Bois D’Argent upsets rival in Doomben Cup

Trainer Annabel Neasham has landed a second victory in the Doomben Cup with a horse she said was well over the odds. Imported galloper Bois D’Argent (GB) held off a late bid from New Endeavour (Ire) to follow the win of Zaaki (GB) for Neasham in 2021 in the Group 1 2000m weight-for-age contest. 

Ridden by Blake Shinn, Bois D’Argent ($26) scored a narrow win over New Endeavour ($11), with Fawkner Park ($13) in third place. 

Bois D’Argent and Blake Shinn hold on for a narrow win in the feature race of the day; picture Racing Queensland/Michael McInally

Bois D’Argent’s win was his first in 12 months after winning the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill in May last year. However, the gelding did run fourth in the Caulfield Cup during the spring and at his most recent outing was fourth over 2400m at the Sunshine Coast on May 11. 

“He was the one I was saying was well over the odds,” Neasham said. “You just pick back through his form and he’s no worse than the rest of these, than the best horses in this field. 

“He was fourth in a Caulfield Cup. He was a bit unlucky in the Tancred, it didn’t really work out for him that day, but he ran really well.” 

Neasham praised the ride of Shinn who rated the gelding well on top of the speed. 

“New Endeavour certainly kept us honest to the line, it was a flashback to last week,” Neasham said. “It was a small margin but a margin none the less. 

“I’m just so happy for the team, they’ve done a great job to get four horses here and they looked to have run really well. So delighted.” 

Neasham was also happy with the performance of Fawkner Park (Ire) who she thought was travelling better than the winner turning for home. 

She said her four runners – Numerian (Ire), Naval College (GB), Bois D’Argent (GB) and Fawkner Park (Ire) — were all likely to press on to the Q22 at Eagle Farm next month. 

“He’s certainly stepped up to the mark and he will probably go to the Q22 now, and you’d think he’d be a big player in that after today’s run,” Neasham said of Fawkner Park. 

“I thought Numerian was a little disappointing, so I will see what Jaimie [Mott] says, but I think at this stage they will all press on to there. 

“I even thought Naval College was great; it was a big step up in class for him today as well.”

What winning jockey Blake Shinn said:


Doomben Cup success: “I’m a bit emotional for this one because obviously my last one was Streama with Guy Walter, so after I realised I’d won it, straight in my mind was Guy, so it was pretty touching to be able to do it.”


“The horse was amazing, full credit to Annabel, she’s a lovely woman and to win a race for her of this magnitude is pretty special.”


Race Shape: “It didn’t [go as expected]. I expected Serpentine to be urgent from out wide but he (BD) jumped so well and when I was able to get control I thought we’re here, let’s rate him. I was able to down the back just come back enough so that I could pick it up from the 700m and try and make his last part the strongest and when I was able to get to work on him just prior to the turn I knew he’d be strong and look, the horse was amazing, greys on a wet track, they’re hard to beat aren’t they?”


“It was a great race and Annabel was very confident that he would run well. Anyone could have won this race today and he was fortunate he too good. I’m absolutely thrilled.”

What the beaten jockeys reported:

Jamie Mott (Numerian): “I think it was such a huge win first-up that it might have just flattened him for today.”

Tommy Berry (Huetor): “Beautiful run from him. He had a good run from what was an awkward alley. The winner probably  just balked in that last furlong when it shifted in and took my momentum away a little bit and I might have finished closer. Massive effort.

Nash Rawiller (Kovalica): “He ran well in a topsy turvy race, to be honest. When Serpentine took off down the side there I thought it might be back in our favour a touch but very happy getting into it from the back.”

James McDonald (Detonator Jack): “He gave me a beautiful ride. I expected to be a tad more in a finishing position but he travelled well. Last to come off the bridle, I thought he was the winner, but he let down pretty one-paced.

Billy Egan (Vow And Declare): “Soft going is just not his friend.”

Tim Clark (Serpentine): “They were just too fast for him in that first turn and just didn’t suit his racing style.”

Damian Lane (Young Werther): “Just copped a bit of bad interference early then didn’t get the rub of the green after that either. I’d be forgiving of today’s performance.”

James Orman (El Bodegon): “Just got a tough run from the wide gate and we were from the 600 (metre mark) we were putting the white flag up so we’ll just have to see how he pulls up.”

Tom Sherry (Naval College): “Very good. Much improved run. Did a little bit of work to get there but found a nice rhythm and he still stuck on tough late so a good run.”

Tyler Schiller (Fawkner Park): “Massive run. He deserved that coming off his last two wins. They were only listed runs but he’s shown he’s good enough for them. Bring on The Q22 with him.”

Michael Dee (Hezashocka): “He ran great. Just got shuffled back further than we would have been. Then from back there decided to ride for luck and cut the corner he made good ground in the straight.”

Craig Williams (New Endeavour): “I thought his performance was phenomenal. Gai and Adrian - it was great to back him up a week late. Just didn’t get there in the end. Followed the winner the whole way through. He gave me a beautiful ride and we just missed out on a big group one.”

Mark Zahra (Amokura): “Finished off well.”