Ben Ahrens-trained gelding Spechenka will be chasing a second consecutive title in Saturday’s Listed $200,000 2012 Caloundra Cup (2400m).
But the six-year-old will have to turn around a horror 12 months of form that has not seen him score victory since he finished narrowly ahead of Gold In Dubai in last year’s Sunshine Coast feature event.
After a several unsuccessful starts at the Brisbane Winter Carnival, trainer Ahrens has made changes to Spechenka’s training program with the aim of sharpening up the heavily-raced gelding.
The changes began in the lead up to Saturday’s Tattersall’s Cup and Ahrens said the changes were already noticeable as he finished four lengths off winner Ginga Dude.
“He had put in a few runs where he just didn’t get himself into the race, but on the weekend Ryan said he travelled well and the strongest part was at the end,” Ahrens said.
“I think as he’s getting a bit older and a bit more cunning, he just needs a bit of a change in his work.
“I’ve just been trying a few things differently to switch him on a bit mentally.”
From eight starts this campaign, the son of Danachenka has only managed to place on one occasion when second to the highly-rated Freuhling on the Sunshine Coast.
The only other time Spechenka has finished in the front half of the field this campaign was when fourth to Hume in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap.
Run over 2400 metres, the Caloundra Cup comes over Spechenka’s ideal distance, having scored three of his 11 career wins at the length.
Caloundra Cup nominations are headed by Ipswich Cup winner Shenzhou Steeds and Sydney gelding Roi D’Jeu.
The final field will be announced today so be sure to check back to Races.com.au for the most up to date information.
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