One of Queensland’s most successful jockeys, Jim Byrne, believes he is riding the horse that can deliver him his first Group 1 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m) at the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) on Saturday.
Another large crowd is expected at Doomben for the second Group 1 of the 2018 UBET Queensland Winter Racing Carnival, following English’s sensational win for trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott in last weekend’s KIRIN Doomben 10,000.
Byrne will chase his sixth career Group 1 win aboard the Mick Price-trained Oregon’s Day in the $650,000 classic over 2000m, after the pair combined to win the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast early this month.
Byrne worked Oregon’s Day at Doomben on Tuesday morning and was happy with how the mare was progressing ahead of Saturday’s race.
“She’s very relaxed in her work. When you ask her to step up a little bit, she’s ready to do it. I couldn’t be more pleased with her,” Byrne said.
“Any Group 1 race is never easy to win but I think we’ve got the right horse for the race, and moving forward, I think she’s going to be extremely competitive.”
Champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller has an incredible six runners in the 13 horse field, including second-favourite Satono Rasen.
The Anthony Freedman-trained Ambitious was the $4.40 favourite in the early markets with Winter Carnival major sponsor UBET, while Satono Rasen ($7) held down the second line of betting. Oregon’s Day is rated a $7.50 chance, while prolific second place-getter Tom Melbourne will be popular with punters at $9.50.
BRC General Manager of Racing Matt Rudolph said he looked forward to another exciting day of racing at Doomben on Saturday.
“The support program features a further four black-type races including the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m), which will be an important lead-in event for runners targeting the $1.5 million UBET Stradbroke Handicap on June 9,” Mr Rudolph said.
With glorious weather forecast this weekend the BRC is predicting another large crowd to watch some of Australia’s best racing. Pre-purchased general admission tickets are still available at www.brc.com.au for only $20 per-person, so you will need to get in quick.
Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup – Fast Facts
Distance: 2000m (middle distance)
Conditions: Weight For Age
Prize money: $650,000 AUD
First run: 1933
Champion Queensland galloper Bernborough carried a whopping 10 stone 11 pounds (68.5kg) to win the 1946 Doomben Cup, and is the only horse to have won the Doomben Cup and 10,000 double.
The Bruce Hill-trained Man Of His Word will attempt to break a 35-year hoodoo of Queensland horses in the Doomben Cup. Lord Seaman was the last Queenslander to win the cup when it was run under handicap conditions over 2200m. Jockey turned Racing Queensland Education and Welfare Manager, Maurice Logue, took the winning ride at 46.5kg.
Anthony Freedman will be chasing his third Doomben Cup win with Ambitious, following wins by Mawingo (2012) and Our Ivanhowe (2016).