The Doomben Cup is shaping as an attractive option for in-form stayer Stampede after his all-the-way win in the Group Three Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Stampede, the $2.30 WilliamHill favourite, overcame a wide alley to lead throughout and defy a challenge from runner-up The Chairman ($4.80) to win by a length.
Stable spokesman Neil Paine said next Saturday’s Group One Doomben Cup (2000m) was high on a list of options for trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
“I just got off the phone to Gai and she did mention the Doomben Cup even though that would mean backing up again,” Paine said.
“I’m quite sure Gai and Adrian will make the decision that’s in the best interests of the horse.
“Whether that’s running in the Doomben Cup next week or going to the paddock and preparing for the spring carnivals in Sydney and Melbourne remains to be seen.”
Paine was confident Stampede would repeat his last-start victory in the Wagga Wagga Cup after inspecting him in the parade ring for the Chairman’s.
“In his coat he had improved significantly in the week and you know with Gai and Adrian’s horses they love a dogfight,” he said.
“When the runner-up came at him in the straight I knew our horse would be in the fight and, sure enough, the Gai and Adrian bone and muscle kicked in.
“The only thing we were concerned about was the wet track because he’s far better on a firm surface but he’s a cool customer and nothing worries him.”
Jockey Brenton Avdulla said The Chairman had his chance to overhaul Stampede but he was still pleased with the gelding’s effort.
Zambezi Warrior produced an encouraging Brisbane Cup trial after making up ground from near last in the middle stages to finish fourth.