Patinack Farm’s head trainer John P Thompson may have nominated four from his stables for the 2012 Queen’s Cup at Eagle Farm this weekend but he could be down to just one horse at acceptance stage as he also eyes on Thursday week’s Grafton Cup.
The latest Group race of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival, the $150,000 Group 3 Queen’s Cup (3200m) drew just 12 early entries at nomination stage on Monday.
Nominations were extended by Racing Queensland and Thompson added his Redoute’s Choice four-year-old Shadowofexcellence as a late entry.
His original nominees were then five-year-old Saint Encosta, recent Tatt’s Cup fourth placegetter Shamardashing and Count Encosta.
With Thompson looking to spread his winter staying arsenal over two states in less than a week with the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) in New South Wales next Thursday, Encosta De Lago five-year-old Count Encosta could be the only one of the trio accepted into the Queen’s Cup 2012 field.
“After speaking to John, Shamardashing and Saint Encosta are more likely to be saved for Grafton Cup,” Patinack Farm racing manager Robyn Hartney said.
“That probably just leaves us with Count Encosta as our runner in the two-mile race although we nominated Shadowofexcellence when entries were extended.”
Count Encosta was last seen running a distant 16th to Lights Of Heaven in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9, a race Saint Encosta finished dead last in.
Saturday will be Count Encosta’s third time over the two-miles, the same distance the world famous Melbourne Cup is run over at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November each year.
Their first look at the 3200-metres was their seventh to Macedonian in the 1010 Sandown Cup, before their eighth to Stand To Gain in the 2011 Sydney Cup.
The former Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Shadowofexcellence meanwhile will be stepping up to a distance greater than 2400-metres for the first time should they accept.
A $1.2 million purchase from the 2009 Australian Easter Yearling Sales, Shadowofexcellence of a three-quarter brother to triple Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva.
He has failed to live up to his purchase price and hype however recording just two wins from 18 starts to date, a Class 1 handicap at Toowoomba this June and a maiden handicap over 1850m at Newcastle back in March last year.
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