Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
This Saturday another bumper Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival meet will run at Doomben Racecourse for Doomben Cup Day, one of the support acts on the program being the 2013 Lord Mayor’s Cup.
Scheduled as the fourth race on the card this year’s $115,000 Group 3 Carlton Mid Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) features a field of 12 hopefuls, the top fancy in the bookmaker.com.au markets for which is the always honest local galloper Solzhenitsyn ($2.30).
The Rob Heathcote-trained six-year-old is after their first victory since handing Heathcote with his maiden Group 1 victory in the Toorak Handicap over the mile at Caulfield last October.
Their results this time in have been mixed, the son of St Petersburg running an excellent third behind the then Gai Waterhouse-trained stablemates Pierro and More Joyous in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) first-up at Rosehill on March 23.
From a Group 1 minor place to a dead last finish in a 12-horse field, Solzhenitsyn failed to handle the Slow (7) track on Golden Slipper Day when finishing four and a half lengths off Pierro in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m).
Their last run on paper looked equally as unimpressive when seventh to Doomben Cup favourites Lights Of Heaven and Foreteller in the Group 2 AD Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast, but they were beaten under two lengths.
Originally Solzhenitsyn was to join the Hollindale quinella in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) this weekend but the missed first acceptance by his trainer sees them run in the Lord Mayor’s as a back-up.
While they are the obvious class horse here, have Group 1 winning form, an excellent record at the track winning their past five starts at Doomben including this race 12 months ago – could they be a little vulnerable having been prepared for a 2000m WFA and not the mile race?
The main dangers to Solzhenitsyn according to the Lord Mayor’s Cup odds are then the flying John Thompson-trained Holindale Stakes third place-getter Transporter ($3.60), Kelly Schweida’s local Stratum gelding Epic ($7) who has won their past three on the trot and Kiwi visitor Zennista ($10) drawn nicely in gate two.
So are these ones the horses to lock into your Lord Mayor’s Cup exotics? Or is there an upset on the cards?
#7 Transporter ($3.60)
- Commands gelding has been in excellent form over the past couple of months and out to continue that here
- Won last start at the track by a massive six lengths over the 1615m on a Slow (7) in early April
- Chance of a soft track again here but they also handle firmer ground
- Backed up from that blistering effort to win at Eagle Farm in the Listed Members’ Handicap also over the mile on a Slow-rated course
- Mile is their pet distance (7-4-2-0) finishing out of the money just once in their seven starts over the 1600m
- Doomben record is also very good (8-3-2-0)
- Three time winner and two time runner-up over the Track & Distance
- Outstanding effort to cross half a length away third behind Lights Of Heaven in the Hollindale last start from gate 11 of 11 under similar conditions
- Were going to the Doomben Cup like Solzhenitsyn so that’s the only query
#2 Solzhenitsyn ($2.30)
- Will be close and there’s plenty to like about the defending champ
- Drawn outside gate so needs to come home strong
- Mile might be a bit short as they were going to the 2000m of the Doomben Cup, this could find them out
- No denying their class as a Group 1 winner
- Won this race 12 months ago but were in better form then
- Doomben specialist (7-5-0-1) and will relish getting back to their pet track for the first time since winning the Lord Mayor’s last winter
- Mile record is also very good (6-3-0-2) but maybe a bit sharp for them after being stepped up to the 1800m for the Hollindale
- Forgive that run and need it dry or else forget
#9 Ibicenco ($15)
- Adds value to the winning trifecta here
- Peter Moody-trained import last seen winning the Sandown Cup over the two miles in November
- Likely to be too short for them (haven’t raced under 1800m ever or under 2400m in two years) but first-up and fresh could surprise
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