Malaysian-bound hoop Craig Newitt rates his ride in Saturday’s 2014 Doomben Cup Moriarty a genuine chance for an upset if the rain stays away in Brisbane ahead of the winter feature.
Last weekend the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival kicked off with an upset when Famous Seamus won the BTC Cup as a 40-1 shot.
While the Chris Waller-trained Clodovil gelding isn’t quite as rough in the markets for this weekend’s $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m), they are still at double figures at $11 when five of their nine rivals pay under $10 to win.
A winner of 10 of their 41 starts the veteran six-year-old was ridden by Newitt last time out when the duo finished just under two lengths away fifth to Streama in the Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast.
Guy Walter’s Hollindale Stakes winning mare Streama, third in last year’s Stradbroke Handicap and runner-up in the Tatt’s Tiara in Brisbane, heads the latest Doomben Cup odds this year at a quote of $4.20.
She is a triple Group 1 winner, beat many of these same rivals home in the Hollindale and can handle any type of ground making her a genuine shot at a fourth elite level before retirement.
Newitt however has warned punters not to write off Moriarty who failed to let down on the Heavy (8) Gold Coast track in the Hollindale.
“He’s going well, the horse, he’s just struggling to really accelerate on the wet tracks,” he told Racing Victoria.
He is then tipping the horse for improvement in the Doomben Cup especially as they get back up to 2000m, a distance they ran third behind Side Glance over in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes in Melbourne during the spring.
“The other day at the Gold Coast he tracked up behind them like the winner but just really one-batted in the straight, he just couldn’t get a grip on the track,” Newitt added.
“If the rain stays away he’s a real chance.”
Moriarty is out to break a notable drought too not having won a race since the Group 2 Hill Stakes, also over 2000m, at Randwick last September.
Newitt meanwhile is hoping to bag some Group 1 glory in the sunshine state early as he will be overseas when three majors run at Eagle Farm for Stradbroke Handicap Day on June 7.
By then he will already be fulfilling a dream to ride overseas having been selected to represent his country in Malaysia’s Selangor Turf Club International Jockeys Championship that weekend.
The Doomben Cup and possibly a ride in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks on May 31, likely to miss Doomben 10,000 Day Saturday week for Melbourne, are then his only two chances of Group 1 success during the carnival, and he’s looking to make the most of it adding to his four Group 1s for the season already.
While it is tough to say no to Stradbroke Day, Newitt said it would be even harder to pass up such a rare opportunity overseas.
“I got a phone call Michael Castillo, the head steward over there, about a month ago and he wanted to know if I was interested in coming over,” Newitt said.
“Unfortunately it falls on a big day in Queensland, but these opportunities don’t come along very often. It’s obviously good to be invited to ride in it.”
The other major players in the Doomben Cup on Saturday include Hawkesbury Cup winner Leebaz ($4.50) to get the run of the race from barrier two, Warnambool Cup champ Akzar ($5.50) after their fourth win from six starts and the Chris Waller-trained Junoob ($5.50) out to atone for their fourth in the Hollindale.
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