Roma connections take on finals at Doomben


Roma racing is well represented in Saturday’s rich Country Cups Challenge and Country Stampede Finals at Doomben with great representation from Roma stables and both qualifiers from the Club Hotel Roma Cup meeting making the final fields.

Trainer Craig Smith is hoping Art By Concorde can repeat it’s Battle Of The Bush heroics in June when the John Bushell-owned gelding takes its place in the Country Cups Challenge Final of 1600 metres. Art By Concorde qualified for the final by winning the Yeppoon Cup and has drawn barrier 11 in the capacity field of 15 plus emergencies with jockey Kyle Wilson-Taylor booked to ride.

Roma’s Wayne Baker has 2022/23 Downs Horse Of The Year Menindee lining up in the Country Cups Challenge Final courtesy of its victory in September’s Taroom Cup, and jockey Paul Hamblin retains the ride at Doomben on Saturday. Baker also qualified Parko for the Final after running second to Echo Point in the Blackall Cup in October but is the 3rd emergency for the event and may not get a start.

Meantime in the Country Stampede Final, Roma’s Rebecca Kerwin will saddle up Miss Hoff after qualifying by winning at Charleville on Melbourne Cup Day. Jockey Shannon Apthorpe has won on the mare at her last 3 starts but will have to contend with a near outside draw at Doomben on Saturday. Wayne Baker is also lines up in the Stampede Final with Unrestricted, after the gelding ran second in two qualifiers at Blackall and Charleville. Apprentice Amy Graham rides Unrestricted on Saturday and has a kinder draw of barrier 6 in the capacity field of 16 plus emergencies. Craig Smith also qualified Keenzap for the Stampede Final but has elected to scratch the gelding after drawing a near-outside barrier.

The Roma Turf Club held 2 of the last qualifying races for both finals at the recent Cup meeting, and both the Club Hotel Roma Cup winner Stampede Warrior and the XXXX Gold Flying winner Jack Be Lucky will take their place in Saturday’s Finals at Doomben.

R.T.C. co-president Peter Flynn said it was pleasing to see the Club so well represented in Saturday’s Finals at Doomben, highlighting that 7 of the 31 entries for both races either come from Roma stables or won on Roma Cup Day to qualify.

Best of luck to all runners on Saturday and we’ll be cheering from the Heart Of Western Racing at Roma!

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