Five-year-old Kiwi gelding Solid Billing ran his rivals off their legs at Eagle Farm on Saturday, when he claimed a comprehensive all-the-way win in the $150,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m).
Ridden masterfully by jockey Eddie Wilkinson, the Craig Ritchie-trained Solid Billing ($5.50) scored victory three lengths ahead a gallant Dave The Dude ($8), while roughie Mr Mayfair ($61) finished just a long neck further away in third.
Pre-race favourite Tinseltown ($2.80) was not disgraced finishing fifth, but was over nine lengths away from the favourite, while Gwenda Markwell’s veteran galloper Lang was a well-beaten seventh.
The top three Queensland Cup placegetters dominated the race from the jump with Solid Billing, Dave The Dude and Mr Mayfair sitting in front about 15 lengths ahead of the rest of the field at the 1000m mark.
It was a much improved run for Solid Billing who finished fifth to Ironstein in the Caloundra Cup (2400m) the previous week after leading by nearly six lengths mid-race. There were doubts over the gelding’s ability to stay the testing 3,200m of the Queensland Cup, but he proved he was a top stayer with the win.
The Queensland Cup win was New Zealand mentor Ritchie’s biggest success to date as a trainer. A son of Irish sire Rock Of Gibraltar, Solid Billing has now won six of his 30 career starts for $223,995 in prizemoney including his Group 3 Summer Cup (2400m) win at Randwick.
Eagle Farm was also host to the $75,000 Listed Ascot Handicap (1300m) at Saturday’s meeting where four-year-old Sequalo gelding Bold Glance ($10) scored a tidy win.
Down south the headline event at Flemington over the weekend was the $200,000 Listed VRC Winter Championship (1600m), won by Peter Moody’s hot favourite Doubtful Jack.
These exciting winter features are often an excellent indicator for the coveted Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival in a few months, so clever punters will be noting down the winners and star performers of races like the Queensland Cup in anticipation of their spring betting!
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2010 Queensland Cup Results
|Craig Ritchie||E Wilkinson||$5.50||–|
DAVE THE DUDE
|Brian Wakefield||C Munce||$8||3.0|
|Paul Nolan Jnr.||B Stewart||$61||3.4|
PRIX DU SANG
|Michael Moroney||M J Cahill||$21||8.9|
|Michael Moroney||S Katsidis||$2.80F||9.3|
COURT RULER (NZ)
|John Wheeler||L Cassidy||$8.50||10.5|
|Gwenda Markwell||S Seamer||$3.90||13.8|
|Rex Lipp||J Holder||$71||16.3|
|John P Thompson||P Hammersley||$31||19.8|
|Brett Lunney||J Letherby||$71||20.8|
SAND HAWK (NZ)
|Jenny Vance||J P Stanley||$31||22.0|
MATTER OF PRIORITY (NZ)
|Wayne King||D Green||$61||24.3|
|Tony Sears||J Bowditch||$91||25.8|
CARRY ME BABY
|Barry Baldwin||R Wiggins||$91||26.5|
HOLLYWOOD AND VINE