|What||Doomben Cup Day|
|Where||Doomben Racecourse – 76 Hampden St, Ascot QLD 4007|
|When||Saturday, May 21, 2022|
|Feature Race||Race 7: Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m)|
|First Race||11:43am AEST|
It is Doomben Cup Day on Saturday, with the Group 1 feature headlining a big afternoon of black-type racing at Doomben Racecourse. Nine races will be run and won across the course of the afternoon, with over $2.2 million in prizemoney on offer.
After losing the meeting to Eagle Farm last Saturday, Doomben is on strong weather-watch this week as the track is slowly on the improve to a Heavy 8, while the rail is in the true position. Racing is set to get underway at 11:43am AEST, while the Doomben Cup will jump at 3:18pm.
Read on for HorseBetting’s race-by-race preview, best bets and quaddie tips for Doomben Cup Day.
Race 1: Benchmark 78 Handicap (1600m)
It is a competitive race to start the day, but we are going back to the well on one horse we backed a few weeks ago in SEDUCTION QUEEN. The four-year-old mare had very little room over the 1200m at Eagle Farm last start, but she worked home very well to run sixth, less than three lengths behind Arentee, who has run well since, while third-placed Park Avenue won very well at Scone. On Saturday, the daughter of Kermadec is going to get in on minimum weight of 52kg after Jaden Lloyd’s 2kg claim, so she should be more than competitive second-up over the mile.
Race 2: Benchmark 85 Handicap (1200m)
We aren’t too sure which way to go here. MASS DESTRUCTION really caught our eye first-up at Doomben over 1110m when hitting the line strongly behind Centrefire and Sir Warwick, so that does look the right form for this race over 1200m, but his heavy-track record is poor. The Tony Gollan-trained four-year-old has some very credible form, and we think he can win a race like this – especially given the speed will be on – but the 59kg, barrier 15 and Heavy 8 is a slight knock. James McDonald has won on this horse before, so we are going with him, but there isn’t a great deal of confidence to go with it.
Race 3: Listed Bill Carter Stakes (1200m)
The first Listed event will be run and won in race three, with a dozen two-year-old fillies set to do battle in the Bill Carter Stakes over 1200m. The field includes one of the market fancies for the J.J. Atkins, ZOUGOTCHA. The Chris Waller-trained daughter of Zoustar won stylishly on debut at Canterbury on a Heavy 10 track over 1200m, before finding the 1100m at Randwick too sharp on her second start. Waller has given the filly a 900m trial between runs where she wasn’t asked to do a whole lot, but it would no doubt have ticked her over and ensured she is prepared for this. James McDonald has retained the ride on Saturday, and we expect Zougotcha to be too good given the conditions.
MIDNIGHT IN TOKYO
Race 3 – #4 Zougotcha (5)
2yo Filly | T: Chris Waller | J: James McDonald (56.5kg)
Race 4: Listed Chief De Beers (1110m)
We are very keen to see CONTEMPTUOUS return to the races on Saturday. The O’Dea & Hoysted-trained entire has a will to win like no other, winning seven of his 12 starts, all of which have come in lower grades. In saying that, he continues to raise the bar each time he steps out on a racetrack, so we are confident that Listed racing won’t be out of reach for him. The son of Rubick was too good for Last Chance and Snitch when we last saw him race, and that form has certainly stood up. Jaden Lloyd knows the horse well, he loves this course and the sting out of the ground won’t be an issue. Contemptuous can resume as a winner, even from the wide draw.
JOY TOO ALL
Race 4 – #7 Contemptuous (15)
5yo Horse | T: Steven O’Dea & Matthew Hoysted | J: Jaden Lloyd (54kg)
Race 5: Group 3 Pam O’Neill Stakes (1600m)
This is an open race – but, if we’re completely honest, there isn’t a whole lot of Group 3 depth to it. Last year’s winner, NUDGE, looks a class above these mares as she looks to follow a similar path towards the Tatts Tiara (1400m) in five weeks’ time. The Chris Waller runner was brilliant when fresh at Hawkesbury, finishing strongly out wide to run sixth when beaten only one length over 1300m on a Heavy 9. The mare by Fastnet Rock will relish the rise to 1600m, while she tends to always race well in Queensland. Nash Rawiller is likely to take her back from the wide barrier, but she can be finishing off two to their one.
Race 6: Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m)
There will be a lot of eyes on this race, as 2021 Stradbroke Handicap winner Tofane came out of it. It will also be interesting to see how The Archer stacks up, with Emerald Kingdom, Dawn Passage, Gem Song and Holyfield all coming out of Rockhampton’s slot race, while Sir Warwick won the consolation race to that event, The Fitzroy. We are with a horse who has won a feature sprint at Rockhampton, but it is the 2021 Newmarket winner, LAST CHANCE. This horse is absolutely flying, winning two of his past three starts before running second to Soxagon in the ATC Trophy at the Gold Coast a fortnight ago. Back to Doomben will suit, the 1350m should be more to his liking and barrier three on the minimum weight allows Mark Du Plessis to get into a beautiful spot just off the speed, giving this horse a big chance.
Race 7: Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m)
Zaaki is looking to become the first horse since the great Rough Habit in 1993 to win consecutive Doomben Cups, and if the market is anything to go by, he already has won. Having announced himself in this race 12 months ago with a seven-length win, the Annabel Neasham-trained gelding has continued his rise to the top, and it looks unlikely that anyone in the field of 10 can stop him.
Read our runner-by-runner preview of the 2022 Doomben Cup (2000m) and see our $100 betting strategy
Race 8: Group 2 The Roses (2000m)
We think the Queensland Oaks winner will come out of this race. SMIRK really grabbed our attention with a tough win at Canterbury a few weeks back, and she backed that up with a game third in the Gold Coast Bracelet on May 7, finishing not far behind Dynasties and Gypsy Goddess. The filly by Preferment is proven on rain-affected tracks, while the extra distance will be key. She is going to get a nice run around midfield from barrier 10, so hopefully they are running on and she can be the one in front at the camera.
Race 9: Darby McCarthy 3YO Plate (1110m)
A competitive field of three-year-olds will spin their legs in the final race of the afternoon, and there is a bit of value to be found. GREY DEFENCE has proven himself to be a better horse than first thought after winning three-straight races and then running third in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) last time out. The Les Ross-trained galloper was brave behind Prince Of Boom and Sword Of State, and we think it would be fair to say that either of those two horses would be odds-on in this field. Jim Byrne is likely to take him to the front from barrier 12 and allow him to control terms, and then we know he will be in for the fight. The $26 on offer with online bookmakers seems great value in the last.
THERE YOU GO
Race 5 – #5 Grey Defence (12)
3yo Gelding | T: Les Ross | J: Jim Byrne (56kg)
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