The stoic connections of Doukhan have been rewarded again as the injury-hampered Irish stayer recorded back-to-back wins for the first time.
Plagued by tendon injuries after he relocated to Kris Lees’ Newcastle stable from France in 2014, Doukhan has made the most of his latest preparation with victories at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day, and now and Canterbury midweek.
Doukhan, the $3 favourite, finished strongly under apprentice Jean Van Overmeire to overhaul pace setter Goodwood Zodiac ($6) to claim a benchmark 75 handicap (2700m) by a neck.
Wine Bush ($3.60) was three-quarters of a length back in third.
After Doukhan followed up his win over 2400m on November in style, Lees credited the perseverance of owners Australian Bloodstock, Chalkboard, Power Thoroughbreds and Cinque Terrors.
“I’ve got to thank the owners. They’ve been very patient,” Lees said.
“It’s quite trying for everyone. They bought him with high expectations. He looked like being a really smart horse the first time around and then we’ve had a couple of problems there with his tendons.”
Doukhan needed a 56-week spell after winning at Rosehill on June 2015 and two starts into his comeback a 55-week lay-off started in August last year.
“He’s had two lots of 12 months sitting around the paddock so it’s good to get a couple of wins,” Lees said.
“He won’t reach the level we were expecting but he’s a nice handy stayer.”