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Aquis, O'Dea defy doubts to win Sale Cup

3 min read

By Bren O'Brien

Aquis Farm and Queensland trainer Steven O'Dea have combined to land the Listed Ladbrokes Sale Cup with much-improved 5-year-old Doubt Defying (Not A Single Doubt).

Doubt Defying, a half-brother to G2 Roman Consul S. winner Sesar (Sebring), charged home from midfield to tip out Fastnet Tempest (Ire) (Fastnet Rock) in a tight finish with Al Passem (Al Maher) third.

It was the most significant victory for Michael Walker since he signed on as Aquis' retained rider earlier this month.

"As everyone knows, I've been signed and retained by Aquis Farm and Mr Fung," he said. "I'm very thankful. Mr Fung goes on about family, and I'm very fortunate that I'm able to be a part of this Aquis family and hopefully it's for a long time."

"I'm very fortunate that I'm able to be a part of this Aquis family and hopefully it's for a long time." - Jockey, Michael Walker

The experienced jockey gave Doubt Defying a perfect sit off a strong pace and after giving him time to balance up around the corner, launched in the final 100m to win by 0.75L.

"I was a little bit worried on the corner. He wobbled a bit. Steven told me not to go for him too early, but I had to because they were getting away for me, the best part of his race was the last 100m, he won easy in the end."

"The best part of his race was the last 100m, he won easy in the end." - Michael Walker

Walker, who rode Doubt Defying for the first time in a race, backed him to step up further in distance and class.

Michael Walker returning with Doubt Defying after his win in the Listed Sale Cup

Eagle Farm-based O'Dea was delighted to have won the $200,000 race and is perhaps eyeing a shot at the Group 2 Eclipse S. at Sandown next month.

"It’s really satisfying, He's made a lot of improvement in his last couple of preparations this horse. He put together a really good record last prep and to come out and win impressively at Randwick first-up and then come and do this today, I think he is definitely on an upward spiral," he said.

"I had a benchmark race on the last day of the Flemington carnival picked out but today's win might put him out of that. There is the Eclipse over 1800m, That would be a nice race for him. It’s a crack at a Group race and a nice big track over 1800m. That would be perfect for him."

Doubt Defying has now won eight of his 17 starts and nearly $400,000 in prizemoney and now has a black-type win to his name. O'Dea feels he has not yet got to the bottom of the 5-year-old and he could improve even more up in distance.

"I do really think when he gets up over further he is going to be even better." - Steven O'Dea

"I do really think when he gets up over further he is going to be even better. He won at the 1800m at Gold Coast last preparation and then went to the 2000m of the Toowoomba Cup where he was unlucky. I can’t see why he won't run 2000m and possibly a little bit further," he said.

Doubt Defying and Sesar are the only two winning foals from Sarthemare (Street Cry {Ire}), who has a 2-year-old by Dawn Approach (Ire), called Birdy as well as a foal by Astern.

Doubt Defying as a yearling