Group 1 winning Brisbane hoop Tony Pattillo believes his mount in Saturday’s Queensland Cup, Tamworth galloper Bundeebear, is a genuine chance to snare an upset despite their long odds.
The Aiden and Kane St Vincent-trained Lawyer five-year-old Bundeebear is one of 17 stayers currently accepted for the $150,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm and sits as a $31 roughie in the markets.
Drawn well in barrier three, Bundeebear will be making their big city debut at Eagle Farm and is out to improve on their last-start fifth behind Streets Away in the Sky Racing Media Centre Class 6 Plate (1800m) at the Gold Coast on June 30.
Pattillo is thrilled to be able to return to Eagle Farm for the Queensland Cup, the track being where he first tasted Group 1 glory in 2006 with Art Success in the Brisbane Cup, when the two-mile feature was still rated an elite level.
Art Success also gave Pattillo a ride in the world’s richest handicap, Flemington’s Melbourne Cup, when they finished 16th behind Japanese-trained winner Delta Blues in 2006.
Although Bundeebear is untested over a distance greater than 2400 metres, Pattillo’s Brisbane Cup and Melbourne Cup experience over 3200 metres will be an advantage on Saturday according to the hoop.
“I’ve had two goes in a 3200 metre race, I won one and made it to a Melbourne Cup and although we finished down the track in that it was still a thrill,” Pattillo said.
Recently resuming riding after a 10-month break due to a nasty should injury suffered from a fall at Townsville 12 months ago, Pattillo said he had been taking his time with recovery but was in good condition for the Queensland Cup clash.
“It was a pretty nasty break, I had to have a couple of operations and they cut the end of my collarbone out,” he said.
“I’ve only been back about two months so I’m just starting to find my way back through the field.”
The Queensland Cup will be Pattillo’s second time aboard Bundeebear having earlier ridden him to a fifth place finish to Regal Gaze in a Class Six over 2400m at Caloundra on June 3.
Despite being beaten eight lengths that day, Pattillo said he was impressed with the horse’s efforts and believed over an increased distance Bundeebear would be more competitive.
“I was very impressed with his run and the way he quickened up at the 600 metres in that race,” Pattillo said.
“He knocked up a bit going to the line but I was very keen for them to press on and give him a go at better company.
“The horse is super relaxed, I’m very confident he will see the 3200 metres right out and I’ve very happy to have that quality of ride in the race.”
Queensland Cup betting is dominated by Michael Moroney’s Victoria raider Tinseltown ($3.50) who is the 58kg top-weight, Robert Smerdon’s classy mare Persian Star ($3.60) to be ridden by Chris Munce and the Brian Smith-trained local hope Raeburn ($3.80) coming off a fourth in the Caloundra Cup.
Despite the credentials of seven-year-old Tinseltown, the veteran coming off a close third to Spechenka in the Caloundra Cup, Pattillo believes their hefty weight allocation will rule them out of the win over the Queensland Cup distance.
“He’s not too bad a horse but I think he’s probably weighted out of the race,” Pattillo said of Tinseltown.
“He’s got 58 kilos, not many can carry it over two miles.
“It definitely brings him back to the rest of us and of the others, there’s no real standout.”
Pattillo has also been booked to ride the Steele Ryan-trained Feuer Drache in the $100,000 Brisbane Town Plate (1400m) on Queensland Cup Day.
The Hidden Dragon three-year-old is drawn on the rails in gate one and is a $14 chance to win having run a promising third at their Brisbane debut at Doomben on June 15.