The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
While there’s a slim chance she could back-up Saturday week in the Doomben 10,000, this weekend’s Doomben Cup 2014 is the likely curtain call for Gerald Ryan’s retiring mare Angel Of Mercy.
A winner of five of her 24 starts, the daughter of Hussonet is set to go under the hammer at the Magic Millions broodmare sales at the end of the month.
She gets a chance to considerably improve the price she attracts there when she races this weekend in Brisbane’s $500,000 Group 1 Titan Energy Services Doomben Cup (2000m).
One of 10 final acceptors into the Doomben Cup field, Angel Of Mercy was actually a late entry that cost connections over $11,000 extra after Ryan missed the first acceptance cut off.
It’s a price they were willing to pay however to see her line-up at Group 1 level for her likely swansong where she’ll jump one of the roughies of the pack.
Current Doomben Cup betting is led by Guy Walter’s last start Group 2 AD Hollindale Stakes winner at the Gold Coast Streama ($4.20), who Ryan has plenty of respect for.
“It’s a good field, and I (respect) Streama, who has had Group 1 form all her life,” he told The Daily Telegraph speaking of the three time Group 1 winning favourite.
He also hasn’t ruled out the Ciaron Maher-trained Mr O’Ceirin ($8) who he tips to improve on their Hollindale second in the wet on May 3.
Angel Of Mercy also ran in the Hollindale but could only manage to finish six and a half lengths away eighth, a disappointment after her Listed Winning Edge Members’ Handicap (1600m) win the start before at Eagle Farm.
In a bid to get Angel Of Mercy ($21) over the line first on Saturday Ryan has instructed jockey Damien Browne, who has ridden the mare for her two most recent starts, “dead quiet”.
“She’s always shown good ability, she’s had little niggling problems, but this is the soundest she’s been in her life,” he said.
“We’ll ride her dead quiet on Saturday.”
The other major chances in the Doomben Cup odds are then last start Hawkesbury Gold Cup winning Zabeel galloper Leebaz and the Chris Waller-trained Junoob ($6) looking to atone for their Hollindale fourth when unsuited to the Heavy track.
Ryan has a strong hand across the support card on Doomben Cup Day as well.
In the $125,000 Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) he saddles up last start Prime Minister’s Cup winner Dances On Stars, while earlier in the day Mossman colt Dothraki will lead them out in the $125,000 Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) after their Gold Coast Guineas win a fortnight ago.
“Dances On Stars is in the zone and going terrific, while Dothraki has drawn awkwardly (in barrier 12), but trained on well and meets a similar field to one he raced against the other day,” Ryan said.
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