Morning Captain Can Earn 2013 Sunshine Coast Cup Start

Four-year-old gelding Morning Captain will be given the chance to press his claims for a start in the Listed $100,000 2013 Sunshine Coast Cup (1400m) when he contests an Open Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The generally consistent galloper will have to make a quick form turnaround to gain a start in the Queensland feature on Saturday week after producing an out-of-character performance when fifth in the Gold Market Handicap at the Gold Coast on New Year’s Day.

On that occasion the son of Danbird was beaten by three lengths in what was by far his worst performance in seven starts since September.

Trainer Kelly Doughty will give Morning Captain the chance to redeem himself this weekend but if he produces a similar result he will head to the paddock.

“His form has been very good this campaign and the Goldmarket was his worst race,” Doughty told Racing Queensland.

“He’s good in himself and has trained on well but this race will determine what we do with him next.”

Morning Captain has been in excellent form this preparation, with his Goldmarket fifth his only finish outside the top four.

In late December he went within a neck of claiming the second stakes win of his career when second behind Audacious Spirit in the Listed Lough Neaugh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben.

Morning Captain is the $4.40 top elect to return to the winner’s circle this weekend, holding slight favouritism ahead of Last Gift ($4.40).

North Queensland gelding Last Gift has made a successful trip south so far this campaign, winning first-up at Eagle Farm on December 8 and running second in the Bat Out Of Hell Quality at the Gold Coast on New Year’s Day.

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