Trainer Mick Price believes Hollindale Stakes winner Oregon’s Day has peaked at the right time and is poised to join the Group 1 Doomben Cup honour roll on Saturday.
The Doomben Cup is shaping as one of the best in many years with Hall Of Fame inductee Chris Waller saddling up six runners in the field of 12 following Wednesday's withdrawal of It's Somewhat.
Orgeon’s Day is one of three mares along with Egg Tart and Abbey Marie aiming to etch their names in Doomben Cup history alongside five other successful mares.
The Peter Moody-trained Cinque Cento became the first mare in 57 years after Dream (1950) to win the Doomben Cup in 2007 and the first winning mare since the race became weight-for-age in 1990.
Cinque Cento’s feat was later equalled by Sydney mare Streama who claimed the Doomben Cup as a five-year-old in 2014.
The only other mares to win the Doomben Cup were Qualeta in 1943 and Cooranga in 1939 when it was a handicap race.
Orgeon’s Day is coming off her victory in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast and has pleased Price with her recovery and subsequent trackwork.
The Hollindale Stakes has a good record with 10 wins in the Doomben Cup since the Gold Coast feature was first run in 1989.
“I’m really happy with her since the Hollindale and she’s in great shape,” Price said.
“The key with her was drawing a good gate and she’s done that with barrier two.”
Price heaped praise on jockey Jim Byrne who rode her in the Hollindale Stakes.
“I just love Jim’s professionalism and his thought process,” Price said.
“He’s been riding her in all her work up there and he got her sorted out in a very short period of time.”
Price is not concerned with the race’s history and is confident Oregon's Day can win the Doomben Cup at her first attempt at 2000 metres.
“The Hollindale Stakes was a test for her to see if she could run 1800 metres and she did it comfortably and was very strong to the line,” he said.
“I know about the history but how many mares have run in this race with the form she’s been in and she can’t read anyway.
“I think the race is a bit different this year with the spread of older horses.”
Price plans to spell Orgeon’s Day after the Doomben Cup and will target the Melbourne spring including the Group 1 Myer Classic.
Mick Price, picture Quentinjlang.com