Currie Eyes Caulfield Cup 2011 with Rothera

Likeable Oakey-based horseman Ben Currie is hoping a successful new season start at Doomben on Saturday can be the kick-off point towards a 2011 Caulfield Cup campaign for his talented middle-distance galloper Rothera.

Six-year-old Tobougg gelding Rothera has given Currie one hell of a ride, the likeable trainer hoping to go all the way this prep with the horse and score his maiden thoroughbred major in the Sydney Spring Carnival’s Epsom Handicap 2011 before possibly progressing on to more Group 1 glory in Melbourne.

“So long as he runs well in the Epsom, he may go back to Melbourne,” Currie said.

“It’s a bit of a dream to get there but I’ve always thought he’s looking for longer and it would be a thrill to have a Caulfield Cup runner, especially if the track is wet.”

Rothera, who has won four of their five starts on Heavy tracks, was among the 121 horses nominated for the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) when early entries for the October first feature at Royal Randwick were taken earlier this week.

Rothera is young Currie’s stable ace, having won 11 of their 27 starts to date including their last-start victory in the Listed Tattersall’s Members’ Cup (1600m) at Eagle Farm back in March.

Twelve months ago Currie took Rothera down to Melbourne for the spring carnival and enjoyed the highlight of his training career when they won the Group 3 Betfair Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Caulfield Cup Day.

Next start Rothera lined up in their first elite level, but failed to beat home any other runners when they finished dead last in the Emirates Sakes at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

This Saturday Rothera makes their new season debut in the $50,000 Channel Seven Brisbane Open Handicap (1200m) at Doomben, which will give Currie a good indication of where they can go this spring.

There is a chance that should the galloper show Currie enough, Rothera will continue on to target glory in Melbourne with the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15 and another shot at the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 5 other possibilities.

“At this stage we’re looking at the Epsom with him and after this run he’ll go to Sydney and run in the Bill Ritchie,” Currie said.

The $125,000 Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) is set to run at Randwick on September 17.

“If he doesn’t go for the Caulfield Cup, he’ll probably be set for the Emirates,” he confirmed.

Current 2011 Caulfield Cup odds at Luxbet have Rothera rated a $151 roughie to win and a generous $38.50 to place.

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