By Glenn Davis
A horror barrier has cast a big shadow over two-year-old Dubious’ attempts to reshape history in the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Dubious drew barrier 14 in the 18-horse field and will be ridden by Nikita Beriman in the 1300-metre feature.
Dubious is a son of Not A Single Doubt and his future stud career will soar if he wins at the highest level.
However, his task of making history has been made difficult by the draw as only four horses have won from outside barrier 10 since the race switched to weight-for-age in 1991.
If Dubious wins he will equal Perth sprinter Barossa Boy who won from the same barrier in 1992.
Ciaron Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, said he was disappointed with the draw but still expected Dubious to be hard to beat.
“I would have preferred a better draw but Nikita (Beriman) won my first Group 1 on Tears I Cry from barrier 16 in the Emirates Stakes at Flemington in 2007,” Maher said.
“It can be done. I also won the (Tiara) with Srikandi from barrier 15 four years ago.”
Maher is hoping the massive weight advantage Dubious has under the weight-for-age scale will offset the bad barrier and it was still worth a shot at the stumps.
“He could have run in the Sires’ Produce but that’s a Group 2 and doesn’t really do much for his CV,” Maher said.
“It will be a huge addition to his CV if he can win a Group 1 and it doesn’t concern me that he’s still a two-year-old.
“He’s quite a seasoned racehorse already and not far off turning three and he’s got a good turn of foot.
“The weight pull with only 48kgs was a big attraction and the 1300 metres is right up his alley.”
Maher said Dubious had his main gallop between races at the Gold Coast last Saturday.
“He had a nice strong hit out and he’s come on well since winning the Champagne Classic,” he said.
No two-year-old has ever raced in the Kingsford-Smith Cup and a win would revive memories of the great Wiggle who won the 1958 Stradbroke Handicap as a two-year-old.
Also chasing history is Godolphin’s trainer James Cummings who has three runners, Trekking, who drew the rails, Home Of The Brave (17) and Encryption (4).
Cummings is aiming to become only the second trainer to claim the race in successive years since the race, formerly known as the BTC Cup, was switched to weight-for-age.
Cummings won last year with Impending.
Only one trainer, the late Barry Higgins, has claimed back-to-back wins with his former Doomben champion Buck’s Pride in 1993-94.
Racing Queensland webnews May 22