The Northern Territory news Fri 24 Mar 2023
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
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NTNEWS.COM.AU Friday March 24 2023 RACING 55 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA Will Hulbert has Group 1 aspirations for 2YO Doomben winner Felix The Scat. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography WILL Hulbert always had Group 1 ambitions for Brisbane two-year-old Felix The Scat but they are coming up a lot quicker than even he thought. The young colt, who destroyed his rivals last start, will race at Eagle Farm on Saturday where he will be auditioning for a potential tilt at the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in Sydney on April 15. After Felix The Scat romped home by more than four lengths over 1350m at Doomben last start, Hulbert flagged his long-term ambition of a tilt at the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington in November. But Hulbert, who cotrains with father Peter, is now keen to strike while the iron is hot. He believes his colt will run 1600m on his ear whereas there wont be many two-year-olds in the same boat at this time of year. If he comes out and blows them away again on Saturday, we will probably throw him in the deep end and put him in the Champagne Classic in Sydney, Hulbert said. Its a Group 1 at a mile I know he is going to run a mile now. Whereas if I wait until the JJ Atkins during the Queensland winter carnival, I think some other two-year-olds might have caught up to him by then I cant imagine there would be too many twoyear-olds trying to go to a mile at this time of year. Often, the Champagne Stakes may not be a capacity field. The Hulberts may be trying to jag their first Group 1 but first things first and Felix The Scat must reproduce his sensational last-start win when he races at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Felix The Scat will be a month between runs when he tackles the QTIS 2YO Handicap over 1400m. But he has had the benefit of a recent trial and Hulbert is hoping for a similar result to last time. He goes up in the weights to 58kg on Saturday, but I think he should still be too good for them, Hulbert said. I was surprised he won by so far the other day. Ben Dorries YOUNG GUN FELIX THE SCAT IN LINE FOR TASTE OF CHAMPAGNE one of the last to load at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Doyle, a former boilermaker before taking up training, has an affinity for the Sunshine State after winning the biggest race of his career on Magic Millions day earlier this year the $500,000 Debut with Rush Hour. The Newcastle trainer is looking to strike gold with the same connections again, with Kipsbay (Benchmark 78 Handicap 1200m) and Ambassadors (QTIS 3YO 1600m) both headed north. While he has made a name for himself by winning Midways in Sydney, Doyle is happy to roll the dice on Queensland as another option for his horses. There are no suitable Midways on, so were trying our luck up there, he said. (Kipsbay) is accepted for the Group 3 (Star Kingdom) in Sydney as well, but Brisbane is just the better option at this point. His times suggest he is pretty smart, he is a beautiful horse. He had a few haematomas from when he flipped over in the gates last start, but he has trialled up well. He got stuck under the gates, when he came out from under them he got himself into a bit of trouble. It was a no-brainer to send him up there when the stewards said theyd let him load late. Hes OK in there, but if he is in there for three minutes or so, he has had enough. If he came back and did it again, or had a bad experience, who knows what we would have had to do with him - it could have been curtains and hed be lost to racing. For the stewards to work with you, it gives you the op portunity to give him a good experience, so he might come out of it eventually. The former Chris Wallertrained sprinter has been well supported in betting, shortening from $4 to $3 with TAB since markets opened on Wednesday. After drawing barrier one in the QTIS 3YO Handicap (1600m), Ambassadors is a $4.60 chance. The program seems to fit these horses, Queensland allows you to take them through their grades with these Class 3s and threeyear-old races, Doyle said. BARRIER rogue Kipsbay was almost lost to racing, such is his disdain for standing in the gates for too long, but Newcastle trainer Nathan Doyle says a move by Queensland stewards will see him race on. The talented sprinter, who is unbeaten for Doyle, flipped in the gates last start and injured himself, leaving NSW stewards to place an embargo on him. But Queensland stipes were happy to take a different approach by allowing him to be Trenton Akers Kipsbays gate escape Queensland opens door for Doyles barrier rogue 24/7 digital news + weekend paper delivery. Only $2 a week for the first 12 weeks. 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