The money may be coming for younger rival Leebaz to win Saturday’s Doomben Cup 2014 in Brisbane, but Sydney’s Guy Walter is thrilled with his mare Streama who worked well on the course proper on Tuesday morning.
Walter said the five-year-old Stratum mare was “ticking over nicely” ahead of the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on Saturday where she’s battling for favouritsim with the Zabeel four-year-old Leebaz.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Leebaz won the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) last time out on May 3, and goes up to the 2000m for the first time this weekend.
Streama is also going up in distance seeing further than 1800m for the first time since her 2012 Australian Oaks win as a three-year-old, something Walter believes she is more than ready for.
“The race is 2000m which some would say is maybe past her comfort zone, yet she has won an Australian Oaks over 2400m and ran second to Mosheen in the Vinery over 2000m,” he told The Courier-Mail.
“These days she is probably more settled than she used to be. Top-class mares like her come in ell at the weight-for-age scale.”
She’s a triple Group 1 winner with plenty of class, as displayed by her recent win when going up to 1800m to win the Group 2 AD Hollindale Stakes on the Gold Coast a fortnight ago.
Last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival Streama had two runs at Eagle Farm for two Group 1 minor placings.
Upset winner Linton beat her home by a length when she finished third behind the 25-1 outsider in the Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) and then she was second to Red Tracer over the same track and distance two weeks later for the Tatt’s Tiara.
The form in Brisbane is there then, something she proved again with a smart gallop at Doomben on Tuesday morning ahead of her shot at a fourth Group 1 trophy on the weekend.
Also coming via a nice run behind Streama in the Hollindale Stakes, which has produced eight Doomben Cup winners since 2002, are the likes of runner-up Mr O’Ceirin and Chris Waller’s fourth placed Junoob.
The Hollindale was run on a Heavy (8) but the track conditions in Brisbane for Doomben Cup Day are set to be much firmer, something Walter believes will be in her favour.
“I prefer her these days on a dry track, even though she can handle the wet as she showed in her last win,” Walter said.
And while retirement rumours surface, Walter believes Streama is still capable of a number more great runs before the breeding barn beckons.
“She has been a remarkable mare in that she has lasted several seasons at the top level,” he said.
“The fact that she has lasted so long is a tribute to her soundness and her constitution and her temperament. She showed in the Hollindale that she still has the zest for racing.”
Victorian trainer Ciaron Maher also ran Mr O’Ceirin at Doomben on Tuesday and said he would be at his best no matter the track conditions.
“I don’t mind if it is wet or dry,” Maher said.
“He is thriving up here. His work was beautiful and he loved it.”
Doomben Cup 2014 final acceptances are now closed with the final field due out any time so stay tuned.
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