A final field of 10 smart gallopers is engaged to face off in the Doomben Cup 2014 this weekend as the Group 1 action of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival continues.
Included in the field for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Titan Energy Services Doomben Cup (2000m) are all three of the late entries that missed the first acceptance cut-off with connections paying up for Mr O’Ceirin, Akzar and Angel Of Mercy.
The early favourite getting plenty of love from the punters meanwhile is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained improver Leebaz.
Drawn in gate two with top Kiwi expat James McDonald to ride, the up-and-coming Zabeel four-year-old shoots for their second straight win.
Last time out they beat home Wistful in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).
While their breeding suggests they’ll handle the 2000m on Saturday it is their first time at further than a mile.
It is also Leebaz’s maiden Group 1 assignment, one they’ve earned after winning six of their nine career starts to date.
The other horse high up the Doomben Cup betting markets battling for favouritism with Leebaz is then the Guy Walter-trained Streama.
Winner of the 2012 Australian Oaks as a three-year-old, the smart Stratum mare sees further than 1800m for the first time since here.
Walter is convinced she can add a fourth Group 1 win to her record however after her dominant win over many of these same rivals on May 3 at the Gold Coast in the Group 2 AD Hollindale Stakes (1800m).
Streama has gate eight and Blake Shinn on Saturday but plenty of time to get around the field as she looks to become just the fifth mare in history to win – the last being Cinque Cento (2007).
She is also likely to relish the firmer ground at Doomben despite winning the Hollindale on a Heavy track, and worked well at the course proper on Tuesday in her first Brisbane run since her second in the Tatt’s Tiara last winter.
Ciaron Maher’s Hollindale Stakes runner-up Mr O’Ceirin also backs up in the Doomben Cup, the Postponed six-year-old with the far outside barrier to overcome.
They improved on some pretty disappointing recent form to finish half a length off Streama last start where they obviously enjoyed the soft track.
Maher however is confident they can go just as well on a Good track as the horse has been thriving since arriving in Queensland.
Also backing up from the Hollindale is Chris Waller’s beaten favourite Junoob.
The Haafhd six-year-old won back-to-back races over 2000m earlier in the autumn before their fourth at the Gold Coast, a run the bookies and Waller believe they can bounce back from when going back up in distance here.
Waller has also paid up for Moriarty, the Clodovil six-year-old coming off a fifth in the Hollindale Stakes when beaten under two lengths, as he shoots for back-to-back Doomben Cups after taking it out last year with Beaten Up.
Also with dual Doomben Cup acceptors this year is Victorian trainer Peter Moody accepting for two outside chances with Fat Al and Floria.
Of those Savabeel mare Floria looks the better positioned for an upset, the six-year-old drawn in barrier one and coming off a second to Tango’s Daughter in the Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m) in Adelaide from April 26.
Rounding out the Doomben Cup field are then the Kris Lees-trained import Slow Pace having their fourth run down under and Gerald Ryan’s Angel Of Mercy out to improve on their Hollindale eighth.
Check out the full Doomben Cup 2014 field, barriers and jockeys below.
Our preferred online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au are set to reopen betting on the feature shortly as well so make sure you have an account open with them now to get in on the action!
2014 Doomben Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Doomben Race 7 – 3:40pm – 17/05/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||503×834655||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||7||59kg||109|
|2||0x80x31007||FAT AL||Peter G Moody||Chris Munce||9||59kg||105|
|3||1612100×02||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Glen Boss||10||59kg||105|
|4||x600111221||AKZAR (IRE)||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||6||59kg||103|
|5||9×62113114||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||3||59kg||104|
|6||614143×303||SLOW PACE (USA)||Kris Lees||Jim Cassidy||5||59kg||103|
|7||1x112x1121||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||James McDonald||2||59kg||101|
|8||212×566041||STREAMA||Guy Walter||Blake Shinn||8||57kg||113|
|9||3x361x2872||FLORIA (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||1||57kg||99|
|10||7x210x4318||ANGEL OF MERCY||Gerald Ryan||Damian Browne||4||57kg||99|