The Group 1 Doomben Cup, set to be run this Saturday, has a rich history of providing memorable moments.   

We only have to look back to last year for proof of that when Huetor became just the fourth horse in the history of the race to win multiple titles, proving too strong for Numerian in a stirring finish over the final furlong. 

The 2022 edition of the Doomben Cup will be remembered for two things. Firstly, the race was run at Eagle Farm due to extreme wet weather causing Doomben to be waterlogged and secondly, Huetor causing a major boil over when he upset odds on favourite Zaaki to win the first of his two Cups.

One of the strongest Doomben Cup line-ups in the history of the race was assembled in 2021 when seven Group 1 winners, three Group 2 winners and two Group 3 winners took part. The race was billed as a three-way matchup between Zaaki, Mugatoo and Sir Dragonet. In the wash up, nothing could have been further from the truth. It was a one act affair. James McDonald poured on the pressure on the turn, putting his rivals well and truly to the sword. He dashed away for a seven-length win! The margin could have been bigger with the top tier hoop shutting his thrill machine down late. It was one of the most impressive wins seen on a Queensland track in some time. 

New Zealand galloper Rough Habit was a dominant force during the Queensland Winter Carnivals of the early 1990s. So much so that he was widely adored and considered an honorary Queenslander. 

In a career that included 11 Group 1 titles, six of them were won in the Sunshine State.  When you talk about great Doomben Cup winners, ‘Roughie’ is at the top of the list.

Rough Habit won three Doomben Cups in a row between 1991 and 1993. Known as the Fourex Cup in 1991, the John Wheeler-trained gelding led into the straight before dashing clear to win easily by four-lengths. In 1992 he was forced to dig deep. He was still a long way off the lead in the back straight before Jim Cassidy started to circle the field with 700m to go. With a furlong to go he hit the front but Kinjite was up for the fight and the pair duked it out right to the line. It looked grim but the kiwi’s will to win saw him come out on top. 

Such was the greatness of Rough Habit, he won both the Stradbroke Handicap and Doomben Cup in 1991 and 1992. Unfortunately, a change in scheduling prevented Rough Habit attempting the trifecta in 1993. He did however call upon his customary toughness to win a third Doomben Cup that year.

Might And Power is one of the greats of the Australian Turf that Queensland racing fans were lucky enough to see on two occasions. After winning the 1997 Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup, Might And Power made his way to Queensland the following year for the Winter Carnival.

After totally dominating his rivals in the Hollindale Stakes, Might And Power in typical fashion led the field in the 1998 Doomben Cup. He pulled out plenty to hold off Intergaze and win by 1.3 lengths. He broke the race record in a time of 2:00.53. It must be noted that the race was 2020m that year as opposed to the 2000m these days. 

Western Australian galloper Scenic Shot contested the Doomben Cup on four occasions, proving successful twice. 

He returned to Queensland for the 2009 Winter Carnival after winning the Hollidales Stakes and the O’Shea Stakes as well as finishing fourth in the Doomben Cup the previous year. 

Shane Scriven replaced Damian Oliver in the 2009 Doomben Cup, and it would be the start of a special relationship between jockey and horse. Despite racing deep, Scenic Shot called upon his abundance of heart to fight off the challenge of Racing To Win and claim the first of his Doomben Cups. 

Despite a year long layoff and being an eight-year-old, Scriven believed that Scenic Shot was an even better horse than the one that won the Doomben Cup two years prior. He was right. After Hugh Bowman boldly took off on Glass Harmonium it spread the field out and provided runs for the main chances including Scenic Shot in the straight. Scriven hugged the fence and punched the champion stayer out late to grab a narrow but memorable win. Scenic Shot would return the following year looking for a third Doomben Cup but could only manage a fourth placing.

Such was the relationship between Scriven and Scenic Shot that only days after Scriven retired so did Scenic Shot as if to support his old mate.

Pornichet may have ended his career in disappointing fashion but in 2015 he was at the peak of his powers. The French import that was trained by Gai Waterhouse arrived in Queensland for the 2015 Winter Carnival looking to stamp his Cox Plate claims later in the year.

After missing a run in the Hollindale Stakes which is the traditional Doomben Cup lead up, Waterhouse took Pornichet to Toowoomba where he won easily. He backed up a week later in the Doomben Cup and had the race won on the point of the turn. He dashed clear and at one point in the straight led by five-lengths. The final margin was 2.3 lengths but there was no doubting the dominance of the victory. 

Pornichet would finish nine-lengths behind Winx in the 2015 Cox Plate but would never reach the heights of his Doomben Cup win.

The list of Doomben Cup winners doesn’t get any less impressive as you look further back in time. One of Queensland’s best stayers Bore Head won the race in 1967 and Bernborough who in 1946 won the Doomben 10,000 and Doomben Cup, the only horse to complete that feat. 

The 2024 edition of the Doomben Cup has the potential to be one of the most memorable on record as Huetor attempts to emulate the feats of champion galloper Rough Habit by winning three consecutive Doomben Cup titles.