Ahrens Aims to Leave Cup Rivals Speechless with Spechenka

Novice Beaudesert-based trainer Ben Ahrens is hoping to silence the recent critics of his five-year-old galloper Spechenka when he saddles them up for this Saturday’s Caloundra Cup at the Sunshine Coast.


Spechenka will look to return to their former Group winning form in the Caloundra Cup

Danachenka gelding Spechenka Spechenka was one of 14 acceptors for the $200,000 Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) when the final field for the feature was released on Wednesday.

In an early blow for Ahrens and his horse, Spechenka came up with a horror barrier 13 draw for the Cup showdown, Ryan Wiggins engaged for the ride.

With top class rivals including Ipswich Cup winner Gold In Dubai, Murwillumbah Cup conqueror Warrior Within and last year’s Caloundra Cup runner-up Tinseltown in the mix on Saturday, Ahrens knows Spechenka faces a tough test but is remaining optimistic of a big form turnaround.

A winner of 10 of their 27 career starts to date, Spechenka will be fourth-up for the season in the Caloundra Cup and comes into the race on the back of a string of unlucky runs.

Following a strong spring – summer campaign last year that included three Brisbane city wins on the trot in November and a big black-type victory in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2400m) at Randwick on Boxing Day, Spechenka has failed to regain their purple patch.

“We’ve just been that far behind all this preparation,” Ahrens admitted.

“One thing after another has gone wrong.

“First of all he hurt his pastern from kicking the wall of his tie-up stall.

“Then he wrenched a fetlock and missed work.

“Then a workmate kicked him and badly cut his hock.

“That cut needed stitches and more time off work.”

After a five month break in the paddock Ahrens bought Spechenka back on May 28 this year where they ran a promising first-up second to Musashi Of Mieko in a 1625m handicap at Toowoomba carting a hefty 61kg, the tyro trainer originally hoping to get the horse up to scratch for a tilt at the Group 2 Brisbane Cup.

Next start was a flop for the stayer, however, Spechenka beating home just one other runner when 15th to winner Willy Jimmy in the Listed Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap, losing a plate during the run and dashing their chances of a Brisbane Cup bid.

In their most recent run, it was another disappointing effort from Spechenka who failed to overcome a wide barrier draw in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) on June 18 and only manage to cross over 11 lengths away seventh behind winner Gold In Dubai.

Now Ahrens will give Spechenka the chance to turn the tables on Gold In Dubai and get their prep back on track.

“I would have preferred no further than 2200 metres this week, but his work last Saturday over long ground was encouraging,” Ahrens said.

Depending on Spechenka’s Caloundra Cup performance on Saturday, Ahrens will move onto either the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 14 or the $150,000 Listed Queensland Cup over 3200m at Eagle Farm earlier on July 9 with the horse.

2011 Caloundra Cup Final Field & Barriers

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp. Rating
1 9069631201 GOLD IN DUBAI Mark Riley Michael Walker 9 57kg 99
2 4138807F26 TINSELTOWN (NZ) Michael Moroney Chad Ormsby 4 57kg 99
3 15X3X94205 MR CLANGTASTIC Les Bridge Damian Browne 6 55.5kg 96
4 411151X207 SPECHENKA Ben Ahrens Ryan Wiggins 13 55.5kg 96
5 21X3702094 VIKING HERO Michael Moroney Chris Munce 1 53.5kg 91
6 7202471474 TEARY EYED John Morrisey Jason Taylor 14 53kg 88
7 111X770675 RAEBURN Brian Smith Scott Galloway 12 53kg
8 3733X04210 SMOKING CHIMNEYS (NZ) David Haworth Matthew Palmer 8 53kg 86
9 086121X210 ARCENCIEL (NZ) Yves Seguin Scott Seamer 11 53kg 83
10 X698048061 WARRIOR WITHIN Bruce W Hill Paul Hammersley 7 53kg 83
11 X0X7645014 REGAL GAZE (NZ) Brian Smith Eddie Wilkinson 2 53kg 79
12 5271156468 MISS MARTIKA (NZ) Wayne Walters Ms Melissa Walters (a) 10 53kg 72
13 1550242128 MALING David Lawlor Anthony Erhart 5 53kg 71
14 525X757903 ROSA DELAGO John Symons & Sheila Laxon 3 53kg 62