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Pornichet underlines Cox Plate hopes with stunning Doomben Cup win

Pornichet underlines Cox Plate hopes with stunning Doomben Cup win

Part-owners Luke and David Henderson have shared in Gai Waterhouse's first Caulfield Cup winner Descarado, first Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente and now they might have her first Cox Plate winner in Pornichet.

The French-bred Pornichet romped away with the Doomben Cup on Saturday and the spring is calling.

"Gai is just a wonderful trainer and it has been a great ride," Luke Henderson said. "She deserves to win a grand slam and this is the horse to complete for her.

"The ride she has taken us on from Sebring in the Golden Slipper to Descarado in the Caulfield Cup and Fiorente [in Melbourne Cup] and now this horse. I knew he would do that and the Cox Plate will be his race in the spring. It will complete the set for all of us."

Pornichet had been to Toowoomba and won the cup there a week before and Waterhouse pointed out how important that was in his development.

"It is great he went to Toowoomba and the people there got to see him because he will be a Cox Plate horse in the spring," Waterhouse said.

"We bought him after he was passed in at a sale over in Europe. He went and ran last in the Belmont Derby against Adelaide and then came here and we had to start again.

"It has taken the best part of a year to get him to settle and he is still learning. He will be better in the spring."

The story of this Doomben Cup starts and finishes with the winner. Pornichet was on his toes in the mounting yard and lashed out on a couple of occasions before getting to the track.

Once on the track he got further back than Blake Shinn hoped as Leebaz poured on the pressure from a long way out. Shinn was only a passenger to the turn as Pornichet settled midfield and took himself into the race.

"I hadn't done a thing coming around the turn and had plenty of horse," Shinn said. "You are always scared that they are not going to give you what you think when they do that.

"When I went for him it was instant and the turn of foot, he is very special."

Pornichet put half a dozen lengths on his rivals at the 300-metre mark and then Shinn was able to throttle down in the closing stages to only win by 2¼ lengths from Weary and I'm Imposing from the Chris Waller yard.

"The winner dominated and that is what the Brisbane winter can do, it can really show up a good horse," Waller said. "We have been there before. I'm very happy with Weary and I'm Imposed is a marvel."

Chris Roots - SMH - 9 May 2015

Pics by Darren Winningham