Godolphin have declared they have the fire-power to spoil the Giga Kick Doomben 10,000 party on Saturday afternoon.
The reigning Everest champion and last-start Group 1 winner is the red-hot favourite to take out the 2023 edition of the Doomben 10,000, which is the first elite level race of the carnival.
The “Blue Army” of Godolphin initially had three gallopers set for the 10,000 but instead decided to accept with just Aft Cabin and Vilana.
Despite the choice to go without Paulele in the 1200 Weight for Age feature, stable representative Nacim Dilmi thinks the team have enough strength to upset the Victorian hotpot.
“Yeah, of course,” Dilmi said when asked if Godolphin have enough fire-power to roll the 10,000 fancy.
“Obviously Giga Kick is an Everest winner and won the All Aged last start and he is no stranger to being a very good horse.
“I am sure we will bank on our two colts to make an upset.”’
Aft Cabin and Vilana lobbed at Eagle Farm in Brisbane on Thursday morning of this week and Dilmi described them as “bright” following the long float ride.
The Sunshine State has been a happy hunting ground for James Cummings and his barn in recent years, headlined by Trekking taking home the Stradbroke Handicap back in 2019.
Vilana also claimed Group level honours last year, taking out the Fred Best Classic before fronting up in the Stradbroke later in the carnival.
The smiling Dilmi is often guiding the royal blue coloured runners to Queensland and it is the case again this time around.
“Obviously every year there are all sorts of carnivals and the team gets in early to pinpoint what horses will suit every race that we are targeting here,” Dilmi said.
“It is no stranger that we come here to Queensland every year with a big team.
“Hopefully this year it is going to be another successful carnival for us.”
The colts – Aft Cabin and Vilana – are on a path towards the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap of 2023 following Saturday’s 10,000.
The four-year-old bay – Vilana – has only been at the races once this year, winning the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes in the process before his northern trip.
A two-time winner from three attempts second-up, Dilmi is hopeful Vilana’s familiarity with Queensland tracks will be an advantage on Saturday.
“His campaign started in a good way, he was very impressive in his only run this prep,” Dilmi said of the Hall Mark Stakes win.
“He comes here in good order, his second-up record is very well and he has been to Queensland before.
“Hopefully we can go on to another successful campaign for him.”
The TAB have Vilana installed as a $11 chance in the 10,000 while stable mate Aft Cabin is the second public elect at $5.50 behind the raging hot pot Giga Kick at $1.70 as of Friday morning.
Aft Cabin captured the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint at his last start and arrives in Queensland for the first time in his young career.
Aft Cabin is only lightly raced as a three-year-old, having won on four occasions from just eight starts.
“He is a horse that went up in grade very quickly but he was impressive in every start,” Dilmi said of Aft Cabin.
“Nothing went his way in the Arrowfield and he was still impressive, he was very strong late.
“James decided to keep him fresh and bring him here for the 10,000 and potentially the Stradbroke.”
Aft Cabin and Vilana both drew low barriers for the 10,000.
After a strong effort in the Group 2 Victory Stakes last month, Godolphin opted to bypass the 10,000 with Paulele and will instead head directly to the Kingsford Smith Cup later this month.
– Racing Queensland