There was no holding back Gai Waterhouse’s classy French import Pornichet who handled a seven day back-up without a worry to win the Doomben Cup 2015 in Brisbane running away this winter carnival.
The Vespone four-year-old didn’t have the perfect journey into the $650,000 Group 1 The Bundaberg Rum Doomben Cup (2000m) after being balloted out of the traditional Hollindale Stakes lead-up at the Gold Coast a fortnight ago.
Trainer Waterhouse didn’t panic however and instead ran him with the big weight in the Toowoomba Cup last weekend.
He won that with 60.5kg and then dropped to 59kg today under the weight-for-age conditions of the Doomben Cup, which the horse dubbed the ‘New Kid on the Block’ won emphatically.
Jumping favourite, Pornichet was originally tipped to go forward with hoop-of-the-day Blake Shinn on his back.
They were going too quick early however and so Pornichet, who was getting fired up in the barriers before jumping away okay from gate four, was forced to settle back off the speed set by last year’s Doomben Cup runner-up Leebaz.
The Team Hawkes-trained son of Zabeel Leebaz, winner of the Group 2 AD Hollindale Stakes (1800m) last time out, was charging up front with the 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon breathing down his neck in second.
Shinn, who with the Doomben Cup result posted his fourth win of the day at Doomben and back-to-back wins in Doomben Cup after riding the late Guy Walter’s mare Streama to victory in 2014, meanwhile did a brilliant job settling Pornichet into a lovely rhythm waiting to pounce as they went round the bend.
And pounce the galloper did, Pornichet ($3.60) absolutely bolting home after hitting the front 300m out to get five lengths in front at the 200m.
On the line he had around three – four lengths to spare on his closest rival, another French import prepared by one of Sydney’s best, the Chris Waller-trained Weary ($19) who came from right back off a wide run to finish second behind the runaway winner.
Waller, who has won two recent Doomben Cups himself with Metal Bender (2010) and Beaten Up (2013), actually prepared Weary as well as the next three best over the line with the veteran nine-year-old I’m Imposing ($12) running third ahead of former Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur (4th) and Foreteller (5th).
“It’s special to come up here and win on this day,” Shinn said after the victory.
“Great to come and go back-to-back.
“He’s a stallion and such an imposing type.
“He’s improved a lot from last week’s performance too.”
Waterhouse meanwhile hadn’t won a Doomben Cup in nearly 20 years with her other winner of the classic being Juggler (1996).
She was unsurprisingly thrilled post win today and confirmed long term plans to take Pornichet to the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October this coming Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
With time away from racing and getting over the Cox Plate distance he looks the ideal type to win that, making him a gun early pick in the juicy ante-post markets on the Australasian weight-for-age classic.
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2015 Doomben Cup Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 7 – 09/05/2015
|1||10||PORNICHET (FR)||Gai Waterhouse||Blake Shinn||–||4||59kg||$3.50F|
|2||6||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||2.3L||8||59kg||$19|
|3||8||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||3.1L||6||59kg||$11|
|4||3||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||3.6L||5||59kg||$15|
|5||11||HOPFGARTEN||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||3.9L||13||59kg||$17|
|6||2||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||4.1L||9||59kg||$9|
|7||4||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||5.1L||2||59kg||$21|
|8||14||GYPSY DIAMOND||Peter & Paul Snowden||Craig Williams||6.1L||1||57kg||$14|
|9||15||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||Glen Colless||6.5L||12||57kg||$31|
|10||13||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Kerrin McEvoy||8.8L||10||57kg||$12|
|11||5||BANCA MO||Scott Brunton||Dean Holland||9.2L||7||59kg||$31|
|12||9||ESCADO||Matt Laurie||Stephen Baster||9.4L||3||59kg||$71|
|13||12||ADDICTIVE HABIT (NZ)||Lee Somervell||Michael Cahill||9.8L||15||59kg||$81|
|14||7||LEEBAZ (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jim Byrne||11.3L||11||59kg||$5|
|15||1||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Chad Schofield||11.6L||14||59kg||$16|