Doomben Cup 2023
Distance: 2000m | Conditions: WFA | Rail Position: 2m| Track Condition: Soft 7
The country’s elite descend on Queensland over the next few months for the Winter Carnival. This weekends meeting is headlined by the highly-anticipated Group 1 Doomben Cup over 2000m with $2,000,000 on the line. It’s no surprise to see Zaaki hold favouritism in early betting and despite a slightly weaker field, there’s winning chances everywhere you look. Let’s dive in!
1. Zaaki (11)
Hard to see how the four-time Group 1 winner won’t make it five here. Was a gallant 2nd running into a pretty handy one called Giga Kick in the All-Aged, then fought them off in the Hollindale most recently to take his career earnings to over $10 million. Faces up to most of those again here and to 2000m will bring the best out of him in what has been a big target race. Wide alley only concern but lack of speed inside should see him reach the front comfortably, and hold them out to the post.
"He's now a 10 million dollar man!" 🤑
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) May 6, 2023
2. Numerian (9)
Has been a nice import for the Neesham camp. Has been generally competitive in some big races which are much harder than this. Expected to go to the front and settle alongside his stablemate. Is he going good enough to win this? I’m not sure, but based on his Australia Cup effort alone he warrants some thought at the very least. Should be there abouts in the finish.
3. Huetor (7)
The defending champion and looks Zaaki’s main danger again. Was massive in the JRA Plate coming from a mile back, then jagged a softer run in the Hollindale latest where he just missed again. Will rely on a bit of speed to be injected into the race but big ticks everywhere else. If he’s close enough at the turn, watch out!
Huetor takes out the Doomben Cup 🏆
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) May 28, 2022
4.No Compromise (6)
Has had an okay preparation so far. Was a big price in the Hollindale and stuck on well without ever threatening. Not the worst in this race but will need some tempo up front to bring her into any sort of calculations. Happy to watch.
5. Zeyrek (2)
Failed to fire in the Queen Elizabeth but bounced back in the Hollindale, taking it right to Zaaki only to finish half-length behind him for third. Clark will have plenty of options from the inside draw here but despite having a good prep, feel this may be a bit out of his reach. Any drying in the track is a bonus.
6. Diamil (4)
Relished a strong tempo in the JRA Plate where he gritted out a tough win. Was disappointing most recently and it only gets harder for him here. Any give in the track is a plus but not WFA class.
7. Nonconformist (8)
Freshened for this. Still a surprise that he hasn’t saluted at the top level, but boy he’s been close. Had excuses in the Australia Cup but then failed to fire in the Mornington Cup. Class can get him close and he’s one that pops up when you least expect it. In saying that, on recent form he’s hard to have.
8. Bankers Choice (12)
Has been really solid this preparation, however the drying track won’t help his chances here. Was a respectable run in the Hollindale but without a bog track, doubt he’s got the zip to match it with some of these. Wide alley also a concern.
9. Palmetto (5)
Was running around in the provincials not all that long ago, and now finds himself running in a Group 1 WFA. Is clearly in career best form giving them windburn in The Coast most recently. This is a significant class rise though, hard to see him winning this.
11. Duais (1)
Been kept fresh for her first up assignment over 2000m. Is a classy mare on her day but had a really disappointing Spring. Trialing well so really intrigued to see how she bounces back. If she’s right, she will be right in the thick of things.
Was slightly disappointing in the Hollindale but previous two runs were exceptional. Has the class and is two from three over this trip. Has the class and is two from three over this trip. If she can get a strong tempo, watch for her late.
13. Kovalica (13)
The lone three-year-old in the field, accepting after a last minute change of plans on the back of a minor injury concern. Main aim is the Derby next week, so rise in distance is ideal and Waller will no doubt have him rock hard fit. His QLD Guineas run was superb and if he’s overcome his injury he will right there in the finish.
Kovalica is a $1.90 favourite in Saturday's Rough Habit at Doomben! Here he is winning the QLD Guineas 🔥pic.twitter.com/CqQO8w8OD5
— TAB (@tabcomau) May 10, 2023
Zaaki is the one to beat, but Huetor looks to be building nicely and I think is ready to pounce. At the price, the French import is the play.