After “playing” with his rivals and winning the Toowoomba Cup with ease last weekend, Gai Waterhouse’s classy French import Pornichet is clear favourite to back-up in Brisbane this Saturday and take out the 2015 Doomben Cup.
A four-year-old Vespone stallion, Pornichet is one of 20 official entries taken last week by Racing Queensland for the $650,000 Group 1 The Bundaberg Rum Doomben Cup (2000m) on Saturday, which kicks off Group 1 racing this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
He had his path to the Doomben Cup disrupted a fortnight ago however when he was balloted out of a traditional lead-up run in the Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast.
Instead Waterhouse flew to Toowoomba last Saturday to watch her emerging staying star run them down with a soft victory in the $100,000 Toowoomba Cup (2150m).
Winner of the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 28, Pornichet’s last run before the ‘Plan B’ Toowoomba Cup start was a fifth to Kermadec in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 6.
He relished getting back up over more distance in Queensland then, proving his ability when carting the hefty 60.5kg top weight to a one length victory over the Robert Heathcote-trained duo of Volkhere (2nd) and Hopfgarten (3rd) in the Toowoomba Cup.
Jockey Tim Bell gave the top weight the perfect run and was full of post-win praise for the imported galloper.
“I took the initiative early and got out of everyone’s way,” he said.
“He’s a serious horse this one and even though some will say they were coming again on the line, he was just playing with them.”
Waterhouse confirmed that “if he makes the field” Pornichet would back-up in this Saturday’s Doomben Cup, with her long term aim being the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
“Now it will be Toowoomba to Moonee Valley for the Cox Plate,” she said over the weekend.
The bookies agree that if he makes the cut in the weight-for-age Doomben Cup field this weekend Pornichet is the one to beat as he sits top of the pre-field odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.80 to win.
He is followed in the early Doomben Cup odds by five other single figure fancies including the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Leebaz ($7.50) and one of five in the mix for Chris Waller, veteran nine-year-old I’m Imposing ($8.50).
Zabeel five-year-old Leebaz won the Hawkesbury Gold Cup last year on way to a brave second behind classy mare Streama in the Doomben Cup.
This season he is in even better form having won the traditional Doomben Cup lead-up with a Hollindale Stakes win on Anzac Day.
I’m Imposing also comes via the Hollindale, Waller’s nine-year-old gelding finishing a brave third in the race during his Queensland race debut.
Three hopefuls then follow on $9 with Waller’s Hollindale fourth placed Foreteller, four-time Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Silent Achiever and Steven O’Dea’s Brisbane-trained four-year-old Hollindale Stakes runner-up Sir Moments.
Outside the single figure Doomben Cup fancies the next best in betting include 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, Peter & Paul Snowden’s JRA Plate winning mare Gypsy Diamond and Waller’s former Queensland Derby champ Hawkspur.
See below for the current Doomben Cup 2015 odds, the final field of acceptances set for release on Wednesday morning.
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