The Team Snowden trained Calanda will carry the...
Craig Stott’s courageous and consistent six-year-old Mystical Grey is the latest galloper to add their name to the potential starters in the upcoming Glasshouse Handicap after their big win at Eagle Farm on the weekend.
Encosta De Lago gelding Mystical Grey was well-backed to win the $50,000 Hamilton Hotel Handicap (1400m) on Tattersall’s Tiara Day after their last-start win in the Listed Spear Chief Handicap (1500m) at the same track three weeks ago.
Saturday was a big ask from the talented sprinter-miler, however, as they were forced to step up from 53kg to a hefty 59.5kg in the weights.
“We thought with 57kg he would still be a good thing but with 59.5kg he needed some luck,” owner-trainer Stott said on Saturday.
In-form hoop Damien Browne, however, gave Mystical Grey a gun ride and they handled the sharp weight increase with ease.
On the line Mystical Grey ($3.90), who worked hard to come from near last in the field, had one and a quarter lengths to spare over the Robert Heathcote-trained favourite Work The Room ($3.80) while Tycoon’s Pride ($5) finished a further three quarters of a length away third.
“Luckily I had Damian to come up with a great ride,” Stott said.
The brave effort, Mystical Grey’s 10th career win from 30 starts, has earned them a shot at black-type glory at the Sunshine Coast this Saturday.
“It was a top effort to carry 59.5 kilos and finish off the race as well as he did,” winning jockey Browne said of Mystical Grey’s efforts on Saturday.
“He missed the start slightly so I tried to get him onto the fence as quick as possible, otherwise he would have been caught three wide.
“He’s a nice horse who keeps taking the next step and he should get over more ground.”
Connections said they would back Mystical Grey up, who joins the likes of defending champion Woorim and recent Eye Liner Stakes winner Adnocon, in the $175,000 Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) on Caloundra Cup Day this Saturday, July 2.
“Normally I like to have two weeks between runs with my horses and this bloke hadn’t started for three weeks before today,” Stott, 63, said.
While confident Mystical Grey has the ability and grit to race competitively twice in just seven days, Stott does have to find a rider for the Glasshouse Handicap as Browne is already engaged to ride Woorim as they seek back-to-back wins in the feature.
“I’d like to keep Damian on him but if we can’t then I’ll try and get Eddie Wilkinson,” Stott said.
“Eddie used to ride for me in Victoria and he’s a real gentleman.”
Wilkinson was aboard Mystical Grey two starts back for the Spear Chief Handicap success, which was Stott’s breakthrough Queensland win since transferring from Victoria last November.
The 2011 Glasshouse Handicap is one of four black-type features running at Caloundra this Saturday, the day’s racing headlined by the $200,000 Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m).
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