2016 Doomben Cup Ideal for Noble Protector

May 20th, 2016

Robert Smerdon is thrilled with Noble Protector’s form leading into the 2016 Doomben Cup (2000m), and is confident the talented mare will be well suited to the conditions of the Group 1 feature race.

Robert Smerdon is pleased with Noble Protector ahead of Saturday's Group 1 Doomben Cup. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Robert Smerdon is pleased with Noble Protector ahead of Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben Cup. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell

Noble Protector stormed onto the Australian racing scene through an impressive 2015 Autumn Carnival, but failed to make anything of an impact upon resuming in spring and was returned to the paddock after finishing fifteenth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) in October.

Regular hoop Craig Williams reportedly gave the Haafhd mare a glowing report following track work last week, and Smerdon told Racing Ahead he believes the mare is crying out for 2000m ahead of the 2016 Doomben Cup.

“She was low-flying last autumn; she won the Matriarch at Flemington and the Sunline at Moonee Valley, and was a bit unlucky when she ran third in the Queen Of The Turf at Randwick,” Smerdon said.

“She just didn’t come up in the spring, but in the autumn here again she was going well without quite being as good as last year.

“After she ran second in the Sunline, third in the Queen Of The Turf again and trialled last week and Craig Williams who has had a lot to do with her, felt that she was going the best she’s gone since last autumn.

“We reckon she goes marginally better right-handed and the only run she’s had beyond 1600m here was when we ran her out of quarantine in the Group 3, and she ran second to Contributer.

“I reckon this is a good trip for her and we thought after the Sunline she was looking for 2000m. We were always looking towards this.

“It’s an opportunity to try and get that elusive Group 1 for her.”

In-form hoop Tim Clark has been booked to ride Noble Protector in the 2016 Doomben Cup, and Smerdon is confident the hoop will suit the mare’s front-running style.

“I think some jockeys are more effective in different styles of horses and she’s a horse that races on pace, and he rides well on that style,” Smerdon said.

“I’m happy to have him on board on a day when it’s difficult to get the jockeys you want with the Group 1s spread across a couple of states.”

Noble Protector is currently available at 2016 Doomben Cup odds of $9 for success with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.

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