With the colours of both Our Boy Malachi and Srikandi being lowered in the recent G1 BTC Cup, this weekend’s Group1 Doomben 10,000 has been thrown wide open with four horses vying for favouritism. Our Boy Malachi and Generalife are at $7.00 as of Thursday evening, with Bring Me The Maid $7.50 and race favourite Srikandi at $6.00. Interesting to note that Godolphin runner Generalife’s preparation has striking similarities to that of former stable-mate and 2013 winner of the 10,000, Epaulette. Generalife, as did Epaulette, comes off a big second-up run in the G1 All Aged Stakes and it was no surprise to see his opening price of $9.00 on Wednesday afternoon quickly snapped up. New Zealand trainer Tony Pike has had one of his less memorable Brisbane campaigns in recent weeks but can still salvage something with Sacred Star ($12). The 5yo hasn’t raced in four months but did win the G2 QTC Cup (1300m) last year first up off a similar break and his last two starts have resulted in victories at G1 level in New Zealand.
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1. TEMPLE OF BOOM – M Rodd (17)
In need of the run first up when sixth (3.2 lengths) behind Srikandi in the G2 Victory Stakes (1200m) and despite running seventh (2.7 lengths), was stronger again in the G1 BTC Cup in his only run since. The 8yo was caught wide throughout just off the pace before peeling out as they turned for home. He stuck on well behind Hot Snitzel and will be at his peak here, a race he ran a head second in last year after following a similar lead-up program. His draw however is a nasty one and hard to see him winning here from out there.
2. BOBAN – G Schofield (8)
Freshened up after running a disappointing second-to-last in the G1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) back in late February and has been tuned up for this race with two barrier trials, the latest of which he won over 1200m. It has been a while now since we’ve seen the best of this galloper but his previous fresh runs, which have been over 1200m and normally the best run of each of his recent campaigns, combined with his trial efforts, give his faithful followers some hope.
3. FONTELINA – T Harrison (13)
His third run back this campaign was in the G1 All Aged Stakes and the 6yo gelding stuck on bravely behind Dissident and Wandjina, who dominated from the front, to run seventh (2.3 lengths). His only run since saw him draw the inside gate for the G1 BTC Cup and secure a nice run just off the pace. He was unable to capitalise on that position though and was under pressure as they turned before dropping out to run tenth (8.1 lengths) behind winner Hot Snitzel. Given his previous efforts this campaign, all in G1 WFA events, thought we’d see more from him last start. Has a lot to turn around to be winning here.
4. KNOYDART – J McDonald (15)
Score his third placing, and his fifth top six placing, in Group 1 company with a fast-finishing second (3/4 of length) to Hot Snitzel in the BTC Cup (1200m) a fortnight ago. The Godolphin runner settled just worse than midfield, deep and with cover, before peeling to the outside as they rounded the turn and producing his regular strong finish. He finished fifth in this race last year, which was dominated by those closer to the speed, and looks well prepared to do at least as well as that effort this time around in his current form and a solid tempo predicted.
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5. BIG MONEY – R Thompson (9)
Punters expected to see more from him late than he produced when resuming with a ninth (4.3 lengths) in the G3 Hall Mark Stakes but he did show good improvement at his next and only start since, the BTC Cup (1200m). The Rod Northam trained galloper drew wide last start and settled with the tail-enders of the field before finishing well late to finish sixth (2.6 lengths) behind Hot Snitzel. Would imagine the 5yo is fitter again and from his draw, which is much better that compared to his above two runs, may see him settle a little closer to the speed which will be an advantage.
6. SACRED STAR – Z Purton (7)
Spelled after winning the G1 NRM Sprint (1400m) in New Zealand back in early February, his second consecutive Group 1 win, and returns to Queensland where last season he won the G2 QTC Cup before running an outstanding fifth (1.8 lengths) in River Lad’s Stradbroke Handicap. Trainer hasn’t enjoyed has much success as he would have hoped for with his other runners thus far this carnival but this 5yo by Flying Spur is his stable-star and with what maps to be a handy draw plus the services of Zac Purton, he can’t be dismissed.
7. OUR BOY MALACHI – T Berry (12)
For the first time in his past seven runs, and for only the third time in his career, the “Rockhampton Rocket” tasted defeat when third (1 length) to Hot Snitzel in the BTC Cup as the 2/1 favourite. He led, as he did when defeated at his only other starts at Doomben, and whilst he made the winner produce a career-best, did have every chance. Wander if his better when having a lure to chase down? The draw and first go beyond 1300m are concerns but as his record suggests, he is a real competitor and sure to again be involved in this race for a long way.
8. GENERALIFE – J Bowman (6)
Produced a strong finish to defeat Target In Sight and subsequent Group 1 winner Hot Snitzel first up from a spell in the G3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) and was excellent at his following start in the G1 All Aged Stakes (1400m). He got back near last before tagging Lucky Hussler into the straight, peeling off his back and finishing well to run fifth (1.3 lengths) behind Dissident in a leader dominated race. He has been kept up to the mark with an impressive trial win since and will be charging late.
9. CHARLIE BOY – B Shinn (16)
Ran a real eye-catcher first up when fifth (2.7 lengths) to Our Boy Malachi in the G3 Hall Mark Stakes and delivered on that promise at his next start, last fortnight’s G3 Darley BRC Sprint (1350m), defeating Rock Sturdy by half a length. Given the perfect ride by an in-form Blake Shinn (who rode five on the day) but meets a tougher field here under WFA conditions, only his second run in Group 1 company, and would need to improve again to be winning here, especially from such a poor alley.
10. ROCK STURDY – T Bell (4)
Doing his best work late when resuming from a six month spell in the G3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m), running eighth (4.4 lengths) to Our Boy Malachi. He produced the expected improvement, and more, from that run to record an unlucky second to Charlie Boy in the G3 Darley Sprint (1350m) at his only start since. The 4yo drew the widest gate in the field of thirteen and was posted three deep with no cover throughout. Despite the tough run, Joe Pride’s stallion dug in tenaciously late and made eventual winner Charlie Boy, who enjoyed the perfect run, produce a big finish to beat him. Drawn much more favourable here in four and whilst this, his first go at G1 company is a stiff test, has the ability to shape up well.
11. NEO – B El-Issa (14)
Given the perfect run by Jim Byrne to score two starts back in the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup (1400m) but despite another dream run in transit, the 5yo wasn’t able to capitalise on his position in the straight when finishing sixth (2.3 lengths) in the Listed Member’s Handicap (1600m). Probably found a quality mile a shade too strong last time out and better suited back to this trip but no to the class and under WFA conditions plus a wide gate to contend with, it’s hard to see him measuring up.
12. FLAMINGO STAR – T Angland (1)
We were supposed to see this imported galloper form the Chris Waller stable make his Australian debut in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) last month but due the bad weather and abandonment of the meeting, this will be the first time we see the 5yo stallion from Germany under race conditions. He has had three trials since early April and given he was due to tackle a mile first up, would have to think he is forward enough in conditions whoever, his best results have been over a bit more ground this this event and from the inside gate, he may also require a fair bit of luck in a big field.
13. SRIKANDI – D Brown (5)
Returned after a year’s absence from racetrack with a solid win in the G2 Victory Stakes on the Gold Coast where from the inside gate, she secured the perfect run from the jump. A stark contrast to her next outing, last fortnight’s BTC Cup (1200m). Ciaron Maher’s mare missed the start and found herself well out of her ground, just off midfield and on the fence, before having little luck when searching for a run at the top of the straight. Nothing went right last start and her overall record plus the perfect draw here, should see her bounce back to her best which is good enough to be winning here.
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14. SCISSOR KICK – G Boss (11)
Secured the run of the race and chased strongly to record a fourth placing (1 length) behind Dissident in the G1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) before another pleasing effort in the G1 BTC Cup (1200m). The well-bred 3yo found a bit of traffic at the top of the straight from his midfield position but closed very well over the final stages, suggesting that the step up now to 1350m will be to his further benefit. Can’t knock his recent form in Open elite company and has to come into consideration again given he should be tucked in behind a genuine tempo.
15. TIME FOR WAR – J Byrne (10)
Pushed forward from his midfield gate first up from a spell in the Gold Coast Guineas and was only bettered by Nostradamus, who enjoyed a sweet run in transit, in finishing second (3/4 of a length) before lining up in last week’s Sunshine Coast Guineas as the 9/4 fav. The 3yo from the Stuart Kendrick stables drew poorly (14 out of 16) but again shot forward to lead the field all bar the final stages when passed by Riva De Lago – another who enjoyed the perfect run – over the final stages. Going well and deserves to win a good race but on the quick back-up, against a much tougher class of galloper, not sure this is the good race he’d win.
16. BRING ME THE MAID – K McEvoy (2)
Excellent return from a spell when running Delectation to within a lip in the G2 Arrowfield Stakes (1200m) before, a month later, taking on top company in the BTC Cup (1200m). From barrier eight, she settled well in the second half of the field and turning for home, was three horses back on the fence before getting a great run along the fence and finishing fourth (2.3 lengths) to Hot Snitzel. Going well this time, drawn to get a similar run as to that of her last start but some queries on her beyond 1200m for mine.
17. NITE ROCKER – J Bowditch (3)
An Adelaide galloper who made the trip to Queensland for the G3 Darley Sprint (1350m) last fortnight, running a bold race from on the pace to run third (1.3 lengths) to Charlie Boy and Rock Sturdy. The 4yo’s trainer Lloyd Kennewell, has enjoyed success at this particular carnival in recent years and looks to have a galloper that could add to that record with this son of More Than Ready but at this level, with plenty of pressure on from the jump, would have to think this race is a too strong for him at this moment in time.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Good speed here with Our Boy Malachi, Srikandi, Nite Rocker, Sacred Star, Time For War and Rock Sturdy all pushing forward. Generalife has improved in each of his past three campaigns and judging by his impressive first up win and a top notch effort in the All Aged Stakes, is set to do so again this preparation. He’ll get a lovely run from six and under Hugh Bowman, every opportunity to land his maiden Group 1 victory. Glen Boss could cap a big week with his mount Scissor Kick a realistic chance after a good run in the BTC Cup whilst Generalife’s stable-mate Knoydart will be hoping the prediction of some showers comes to fruition. The 5yo has been far off them in G1 company previously but a touch a sting out of the track, something he hasn’t had in previous races at the top level, may be the factor that helps him find the extra length required.
2. SCISSOR KICK
3. OUR BOY MALACHI