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Dottie set to shine at Doomben

Thu 16 May 2024

By Craig Brennan and Mandy Cottell

Debut Caulfield Heath winner Miss Dottie is headed straight to stakes grade in Brisbane for her second career start.

Grahame Begg is hoping the decision to bypass a run on a heavy track at the Sunshine Coast will pay a dividend at Doomben.

Begg has debut Caulfield Heath winner Rich Dottie engaged in the Group 2 Spirit Of Boom Classic over 1200 metres on Saturday.

Rich Dottie was down to run in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic over 1200 metres at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday.

"She was in last week and she drew the outside gate," Begg said.

"It was a Heavy 10, so we didn't want to run her there, so we opted to wait with this race in view, or maybe next week, so we've decided to go this week.

"And, I don't think it's as strong a race as last week now that the final field has come out.

"She's drawn well on an improving track, not that I don't think she will handle soft ground as she jumped out one day on very soft ground at Cranbourne and went through it like it was nothing.

"But, you don't want to be running them on a Heavy 10 at their second start in a race."

Rich Dottie created a good impression with her debut win and Begg pointed out the form from the race has been strong.

Finishing in the filly's wake was Stormbourg who has been placed in two subsequent outings, while Harpalee and Over The Stars ran one-two in a race at Warrnambool during the carnival.

Begg said how far the filly progresses this campaign won't be decided until after she runs on Saturday.

"She may only run on Saturday and then go for a break and get ready for the spring," Begg said.

"There's not a lot up there unless she runs in the Sires' Produce, so we'll see how she goes on Saturday and have a think about that. We think she's a spring filly.

She's had a trip away, a couple of starts, so we could put her away and then start again."

Meanwhile, country-trained gelding Body Bob is the rank outsider of the Doomben 10,000 field but that matters little to his jockey Danny Beasley.

Beasley, who has held a dual trainer-jockey licence for the past eight months, has announced this week he will be retiring from the saddle at the end of June.

Saturday's feature could well be the final Group 1 ride of a decorated career that has spanned Australia and Singapore, but it will have a more significant aside.

Beasley was a close mate of the late Harry Eden, a gifted rugby league player of the late 1960s and 1970s, and the horse is named after one of Eden's former teammates, rugby league great Bob McCarthy.

Body Bob is owned by several of Eden's friends, who Beasley met through the former star player, and he says it will be extra special to ride the horse for them in one of Queensland's biggest races.

"We all have that mutual connection through Harry, our mutual friend," Beasley said.

"It will be special to ride this horse because this horse will bring us back together. I haven't seen these guys for years and years."

Beasley is based at Wagga Wagga and will head to Brisbane specifically to partner Body Bob.

The hoop hasn't won a Doomben 10,000 before and he isn't anticipating $126 outsider Body Bob adding his name to the race's honour roll, but he is looking forward to the occasion.

"He will go out, he'll lead, he'll run his time. Where that takes him in the field, we'll know on Saturday afternoon," Beasley said.

"He's racing the best sprinters in Australia. I Wish I Win is arguably number one at the moment, so it's not an easy task but we'll go there and enjoy the day."

Beasley is also looking forward to the next chapter of his career.

While he still loves riding and says retiring from it will be bittersweet, he is excited to pour all his energies into training after being granted 10 boxes at Wagga.

Under the rules of a dual licence, he is currently restricted to having five horses, but he will be free to grow that number once he hangs up his saddle and already has the likes of Hong Kong-based trainer Mark Newnham and Neville Begg offering to add stock to his team.

"If you wait 12 months, they're probably not going to be there, both stabling and horses. It was too good an opportunity to pass up," Beasley said.

"I had a taste of it (training) in Singapore because I retired for a couple of years and was an assistant to Daniel Meagher. I know what's involved, I was pretty much born in a stable.

"You know it's going to be hard work and there's going to be long days and challenges but when you're working with this animal that has given you so much, it's rewarding."