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 Australian Racing News 
Tuesday, May 16 2017

If Cylinder Beach wins the Doomben Cup, it will mean far more than a Gr.1 triumph and a A$416,000 booty to the group of owners.

Cylinder Beach - Grant Peters

The Queensland gelding races in honour of original owner Chris Lees, an insurance manager who passed away in 2015 after a sad battle with brain cancer.

The tough horse was named after Lees' favourite holiday spot - on Queensland's Stradbroke Island - and there is not a dry eye among the owners every time he runs.

Lees' widow Tracey is among the owners and says it is always a swirling mix of emotions every time the horse goes to the barriers.

Trainer Desleigh Forster always wears her heart on her sleeve and especially so with Cylinder Beach, a $26 chance with Sportsbet in Doomben Cup (2000m) betting.

Cylinder Beach beat them easily in the Toowoomba Cup and then had few favours when he ran seventh in the Gr.2 Hollindale Stakes, beaten three lengths by Doomben Cup favourite It's Somewhat.

"This horse means the world to quite a few of us and there is always a lot of tears when he wins," Forster said.

"I am convinced he is up to these at Group One level.

"His run in Sydney (in the Gr.1 Ajax) in March was terrific, he was only beaten a couple of lengths by It's Somewhat that day, and the jockey was very kind to my horse.

"The 2000m of the Doomben Cup will be ideal for him. He is a horse who can't sit and sprint, he needs to get into his rhythm and build up momentum."

Forster thinks a big plus for Cylinder Beach is jockey Jim Byrne, who takes the ride with huge confidence after winning the Gr.1 Doomben 10,000 on Redzel last Saturday.

However, up to 50mm of forecast rain in Brisbane over the next two days is some concern as Cylinder Beach has never started on a heavy track.

"I've never had him on it so I don't really know ... I wouldn't say yes and I wouldn't say no," Forster says.

"But he is as fit and well as I can have him and ready to run a really big race.

"The Doomben track could be interesting on the weekend if we get a bit of rain, but anyone who wants to bag it is kidding themselves.

"People need to go back and have a look at how much racing Doomben has had recently."

One thing is for sure in Brisbane on Saturday, if Cylinder Beach wins the Doomben Cup, the owners will raise their glasses in a toast to the man who should have been there to see it.

Posted by: AAP AT 09:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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