First acceptances and weights for Saturday week’s Doomben Cup 2016 are now out with last weekend’s upset Hollidale Stakes winner Leebaz among the contenders for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival classic.
Set to run at Doomben Racecourse on May 21, this year’s weight-for-age $650,000 Group 1 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m) originally attracted 40 nominations.
That number has been cut to just 14 at first acceptance stage on Wednesday.
Among the first acceptors is the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Leebaz who scored back-to-back Group 2 A.D. Hollidale Stakes (1800m) wins on the Gold Coast last Saturday as a $21 roughie.
After his Hollidale win last winter the Zabeel gelding backed-up in in a disappointing 14th of 15 runners in the Doomben Cup, a race he was runner-up to Streama (2014) in the previous year.
He is in the mix still for his third Doomben Cup attempt this season though where, if successful, he will be the first six-year-old winner of the race since Scenic Shot (2009).
In a wide-open Doomben Cup betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, Leebaz is one of a bumper eight hopes under $10 for the win in the ante-post odds paying $9.
The other best Hollindale Stakes graduates among the Doomben Cup first acceptances this year are runner-up Hauraki and the third placed Kiwi raider Volkstok’n’barrell.
John O’Shea prepares four-year-old Godolphin galloper Hauraki who is looking to go back-to-back for his age group in the Doomben Cup this season after the success of Pornichet (2015) last year.
The Reset four-year-old hasn’t won a race since his Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) success in March last year, after which he ran second to subsequent Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m).
He has been super consistent in top company over the past year however including his Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) third and Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) second behind Winx and The United States respectively this autumn.
Hauraki currently leads the futures Doomben Cup odds at $3.50 with improvement expected off his latest run as he gets out over more distance in Brisbane.
Another gun four-year-old who currently sits number one on the Doomben Cup ballot, the Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs-trained Volkstok’n’barrell is no stranger to Group 1 racing down under.
The talented son of Tavistock took out last year’s Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) defeating Preferment before a third in the ATC Derby.
He has run in another nine Group 1 races at home and in Australia since the ATC Derby, winning two over 1600m and 2000m respectively in New Zealand this year, and is at $6 to take out the Doomben Cup.
Following Hauraki in the Doomben Cup all-in markets at $5 each are stablemate It’s Somewhat and Darren Weir’s in-form stallion Raw Impulse who has won his last two on the trot.
It’s Somewhat is a five-year-old son of Dynaformer who is yet to race in Brisbane, but who has been mixing it with the best this year and who was beaten 3.2 lengths when fifth in the Hollindale last start.
Four-year-old Raw Impulse is an imported son of Makfi who has had just the three runs in Australia for two wins, the latest by a runaway 3.25 lengths over 1800m at Caulfield on April 23 in a Benchmark 78.
Other headline Doomben Cup first acceptors include Lee & Anthony Freedman’s Caulfield Cup third placegetter from the spring Our Ivanhowe ($7) and the Chris Waller-trained Spiritjim who ran seventh in the Hollindale on debut down under ($8).
See below for the full Doomben Cup 2016 first acceptances and latest odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $500 first time depositors’ bonus with use of the code BETBONUS!