Bart Sinclair's Preview - XXXX Doomben Cup Day
Apart from a couple of recent performances the BRC Sprint has not been a notable guide to the TAB Stradbroke.
That may not be the result this year with several of the BRC Sprint runners capable of becoming possible Stradbroke fancies after the 1350 metre sprint at Doomben on Saturday.
In 2019 Tyzone won the BRC Sprint, was then runner-up in the Stradbroke and won the big race a year later.
Last year the Melbourne-trained Tofane was runner-up to Emerald Kingdom in the BRC Sprint and landed the Straddie next run.
However those two examples went against many years of the BRC have very little influence on what happened at Eagle Farm three weeks later.
Importantly the BRC Sprint now is a qualifying race for the Stradbroke. The winner is exempt from the ballot. The inclusion in the field for the $1.5 million Straddie is a carrot but so too is the $145,000 first prizemoney.
The Chris Waller-trained Oscar Zulu is at double figure odds which is probably a reflection of the last start form when he finished eighth – beaten 3.3 lengths – behind stablemate Blondeau in the Takeover Target Stakes at Gosford on May 7.
Blondeau surged from near last early right along rails to record a narrow but strong victory.
In contrast Oscar Zulu was wide mid-race and then was unable to be tested over the final 150 metres when he was unable to get clear running.
Additionally the track conditions are not a concern for Oscar Zulu. Even without the rain which is been confidently forecast to hit Doomben on race day the track is going to be significantly affected.
Oscar Zulu has won four races on tracks soft or heavy.
Soxagon handled heavy conditions to perfection in easily scoring first up over 1200 metres at the Gold Coast a fortnight ago. He also has two wins and two placings from six tries at the track and distance.
Raging Doomben Cup favorite Zaaki is at the end of a tough campaign. He had only four starts this calendar year but his past two runs were on energy-sapping heavy tracks at Randwick (second in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes) and Gold Coast (Hollindale Stakes).
He had to dig deep at the Gold Coast but trainer Annabel Neasham openly declared his fitness level would be high for the Doomben Cup.
At his top Zaaki is much classier than his opposition. He should make it back to back Doomben Cups and join Earlwood (1959-60), Rough Habit (1991-92-93) and Scenic Shot (2009-11) as a multiple winner of the Cup.