A heavy track could even out the playing field for the Doomben Cup (2000m). Former champion jockey Darren Beadman will saddle his first Group 1 runner, the favourite It’s Somewhat. Like many Australian staying races, imported horses have a history of performing well and this year’s Cup is no different with It’s Somewhat, Articus, Auvray and McCreery all starting their careers overseas.
Jockey: James Doyle.
Why he can: Finished third in this race last year. He is having a great preparation, winning past three starts including the Doncaster (1600m) at Randwick on a heavy track. He won the Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at his last outing leading all of the way.
Why he can’t: Form impossible to fault.
Jockey: Hugh Bowman.
Why he can: Ran a nice race in Hollindale Stakes when third to It’s Somewhat. Enjoyed the gun run and took time to wind-up, but kept working hard to the line. The extra distance should suit.
Why he can’t: Unreliable and jock said “he hated the ground” last time out in heavy going in the Chipping Norton Stakes.
SENSE OF OCCASION
Jockey: Corey Brown.
Why he can: Eye-catching sixth to It’s Somewhat in the Hollindale. He was shuffled back on the home turn and found himself behind a wall of horses. Last at the 200m he flashed home late. Prior to that he was third to Winx in Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Why he can’t: Heavy track winner no knock.
Jockey: Glyn Schofield.
Why he can: Fitter for latest outing when fourth in the Hawkesbury Cup (1600m) behind Fabrizio. He made up a lot of ground and will be suited stepping out to 2000m here.
Why he can’t: Big jump up in grade and one placing from two goes in heavy going.
Jockey: Blake Shinn.
Why he can: This Darren Weir-trained five-year-old is unbeaten in his last three starts. Followed win in the Perth Cup with last start win in Listed race at Caulfield.
Why he can’t: Wet track a query, winner in soft going but untried in heavy.
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy.
Why he can: Raced well during the Sydney autumn carnival without winning. He was second last in the Hollindale, but did not look comfortable on the tight track and bottled up on the fence. Likes the cut out of the track and has won in heavy, so improvement would not surprise.
Why he can’t: Last run was a blemish and a risk of getting trapped wide from barrier 15.
Jockey: Jim Byrne.
Why he can: Won the Toowoomba Cup (2000m) before disappointing last start when seventh to It’s Somewhat in the Hollindale Stakes.
Why he can’t: Doubt he is up to this level and untried in heavy going.
Jockey: Kelly McCulloch.
Why he can: Kiwi stayer who won last year’s Brisbane Cup (2400m). Placed last two runs in NZ, including a second in Group 1. He was given an easy time in recent Deagon barrier trial on a heavy track.
Why he can’t: Meeting tougher opposition here and not sure he will be suited by anything worse than soft going.
Jockey: Damian Browne.
Why he can: Ran fifth in this race last year. Should be improved after nice third behind It’s Somewhat in the Hollindale. He had a tough wide run from the 600m and may have tired late. Proven wet tracker.
Why he can’t: Best win was at Listed level, but track conditions could even out the playing field.
Jockey: Blake Spriggs.
Why he can: Blinkers go on and a swimmer. Latest effort he ran on strongly for fourth in Listed race at Rosehill. Four starts back he scored easy win in Heavy 10 at Randwick.
Why he can’t: Racing well, class rise his biggest test.
Jockey: Ronnie Stewart.
Why he can: Hit the line well last week when second to Canbuybetter in the Listed Members’ Stakes (1600). Extra distance suits.
Why he can’t: Not up to these, no heavy form.
Jockey: Brenton Avdulla.
Why he can: Lightly raced five-year-old import from the Darren Weir yard. He has had two runs since finishing well back in the Caulfield Cup. Solid Flemington winner last start over 1800m, on the up and heavy track winner.
Why he can’t: Big jump in grade and first go at Australian weight-for-age.
Jockey: Tim Clark.
Why he can: Track specialist and mudlark. Not disgraced when fifth in the Hollindale Stakes. He is well drawn and last win was this track in May.
Why he can’t: Could struggle against this quality opposition.
Jockey: Ms Kathy O’Hara.
Why she can: Placed in the heavy at Randwick three starts back. She then won at Doomben and latest was a game second to It’s Somewhat in the Hollindale Stakes. On speed runner and should be there for a long way
Why she can’t: She’s won at 2000m against her own sex, but slight doubt about getting the trip strongly, in top grade at WFA.
Jockey: Bobby El-Issa.
Why she can: Even effort when third in Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill last start.
Why she can’t: Not up to these.
Jockey: John Allen.
Why she can: Hit the line well for solid win in a Morphettville Group 2 last start over 1600m. She is a winner to 2400m and has also won in heavy going. Lightly raced and in the money eight of 11 starts.
Why she can’t: Mare in form and last start winner so hard to knock.
Jockey: Opie Bosson.
Why he can: Group 1 winner in New Zealand in April last year. Latest finished third in Group 1 Bonecrusher (2000m) two starts back. Not far away last start when fifth at Ellerslie (1600m).
Why he can’t: Yet to win beyond 1600m.
Jockey: Jeff Lloyd
Why he can: Hard to make a case for him as his form is poor in easier races
Why he can’t: Not good enough.
Sense Of Occasion
*odds correct at time of posting