Winks back to ride in Doomben Cup

Jockey James Winks will return from Hong Kong to partner the Danny O'Brien-trained Douro Valley in the Group 1 Doomben Cup.

O'Brien confirmed the Hong Kong Jockey Club had granted Winks permission to return to Australia to ride at next week's Doomben Cup meeting.

The weight-for-age Doomben Cup (2020m) will be the second Group 1 feature of the Brisbane winter carnival after Saturday's BTC Cup.

Winks teamed with O'Brien to win the first Group 1 race of his career when successful aboard Absolut Glam in the Winter Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm last June.

He has formed a strong partnership with Douro Valley throughout his career and won the Group 1 Yalumba Stakes, pictured returning to scale above, at Caulfield over 2000m on the seven-year-old last October.

Winks also rode Douro Valley when the gelding was runner-up to stablemate Master O'Reilly in the 2007 Caulfield Cup.

He has also won at the highest level in Hong Kong, winning the Group 1 Chairman's Sprint aboard Dim Sum in February.

Winks has ridden only eight winners from limited opportunities in Hong Kong this season.

Douro Valley has had two starts back in Australia since he failed in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m) at Sha Tin last December.

The son of Encosta De Lago finished sixth to Skiddaw Peak in the Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m) at Caulfield in March and was 11th to Pompeii Ruler in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Anzac Day.

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Photo by Bruno Cannatelli, to view Bruno's website click here

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