Guy Walter was close to pulling the pin on Doctor Doom’s spring preparation two weeks ago but his decision to press on reaped a huge reward with victory in Saturday’s Group One Spring Champion Stakes.
Doctor Doom ($9.50), who won a Goulburn Class two less than a month ago, upstaged his more fancied rivals in the 2000m feature at Randwick with a brilliant frontrunning display.
The son of Domesday kicked strongly in the straight and had enough in the tank to hold off Darci Be Good ($4.20) by half a neck with Kiwi galloper Sangster ($26) running home strongly to be another 1-1/2 lengths away third.
Favourite Strike The Stars ($2.40) never threatened and finished fifth.
Doctor Doom’s victory in the Spring Champion for three-year-olds came 14 years after Walter first tasted success in the race with future champion Tie The Knot.
Walter admitted he thought Doctor Doom may have had enough after his last start second in the Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill, but his behaviour in the days after that race persuaded him to press on to the Group One contest.
“I was thinking the paddock after the Gloaming so this was almost an afterthought,” Walter said.
“But the horse has absolutely thrived.
“I nearly spelled him but he has behaved like a good horse. The more I work him the more he eats and the more he likes it. He’s got a big future.”
Walter took Doctor Doom to Goulburn for a Class Two last month and while the gelding didn’t beat much that day, it was the confidence booster he needed to progress to the spring three-year-old features.
“He carried 58kg as a spring three-year-old and went about a second outside the course record unextended,” Walter said of the Goulburn win.
“He’s just done nothing but improve since then.”
Doctor Doom will now head to the spelling paddock and return for the autumn with the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas his main targets.
Walter also praised the judgment of veteran jockey Rod Quinn who rated Doctor Doom to perfection in front.
“It was a magnificent ride,” he said.
The victory was also special for breeder and part-owner Craig Hardy who purchased Doctor Doom’s dam for just $1800.
“This is unbelievable,” he said.
Quinn said Doctor Doom’s performance to finish second in the Gloaming proved he was up to staying the distance.
“But I was very glad to see that winning post,” Quinn said.
Darci Be Good will also head to the paddock while trainer Trent Busuttin said Sangster could press on to Melbourne.
“We were very disappointed last start (in the Gloaming) so we rode him back today to make him stay,” Busuttin said.
“If he eats up we may go to Melbourne.”