Sydney’s leading horseman Chris Waller has entered five horses in the Doomben Cup 2015 this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival as he chases a third win in the classic.
Nominations for seven of Brisbane’s Group 1 winter classics close today including those for the elite level opener of the season, the lucrative $655,500 Group 1 The Bundaberg Rum Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 9.
Waller has won two recent editions of the weight-for-age feature thanks to the success of Metal Bender (2010) and Beaten Up (2013), and is back with another strong hand in 2015.
The Doomben Cup nominations feature 20 early chances this year, the oldest of Waller’s five being evergreen nine-year-old I’m Imposing.
The Danehill Dancer gelding debuted in Queensland last start on the Gold Coast in the traditional Doomben Cup lead-up, the Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) and ran a competitive third he is sure to improve on.
Waller also prepared the fourth placegetter in that race, which has produced six of the past 10 Doomben Cup winners, with eight-year-old Foreteller running a brave second to Leebaz.
Both Foreteller and Leebaz also feature as Doomben Cup nominees, the Team Hawkes-trained Leebaz looking to complete the Hollindale – Doomben Cup double last achieved only 12 months ago with Streama (2014) for the late Guy Walter.
A winner of seven of his 17 career starts to date, well-bred Zabeel five-year-old Leebaz will be running in his second Doomben Cup in as many years if accepted having run a brave second to the winning mare last year, co-trainer Michael Hawkes confident the horse is in peak form for his latest attempt at a Group 1.
Leebaz is also the right age for a Doomben Cup victory with the past two winners of the race being five-year-olds.
Getting back to Waller’s charge, his other three entries are Moriarty, former Queensland Derby champ Hawkspur and French import Weary.
Hollindale Stakes runner-up, Sir Moments, was brave in defeat at the Gold Coast and also features in the Doomben Cup nominations this year.
The Choisir four-year-old is bred to stay, his dam’s sire being Zabeel, and the improver has winning form in Doomben having won the Listed Tails Stakes (1630m) leading up to his good Hollindale effort.
There are three mares in the mix this year with Epingle, Roger James’s New Zealand visitor Silent Achiever and Gypsy Diamond.
A four-time Group 1 winner who took out the 2014 Ranvet Stakes – The BMW double in Sydney, O’Reilly six-year-old Silent Achiever is looking to go back-to-back in the Doomben Cup for the mares following Streama’s win last winter.
She will need to be on the improve however after she ran far from her best last time out when eighth in the Hollindale.
It has also been a long time between drinks for the $3.65 million earner whose latest win was The BMW in April last year.
Her jockey in the Hollindale, Kerrin McEvoy, expressed his disappointment to the stewards post-race and the mare remains an unconfirmed Doomben Cup acceptor as she suffered a colic attack on the float home after her latest run.
Gypsy Diamond meanwhile is an up-and-coming four-year-old whose damn Gypsy Tucker is another Zabeel progeny, and her form for the Cup is excellent as she beat subsequent Hollindale winner Leebaz home in the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 18.
The other as-yet mentioned Hollindale graduates nominated for the Doomben Cup this year are the Bart & James Cummings-trained Precedence (5th), 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon (6th) and the Matt Laurie-trained Escado (12th).
This weekend sees three of the Doomben Cup nominees have a lead-up run that could secure a bid in the Brisbane major including the Rob Heathcote-trained Tails Stakes runner-up Hopfgarten and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Group 3 winner Pornichet, who was balloted out of the Hollindale, both accepted for the $100,000 Toowoomba Cup (2150m).
Malice meanwhile runs in Sydney on Saturday in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).
2015 Doomben Cup final acceptances close at 9:00am on Wednesday May 6, and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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2015 Doomben Cup Nominations
Doomben Racecourse – 09/05/0215
|ADDICTIVE HABIT (NZ)||n/aG||(Lee Somervell)|
|BANCA MO||7G||(Scott Brunton)|
|EPINGLE (NZ)||7M||(Michael Kent)|
|FORETELLER (GB)||8G||(Chris Waller)|
|GREEN MOON (IRE)||8H||(Robert Hickmott)|
|GYPSY DIAMOND||4M||( Peter & Paul Snowden)|
|I’M IMPOSING (GB)||9G||(Chris Waller)|
|KOURKAM (FR)||5G||(Tony McEvoy)|
|LEEBAZ (NZ)||5G||( Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes)|
|MORIARTY (IRE)||7G||(Chris Waller)|
|ONGOING VENTURE||6G||(Darlene Duryea)|
|PORNICHET (FR)||4H||(Gai Waterhouse)|
|PRECEDENCE (NZ)||9G||(Bart & James Cummings)|
|SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||6M||(Roger James)|
|SIR MOMENTS||4G||(Steven O’dea)|
|WEARY (FR)||5G||(Chris Waller)|