran from the Waller stable that won’t race on Doomben Cup Day meanwhile is Pentire eight-year-old Rangirangdoo who ran a credible first-up fifth to All Too Hard in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) on Sydney Cup Day.
Rangirangdoo was originally considered for the $115,000 Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) but Waller has decided to save them for Saturday week’s $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) instead where they are rated a $21 chance in the early markets led by Stradbroke Handicap favourite, BTC Cup winner Your Song.
“Rangi trialled on Tuesday and I thought his first-up run in the All Aged Stakes was excellent behind some very good horses,” Waller said.
“He was only beaten about two lengths, that was his first run in some time and he will tighten up significantly from that. He will keep them honest in the Doomben 10,000, that is for sure.”
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