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Doomben Cup bid for Hezashocka

Wed 22 May 2024

By Craig Brennan and Danny Matthews

Hezashocka will chase back-to-back wins when he lines up in the Doomben Cup.

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr stable is pinning their faith in last start winner Hezashocka providing them with victory in the Doomben Cup.

Hezashocka is coming off a last start win in the Listed Gosford Cup at Newcastle on May 11 on a heavy track, conditions the stable hope will prevail for the 2000 metre Group 1 Weight for Age contest on Saturday.

The Doomben Cup could also determine the path Hezashocka takes further into his campaign.

Initially the stable was looking to the Group 3 Premier's Cup at Eagle Farm on Saturday week, but a solid performance on Saturday may see the Group 2 Q22 at Eagle Farm on June 15, with its extra $800,000 in prize money, come on the radar.

"We're thinking the Premier's Cup, three weeks in between runs is a beautiful race for him, but we thought the Doomben Cup was a nice race to get him there," co-trainer Kent Jnr said.

"If he brought his absolute A-game, he could be somewhere around the mix if the track is wet, but the tight track has to be some concern.

"Jamie Kah is booked to ride with a view to backing him up into the Premier's Cup, but the Q22 is in the mix.

"If he happened to run really well in the Doomben Cup, then we might not worry about the Premier's Cup and go to the Q22."

Hezashocka broke a near two-year drought out when successful at Newcastle and Kent Jnr said the gelding was enjoying being prepared out of their Rosehill yard in Sydney.

Kent Jnr said Hezashocka had overcome some irritating niggles that had been hampering him.

"He was out of form last preparation, but we've got him going well this prep," Kent Jnr said.

"He's really enjoyed our Rosehill base and he loves getting on these soft and heavy tracks.

"He's also been notoriously tardy away of late, but we found a few little niggles in his hind end that we've been able to help those out and for the first time in a long time he began a lot better.

"He put himself into the race and the big track at Newcastle, plus the extra trip, helped him.

"He's won more than $1 million in prize money for connections and that was one of the more rewarding wins last time because it was more than two years between drinks."

Hezashocka is among a capacity field of 16 runners on Saturday's and has drawn barrier six.

The Chris Waller-trained Kovalica is the $3.20 market leader, after drawing barrier three, ahead of Huetor (11) and Detonator Jack ($10) both at $6.

Hezashocka is a $21 chance to give Jamie Kah a third Group 1 win for the month.

Meanwhile, when asked if Oceans Of Energy can return to the winners' circle, trainer Matthew Dunn beamed somewhat on his filly's chances of improvement at Doomben on Saturday.

In what will be her fifth run this campaign in the Group 2 The Roses, Oceans Of Energy will be looking to bounce back after two unplaced results in black-type company at her most recent outings.

It is her work at home that has the well-travelled horseman most pleased.

"When I pushed the button the other day, she just went," Dunn said.

"She'll improve a bit and the run last time was good in the conditions."

The heavy track at Sunshine Coast on May 11 where the three-year-old by Dundeel finished fifth at $61 in the Listed Gold Bracelet encourages him further.

That is especially as Oceans Of Energy under Michael Rodd made a run before the home turn on less favourable ground nearer the rail.

She finished four lengths away from winner Amazonian Lass – also winner of the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes during the Melbourne Cup Carnival – who made her run on the better going down the centre of the course.

"She can really come on this week, and I'd say she'll progress to the (Queensland) Oaks," he added of the Group 1 $1 million feature over 2200 metre on June 1.

Dunn was also quick to say that Rodd would retain the ride with some bewilderment as to why the Melbourne Cup-winning jockey isn't being seen regularly on prominent runners in South East Queensland.

"Michael rode her really well last time and he'll stay on her," Dunn said.

"I think he's being really underrated by the big stables here."

A 34-time Group 1-winner across Australia and Singapore and placed on 72 other occasions, according to Racing and Sports, Rodd has a metro-winning strike-rate of just under 14 percent in Queensland while his hits in the placings is at 37.5 percent.

Oceans Of Energy is a $126 chance in The Roses with Chris Waller's Scarlet Oak and Kiwi star Molly Bloom fighting out favouritism.