Fresh off his long-time-in-the-making maiden Group 1 win with Woorim in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield last Saturday, Brisbane’s premier horseman Rob Heathcote will be hoping to discover another potential elite level winner at home this weekend with Tomboy racing in the 2012 Tattersall’s Members’ Cup.
One of two black-type Eagle Farm races running this Saturday the $80,000 Listed Tattersall’s Members’ Cup Handicap (1600m) drew 17 nominations.
Among them is Murphy’s Blu Boy mare Tomboy, a winner of eight of her 14 career starts to date.
Last seen taking out a 1350-metre handicap at Doomben on February 18, Tomboy has been named by Heathcote as a possible runner in next month’s $600,000 Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival 2012.
After a month freshen-up Tomboy was narrowly able to get the better of Mystical Grey in her first open company assignment, kicking off what Heathcote hopes will be a Group 1 winning season for the four-year-old.
Tomboy’s performance in the Tattersall’s Members’ Cup on Saturday will determine whether Heathcote takes her to Sydney with an eye on the Coolmore Classic 2012 on March 24.
“At this stage I’m aiming her for the Coolmore,” Heathcote confirmed.
Mystical Grey will again be among Tomboy’s rivals on the weekend, the Craig Stott-trained seven-year-old a possible Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival contender later in the year.
“I’ve never won a Group race in my career and it’s my aim to win a Group race with him,” Stott said.
It is shaping up as a strong edition of the Tattersall’s Members’ Cup on Saturday with other top-rated entries including Les Kelly’s Gold Coast galloper and last-start Doomben winner Lucky Luna, the Steven Stanek-trained Royal Academy six-year-old Poor Judge and Pat Duff’s Sunshine Coast Cup winner Steel Zip.
Progressive four-year-old grey Steel Zip backed up from their Sunshine Coast Cup victory to run second behind fellow Tattersall’s Members’ Cup nominee Lucky Luna in the Scafer Store Handicap (1600m) on February 18.
Despite that defeat their Deagon-based trainer Duff is confident they can bounce back on Saturday and stake their claims for a trip to Sydney for the $140,000 Group 3 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1400m) on March 22.
“The winner (Lucky Luna) was just too good on the day and they ran good time,” Duff said of Steel Zip’s last start.
“It was his first start over 1600-metres this campaign and he’ll improve a lot from the run.
“I’m pushing on to the Newmarket (at Newcastle) and he won’t get anywhere near the 57 kilos he had.”
Longer-term plans for the now dual stakes winner also include the lucrative $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) back at Eagle Farm on June 9.
“I’d like to get him ready for the winter carnival races and I’d like to think he’d be a chance in the Stradbroke,” Duff said.
The day’s other stakes feature will be the $100,000 Listed Falvelon Handicap (1200m) which attracted 15 nominations.
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2012 Tattersall’s Members’ Cup Nominations
Eagle Farm – 03/03/2012
|2||GO CART||Steven O’dea||82|
|3||GOD’S HAND||Bradley Herne||85|
|4||JASMINKA (NZ)||Brian Smith||87.5|
|7||LUCKY LUNA||Les Kelly||100|
|8||MYSTICAL GREY||Craig Stott||95|
|9||ONETIMEATBANDCAMP||John P Thompson||77|
|10||POOR JUDGE||Steven Stanek||97|
|11||ROYAL REIGN (NZ)||William Pholi||87.5|
|12||SHAMARDASHING||John P Thompson||86|
|13||SILENT MOVIE||Alicia Willick||86|
|14||STAR OF OCTAGONAL||Todd Howlett||–|
|15||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||93|
|17||VIPERA GOLD||Lynn Tipper||86|