Wet weather and the likelihood of a heavy (10) track have scared off a number of 2012 Caloundra Cup (2400m) hopefuls ahead of the $200,000 Sunshine Coast feature race.
Racing Queensland Officials this morning gave the event the green light to be run on a track rated a heavy 10, stating an upgrade was unlikely before race day.
Despite 21 horses being nominated for the Listed event and the field limit capped at 18, there were just 11 acceptances when the final field was announced this morning.
Headling the small field is Michael Moroney-trained gelding Shenzhou Steeds who is fresh off an impressive victory in the Ipswich Cup two weeks ago.
The four-year-old has drawn the outside barrier but should not be too disadvantged by a heavy track, having won three of five starts on wet surfaces.
Since being transferred to Moroney’s Flemington stables from New Zealand, the son of Ishiguru has signalled plenty of potential with five wins from 10 starts.
Another southern horse making the trip north is Sydney gelding Roi D’Jeu who proved his wet-track credentials when losing narrowly in the Stayers Cup at Rosehill last start.
After sitting with the leaders for the majority of the 3200 metres on a heavy track, the son of Montjeu produced a courageous effort to only lose by half a length in the dying stages.
The now Craig Ritchie-trained six-year-old began his career in New Zealand where he raced successfully on a number of occasions on heavy surfaces.
Also set to line up in the Caloundra Cup is Gold Coast-based gelding Warrior Within who comes into the race with form on the board.
After some disappointing efforts in the early stages of the Brisbane Winter Carnival, the six-year-old has bounced back in recent times to record consecutive placings in the Ipswich Cup and the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup.
Last year’s winner Spechenka will defend his title from barrier three after he took out the 2011 event on a slow track ahead of Gold In Dubai.
Caloundra Cup markets will open shortly and the best place to back a winter winner is at bookmaker.com.au.
Home of the $300 bonus bet, bookmaker.com.au is fully Australian owned and offers great value odds on all the nation’s top racing.
Caloundra Cup 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||11X25X9161||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Eddie Wilkinson||11||58kg||97|
|2||0635930833||WARRIOR WITHIN||Bruce W Hill||Paul Hammersley||9||56kg||93|
|3||35X7534527||ANUDJAWUN (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||Jim Byrne||2||55.5kg||91|
|4||0X00040208||SPECHENKA||Ben Ahrens||Ryan Wiggins||3||55.5kg||90|
|5||6433X88680||COUNT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||Jeff Lloyd||10||55.5kg||89|
|6||X2126X0552||ROI D’JEU (NZ)||Craig Ritchie||Brenton Avdulla||5||55.5kg||88|
|7||9132217560||ZA MAGIC||Brian Smith||Scott Galloway||1||55.5kg||88|
|8||386X076120||SHEZAHOTSHOT||Kim Craft||Grant Cooksley||7||55.5kg||85|
|9||2142454031||WINMARA||Frank Phillips||Chris Munce||4||55.5kg||81|
|10||446X825412||CROSSCANNONS (NZ)||Louise White||Glen Killen||8||55.5kg||75|
|11||408108X355||MACSQUIRE||David Peoples||Jason Taylor||6||55.5kg||66|