The Doomben Cup 2018 takes centre stage in...
Toowoomba trainer Michael Nolan is hopeful the 1200m at Doomben Racecourse this weekend is the right track and distance for his horse Upstart Pride to score an upset in the Doomben 10,000.
There are currently 40 horses nominated for the opening elite level of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, the $700,000 Group 1 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10,000 (1200m) to run over the genuine sprint distance for the first time in seven decades.
Previously contested later during the carnival over 1350m, the changes to the festival line-up prompted Nolan to throw in a Doomben 10,000 nomination for his Tycoon Ruler gelding Upstart Pride.
The five-year-old is guaranteed a spot in the 16 starter Doomben 10,000 field, Upstart Pride having won $458,550 in prize money over his 31 career starts to date.
Seven of those have been over the 1200m at Doomben, where the horse has posted two wins and a third.
Last seen running a close fifth behind Jumbo Prince in the Listed Weetwood Handicap (1200m) at home on April 8, Upstart Pride returns to Doomben this weekend for the first time since his failed 10th to Straturbo in the Listed Bribie Handicap (1050m) back in December.
He hasn’t been over the 1200m at the track however since a second to Dream Choice in July last year and his previous run over the distance at Doomben produced a smart win over Londehero last winter by four lengths.
“It was this time last year when he ran 1.8.6 in winning a race at Doomben over 1200 metres,” Nolan told AAP.
“I admit we are having a throw at the stumps here but it is hard to line up other winning times for the Doomben 10,000 because it has been previously run at 1350 metres.
“But there isn’t a lot around for him if we go to the lesser stakes races in the winter. He likes the 1200 at Doomben.
“He had 58 kilos in the Weetwood Handicap last start and he ran a great race.”
Nolan was part of the team that prepared Laurie’s Lottery to victory in the 1999 Doomben 10,000 and believes the weight-for-age conditions will suit Upstart Pride who is up notably in grade from the Weetwood.
“It was a good run [last start] but obviously this is a lot harder,” Nolan said.
“Still, he deserves a chance.”
Pre-field Doomben 10,000 betting at Ladbrokes.com.au currently has Upstart Pride listed as a $51 roughie, with the biggest upset in the race from the past 30 years being the 2006 success of Undue at $41 odds.
Peter & Paul Snowden’s Group 1 winning colt Russian Revolution is the clear $3.30 favourite in futures Doomben 10,000 odds, the son of Snitzel out to be the first three-year-old winner since the fellow Snowden-trained Epaulette in 2013.
The stable has also thrown in an entry for last start Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes winner at Randwick Redzel, the four-year-old having run second to Russian Revolution the start before in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m).
Head to Ladbrokes.com.au now to back your early Doomben 10,000 selections before markets firm with the final field out on Wednesday.
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