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Today's Doomben Preview with Chris Scholtz: 25th May 2024

3 minute read

Best Bets and selections for all races from Chris Scholtz for the Doomben Cup meeting in Brisbane on May 25.

DETONATOR JACK Picture: Steve Hart


The Hollindale Stakes (1800m) has been the tried and tested preliminary to this race for decades and nothing will change much this year except for those of us willing to place faith in a different form line from interstate.

(4) DETONATOR JACK lands here off a brief three start Sydney autumn campaign that saw him out of luck in high rating features including his sixth in the G1 Doncaster Mile over 1600m at Randwick before he was beaten a lip by Just Folk in the Hawkesbury Cup over the same trip. As a 3YO he won over 2100m before a placing in the G1 SA Derby over 2500m and you must wonder why it's taken so long for the 5YO to return to this distance range as his recent performances suggest he is going to relish this trip. Sure to be suited by genuine pace with obvious leader (6) SERPENTINE engaged and rates as the winner off his Sydney form.

Veteran import (1) NUMERIAN was a resounding first-up winner of the G2 Hollindale (amazing odds for a horse of his class) on a very heavy Sunshine Coast track beating Just Folk (ties the form in with Detonator Jack), with (3) KOVALICA third and (2) HUETOR fifth. NUMERIAN is a rising 9YO prone to mix his form but he must be allowed improvement off that impressive win as it rates with his previous best Australian performances that includes wins in the G2 O'Shea Stakes, G2 Van Heemst Stakes, Listed Gosford Cup and placings in the G1 Australian Cup, G2 Chelmsford Stakes, G2 Hill Stakes and last year's G1 Doomben Cup when he split Huetor and Kovalica.

For the record the Hollindale Stakes winner has won the Doomben Cup in the same year 14 times since 1990. ZAAKI was the last horse to complete the double in 2021. ZAAKI also won the Hollindale in 2022 and 2023. In those years HUETOR finished fourth and second in the Hollindale before winning the Doomben Cup. 

On face value it will be hard for KOVALICA and HUETOR to turn the tables on NUMERIAN - but different track conditions can always generate different results! The 4YO KOVALICA has youth on his side and heads the market on the strength of his win in last year's G1 Queensland Derby (2400m) while the return to Doomben is a big plus for the 7YO HUETOR as he attempts to emulate the NZ champ Rough Habit and become the second triple winner of this race.

Going wider and again putting plenty of faith in interstate form, the 2020 Melbourne Cup winner VOW AND DECLARE demands respect. He's also a rising 9YO but he rates as well as the others on his Melbourne form this season where he's been placed in the G1 Caulfield Stakes, G2 Moonee Valley Cup and G2 Peter Young Stakes. His last start fourth in the G1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington when only two lengths behind Cascadian and Pride Of Jenni is good enough for this G1 contest.

(12) FAWKNER ROAD is a winner over this course and distance and returns to Brisbane after strong wins in two of the best country cups in NSW at Albury and Wagga.  Abstraction won the Albury and Wagga Cups in 1989 before he won the Doomben Cup but he was carrying only 50kg in its last year as a handicap before it converted to weight-for-age conditions in 1990. FAWKNER ROAD – one of four starters from the Annabel Neasham yard including Numerian - is a fit stayer but rates a few points below the proven WFA horses. It's a similar assessment for the last start Gosford Cup winner (13) HEZASHOCKA as he is a few lengths short of G1 class unless he strikes a favourable heavy track.


(4) DETONATOR JACK; (1) Numerian; (3) Kovalica; (5) Vow And Declare; (2) Huetor

KOVALICA Picture: Michael McInally/Racing Queensland

Best Bets

RACE 5 (9) ENEEZA: Peter Moody and his training partner Katherine Coleman have some huge chances on this program, none better than this top class 2YO filly who is chasing a big pay day in this new $1 million race for Magic Millions graduates. It's only a 1000m scamper which means Eneeza is coming back in distance from her outstanding 1200m efforts at the Sydney carnival where she finished a luckless seventh in the G1 Golden Slipper before beating the Slipper winner Lady Of Camelot in the G2 Percy Sykes at Randwick. However she won twice over 1000m on soft tracks in the spring and has the perfect draw to stalk the speed – expect her class to prevail if the track plays fair.

RACE 7 (5) THALOSSOPHILE: Genuine mare was rewarded for her consistency with a dominant win in the Listed Silk Stocking over 1400m at the Sunshine Coast where she made light of the topweight of 60kg in the heavy conditions. She's a G3 winner now at the peak of her game and while there's more depth in this field she is favourably treated dropping 2.5kg in weight. The step up to 1600m with the edge off the track is ideal at this stage of her campaign.

For Value

RACE 8 (2) TUTTA LA VITA: Happy to play with this proven G1 performer in this terrific field of fillies in her first start for new ownership after her purchase for $3.2 million at a recent sale. Loved the way she worked to the line in a recent Rosehill trial that showed she had freshened nicely since her efforts in the autumn classics in Sydney that included an excellent second in the G1 Vinery over 2000m before her fifth in the G1 Oaks (2400m) at Randwick. It's the right form for this classy contest.

RACE 10 (18) FREEDOM RALLY: Brisbane's leading stable has this talented 4YO well placed to improve after his excellent first-up third in the Listed ATC Cup over 1200m at the Sunshine Coast where he finished best of all from off the pace in the heavy ground. He's won six of his 12 starts up to 1600m and from the rails draw can take full advantage of the limit weight of 54kg, a proviso being that a rail shift of 2 metres from last week will negate any track bias against horses drawn low at the end of this big program.

NUMERIAN  Picture: Steve Hart


RACE 1: (14) PACIFIC RUBY; (15) Avebury; (3) Wategos; (10) Standing Order

RACE 2: (17) MUSCHIALLI; (9) Immoral; (19) My Snow Queen; (1) Contemporary

RACE 3: (10) FORTUNEER; (8) Power Ballard; (1) Celui; (9) Outweighed

RACE 4: (2) LINCOLNSHIRE; (4) Clean Energy; (9) Lady Shenandoah; (7) Zatanna

RACE 5: (9) ENEEZA; (5) Embassy; (1) Spywire; (10) Arabian Summer

RACE 6: (12) GO WANDJI; (9) Situation Room; (10) Hardware Lane; (1) Spacewalk

RACE 7: (5) THALASSOPHILE; (2) Zoe's Promise; (7) Princess Rhaenys; (15) Chica Mojito

RACE 8: (2) TUTTA LA VITA; (13) Scarlet Oak; (1) Molly Bloom; (12) Poifect

RACE 9: (4) DETONATOR JACK; (1) Numerian; (3) Kovalica; (5) Vow And Declare

RACE 10: (18) FREEDOM RALLY; (4) Vilana; (12) Yellow Brick; (8) Here To Shock

ENEEZA Picture: Racing Photos

Why They Can Win….

RACE 1: (14) PACIFIC RUBY: Fresh form is excellent. Top stable has picked its mark.

RACE 2: (17) MUSCHIALLI: Improved by recent racing. Likes this track and will appreciate handy drop in weight. Value play.

RACE 3: (10) FORTUNEER: Has answered every call to stay unbeaten. Nice trial has her primed for this first-up.

RACE 4: (2) LINCOLNSHIRE: Strong interstate ratings. Set weight conditions will suit.

RACE 6: (12) GO WANDJI: Worked home nicely first up over 1000m. Odds are generous as he goes well here and could finish over the top with 5kg less.

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