Michael Moroney’s Ipswich Cup winner Shenzhou Steeds is set to continue their raid on the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival riches having been nominated for the Caloundra Cup 2012 at the Sunshine Coast this Saturday.
The former New Zealand galloper enjoyed great success in the sunshine state last winter winning three Queensland races on the trot including two at the Sunshine Coast, most notabley the Listed Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m).
They returned to Queensland this month to take out the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) in an upset win over the Gai Waterhouse-trained favourite Kinnersley on June 16, continuing their successful association with the state.
Now Moroney will take them back to the Sunshine Coast on the same day as their Guineas win 12 months ago this weekend to contest the $200,000 Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m).
The Ipswich Cup was the first time Shenzhou Steeds raced over a greater than a mile, and winning jockey Eddie Wilkinson is confident they will handle another distance rise this weekend.
“I’m confident he’ll handle it considering how well he finished off the 2150 metres at Ipswich,” Wilkinson said.
“That was his first go at a middle distance and he came through the race with flying colours.
“Even though you can never really be sure how a horse will handle 2400 metres until they attempt it, he’s given me no indication that he won’t.”
Wilkinson is also confident the horse has improvement in them and that they hadn’t reached their peak at Ipswich, complimenting them on their outstanding record in Queensland.
“He has thrived since the time he stepped off the float up here,” he said.
“He’s won all four starts in Queensland so it obviously agrees with him.”
Moroney mirrored Wilkinson’s confidence but said they would be riding the horse a bit quieter than they did last start help them get the 2400-metres.
“We rode him a bit differently by having him a bit closer in running at Ipswich and as things panned out it was the right move,” Moroney said,
“But going to the 2400 metres we’ll probably look to ride him a touch quieter which I think will suit him even better going to the bigger track up there.
“It’s certainly all systems go for Caloundra.”
There were 21 Caloundra Cup nominations in total taken this year including the reigning champion Spechenka, Ben Ahrens’ Beaudesert galloper last seen running eighth to Ginga Dude in the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm this Saturday gone.
Along with Shenzhou Steeds other Caloundra Cup entries coming via the Ipswich Cup are third placed Warrior Within, and the Paul Nolan-trained Fantastic Blue who ran eighth.
Bruce Hill’s Gold Coast champ Warrior Within backed up from the Ipswich Cup last Saturday, the King Cugat six-year-old finishing a close third beaten just over a length by Ginga Dude in the Tatt’s Cup.
Also coming via the Tatt’s Cup could be the likes of Jeff Lynds‘ Kiwi raider Booming who ran a much improved second, and fourth placed Shamardashing for Patinack Farm.
Below is the full list of 2012 Signwave Caloundra Cup nominations, the final field of acceptors to be taken and released on Wednesday.
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2012 Caloundra Cup Nominations
Sunshine Coast – 30/06/2012
|1||ANUDJAWUN (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||91|
|2||BOOMING (NZ)||Jeff Lynds||102|
|3||COUNT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||89|
|4||CROSSCANNONS (NZ)||Louise White||75|
|5||ELUSIVE KING||Peter G Moody||88|
|6||FANTASTIC BLUE||Paul N Nolan||95|
|7||HUME (NZ)||Brian Smith||95|
|8||LARGO DA BARRA||John Sargent||75|
|10||MAJESTIC SOUND||David Scanes||64|
|11||RANDOM ORBIT||Michael Nolan||72.5|
|12||ROI D’JEU (NZ)||Craig Ritchie||–|
|13||SAINT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||88|
|14||SHAMARDASHING||John P Thompson||93|
|15||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||97|
|18||THREE RED ROSES||Toby Edmonds||–|
|19||WARRIOR WITHIN||Bruce W Hill||93|
|21||ZA MAGIC||Brian Smith||88|