The withdrawal of favourite Gailo Chop has boosted Gold Coast trainer Bruce Hill's confidence he can break a 35-year Queensland drought in the Doomben Cup with Man Of His Word.
No Queensland- trained horse has won the Group One Doomben Cup since Lord Seaman in 1983. And until Rudy last year, no locally trained horse had finished better than third since the race became weight-for-age 28 years ago.
Early betting markets were thrown wide open last week when Gailo Chop, who had been the dominant $2 favourite, was announced as a non-runner because of injury.
Man of His Word came into $26 for the race following his third behind Oregon's Day and Tom Melbourne in the Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast on May 5.
Hill was thrilled with the run and is now champing at the bit to get Man of His Word out to 2000 mdetres in Saturday's feature.
"I have been saying for the past couple of years that Man Of His Word wouldn't be at his best until he got out to 1800 to 2000 metres," Hill said.
"He didn't have the best of luck again in the Hollindale but was finishing better than anything. Galio Chop is obviously a very good horse and even with him out it is a strong field."
"But I think my bloke will be right in the finish and I just hope we draw a barrier which allows him to get cover."
The Anthony Freedman-trained Ambitious is the $4 Doomben Cup favourite ahead of acceptances, with Oregon's Day and Satono Rasen at $7.