Peter Moody enjoyed a winning start to the winter season in Queensland as his underrated mare Tampiko ran a smart Stradbroke Handicap trial and provided fans with the perfect preview of what was to come from their star stablemate Black Caviar.
At the Gold Coast last Saturday, well-bred Lonhro five-year-old Tampiko emerged as a possible contender for the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in June with a brave victory in the $175,000 Listed Prime Minister’s Cup (1300m).
Tampiko had shown little form at her last start in Adelaide when eighth to Queen of the South Stakes winner Goon Serpent and as such went out as a $21 roughie in the PM Cup.
In a tempting taste of what is sure to be a unique moment in Australia Racing History, Black Caviar shooting for her 13th straight in Doomben’s BTC Cup on Saturday, stablemate Tampiko overcame the odds to take out the 2011 Prime Minister’s Cup.
After a well-timed ride from Chris Munce, Tampiko caused a blowout result beating home two $51 roughies with original emergency Eire Of Magic a nose back for second followed closely by the local Howard Wilson-trained four-year-old Fifteen Carat.
It was a disappointing result for the punters and for $4 favourite Thankgodyou’rehere, the Patrick and Wayne Webster-trained galloper and Stradbroke hopeful only managing to cross for fourth.
Still sitting within the top six Stradbroke contenders at a quote of $16, Secret Savings gelding Thankgodyou’rehere had an unlucky run and Pat Webster still fancied his chances in the upcoming winter carnival features.
“Rod (Quinn, jockey) said he got knocked about a bit and got buffeted,” Webster said of the PM Cup run.
“He probably got further back than he wanted and when he got there it was probably too quick.
“The biggest thing is he was nowhere near happy in the going.
“I can’t wait to get him on a good track.”
Tampiko has now won eight of her 23 starts for close to $255,000 in earnings.
She is rated a $51 chance for the Stradbroke with current markets for the lucrative sprint feature lead by Stephen Farley’s Wyong galloper, Umatilla three-year-old Sincero.
Another Gold Coast winner on the weekend whose connections are hoping to slip into the Stradbroke Handicap field was Beethog.
Winner of last year’s Gold Coast Guineas, four-year-old Shovhog mare enjoyed their fourth career win taking out the $150,000 Listed Silk Stocking (1200m) exactly 12 months later.
Trainer Les Kelly is now praying the form is enough to get the pint-sized sprinter into the Stradbroke.
“She’s had chronic feet problems, but I think we have overcome most of that worry now,” Kelly said of Beethog.
“She can run well in a Stradbroke, I’m sure of it.”
The punters aren’t as sure, with Beethog well down the Stradbroke odds paying $61.
Kelly has thrice attempted to take out the Stradbroke Handicap with his former ace sprinter Black Ink – sixth in 2008, seventh in 2007 and fifth in 2006 – and is confident Beethog will be competitive in Queensland’s richest sprint.
“She should get enough weight to make the field,” Kelly said.
“After all, she’s won a Group Three and now a Listed race.”
The other likely aim for Beethog during the carnival is the Group 1 Winter Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 25.
Kelly believes with a decent barrier and a bit of luck the diminutive but classy mare can add more Group wins to her record.
“Hopefully she’ll draw better when we get to the bigger races,” Kelly said.