An outstanding field of 12 will lineup in Brisbane on Saturday for one of the most highly anticipated editions of the Doomben Cup in recent history.

Seven Group 1 winners will take their place in the $700,000 feature and there is no shortage of value to be found with the likes of Sir Dragonet, Mugatoo, Fifty Stars and the favourite Zaaki taking their place. 

This really shapes as a race day not to be missed, so be sure to find out who we’re backing across the entire program below!

Race 1 - 11:34am

Mittys Benchmark 80 Handicap (2000m)

This is the race Real Sensation has to win if he wishes to stamp his claim as a Derby horse. 

Luke Oliver’s lightly-raced three-year-old won his maiden by a massive margin at Stawell earlier in March before taking his talents to Flemington to win by a narrow margin on ANZAC Day. 

He was never really a factor after getting away slowly in his latest start at Caulfield, but he can be forgiven on that run after finding no luck down the straight. 

Up in trip and from an ideal gate, he should be winning. 

2 Units Real Sensation

Race 2 - 12:09pm

Captain Morgan Tropical Class 6 Plate (1600m)

Cloak looks set to peak on Saturday in his fourth run back from a spell. 

David Vandyke has given his five-year-old three weeks off between runs, which should see him coming into this race ready to fire after just being gunned down late by Slow Hnds last time out over the mile at Eagle Farm. 

He tried really hard that day on-speed and I expect Kate Cowan to take a similar sit here despite carrying a little extra weight. With plenty of fitness on his side, he’s great value. 

2 Units Cloak 

Race 3 - 12:44pm

Listed City Property Services Carter Stakes (1200m)

First black-type race on the program and it looks to be a good one with a case to be made for a few. 

I’m with Rhapsody Rose on top in what is a slightly easier contest to her first-up run when third in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial on the Gold Coast. 

The filly by Star Witness stuck on well for third that day to finish only half a length behind the winner Subterranean, a performance she can really only improve on if Justin Huxtable can somehow offset the tricky gate nice and early. 

She’s placed in both her runs previously second-up from a spell and looks a decent each-way chance at the current odds. 

2 Units E/W Rhapsody Rose

Race 4 - 1:19pm

IPG Marketing Solutions Darby McCarthy (1100m)

I’m willing to give Rocketing By another chance coming off a last start fifth in the Gold Coast Guineas in his second run back. 

The son of So You Think really struggled with the quick tempo that day in a race that heavily favoured the on-speed runners, while he also struggled to get through the soft conditions after a ton of rain. 

Back on top of the ground, we should see the same horse that returned a hat-trick over the summer in Sydney, especially with James McDonald engaged. 

2 Units Rocketing By 

Race 5 - 1:58pm

Group 3 Magic Millions Pam O’Neill Stakes (1600m)

The top of the market tells you all you need to know here. 

Yamazaki was impressive in the Silk Stocking and Nudge is as honest as they come, but Paradee is still the horse to beat for mine after contesting much tougher races earlier in the autumn. 

Danny O’Brien’s mare was last seen running just over a length fourth to Homesman in the Group 1 Australian Cup after rattling off a hat-trick of wins across the Gold Coast and Caulfield. 

She owns a win first-up previously and since she has most of these covered on class, she should be winning. 

2 Units Paradee 

Race 6 - 2:38pm

Listed Chief De Beers (1100m)

Sugar Boom looked well on her way to a win in the Bat Out Of Hell two weeks ago on the Gold Coast but proved no match for the fast-finishing Usmanov in the end. 

I think she’s worth sticking with off that effort though as she gets out over further now on a much drier track. 

Tony Gollan’s Spirit Of Boom mare has raced only twice over 1100m, but she tends to do some of her best racing at Doomben with two wins from four starts on the board. 

Fitter for two runs back and Hugh Bowman now in the saddle, she should run well. 

2 Units Sugar Boom 

Race 7 - 3:18pm

Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m)

This is easily the most exciting edition of the Doomben Cup in a long, long time and there really is a case to be made for almost three quarters of the field. 

Zaaki is certainly the horse to beat following his dominant display in the Hollindale, but I’m with the second place-getter Fifty Stars after the way he exploded from midfield to grab a share in the money. 

That run alone suggested he’ll handle the extra distance on Saturday, while his previous run in the All Aged Stakes at Randwick was equally full of merit finishing 1.5L seventh behind Kolding. 

He’d probably be a little shorter if William Pike had retained the ride, but since he doesn’t discriminate on firm or soft tracks, this is well within his grasp. 

2 Units E/W Fifty Stars

Race 8 - 3:58pm

Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m)

Far from an easy race, which leaves me taking a stab on Ranier at a big price. 

The Godolphin-trained gelding resumed to run half a length second to Splintex in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick last month, but I think he’ll go even better over further here with four wins on the board over 1350m. 

He’s also typically done his best racing in his second run back from a spell and a win here would certainly cement his case for the Stradbroke

1 Unit Ranier 

Race 9 - 3:58pm

Group 2 News The Roses (2000m)

Really tough race to end the day with a capacity field of three-year-old fillies in The Roses stepping out with an eye towards the Oaks. 

There’s a case to be made for the top three in the market, but it’s extremely tough to fault Grace and Harmony after she claimed her hat-trick by a comfortable margin two weeks ago in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet. 

The wide gate proved no problem for her that day as she unleashed with a bursting one from midfield, so I expect we’ll see James McDonald take a similar sit again on Saturday. 

The turn of foot she showed that day was scary to say the least, and with even luck, she should repeat that performance. 

2 Units Grace and Harmony