Exciting three-year-old colt Doubtland has rocketed back to form with a powerful finishing burst to win the Danehill Stakes, vindicating the stable’s lofty opinion of him.
“He’s a smart horse. He’s a serious colt,” co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said after Doubtland’s victory in Saturday’s Group Two race for three-year-olds over 1200 metres at Flemington.
Hawkes said they couldn’t understand Doubtland’s first-up failure when he finished fifth in the San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill behind Anders but added they went very quickly in that race which may not have suited him.
“We went home and scratched our heads because we know he’s good, he’s real good,” Hawkes said.
“They just went so hard the other day and then they ran home their last furlong in about 12 (seconds).”
In the run in the Danehill Stakes, Doubtland drifted well back and was held up before Willie Pike asked him to sprint.
“He was quiet on him. He took his time and that’s exactly what we spoke about before the race,” Hawkes said.
“As I said to Pike ‘if he lets rip he’ll just blow them away’ and that’s what he did.”
Hawkes said he thought the Flemington straight course would suit Doubtland’s style of racing.
Pike said the son of Not A Single Doubt showed electric acceleration to get home to win.
He said he’d had a humbling day with three minor placings and thought that was going to continue when Doubtland was hampered in the run.
“I just figured ‘that’s my day today. I’ll probably get out and run second’,” Pike said.
“It’s a bit of humble pie. I’m not used to it. I can’t really complain about too many of them.
“I think they had their chances and we weren’t quite good enough on the day. We’ll live and the races are on next week.”
Doubtland ($7) defeated Amish Boy ($41) by three-quarters of a length with Ranting ($13) a short half-head away third.