Trainer Anthony Freedman has the favourite, former Japanese horse Ambitious in the Doomben Cup.
Japan’s growing influence on the Australian racing industry could get a further boost if super sire Deep Impact can provide the quinella in the Group One Doomben Cup.
Former Japanese horses Ambitious and Satono Rasen are first and second favourites for Saturday’s $650,000 Cup.
The prices of European horses has skyrocketed in recent years with Australian stables looking to tap into other markets.
Many of Australia’s top stables now have Japanese horses or Japanese bred horses.
Two of those are the Anthony Freedman-trained Ambitious and the Chris Waller-trained Satono Rasen, both by Deep Impact, the winner of seven Grade One races in Japan.
As a sire, Deep Impact has produced hundreds of winners, among them dual Australian Group One winner Tosen Stardom.
There is plenty of Doomben Cup confidence from both stables and they have been the best-backed horses since Gailo Chop was withdrawn last week because of injury.
Anthony Freedman’s stable foreman Sam Freedman said Ambitious had done well in Queensland.
“He will stay up here for a month after Saturday and then head back to Melbourne for the spring,” Freedman said.
Anthony Freedman has had a good strike rate in the Doomben Cup, winning with Mawingo in 2012 and, in partnership with his brother Lee, Sir Ivanhowe two years ago.
Satono Rasen pleased Waller’s Queensland stable manager Paul Shailer when he worked at the Gold Coast on Tuesday.
“I liked his final effort in the All Aged Stakes first up and then he had no luck when fourth in Hollindale Stakes last time. Chris has always thought the Brisbane winter would see him at his best,” Shailer said.
Waller has also won the Cup twice with Metal Bender (2010) and Beaten Up (2013).