Kelso Wood has elected to bypass Saturday’s Group 2 2013 QTC Cup (1300m) with in-form sprinter Belltone, with the astute Queensland trainer convinced his charge will gain a start in Saturday week’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.
The BRC Sprint winner is a notable omission from the QTC Cup field which has attracted 15 acceptors plus two emergencies.
One horse who will line up to press his Stradbroke claims is Hot Snitzel. The hot-and-cold sprinter was a Group 3 winner at Sydney’s autumn carnival but struggled to finish 13th in the Prime Minister’s Cup at the Gold Coast earlier this month.
Trainer Gerald Ryan told AAP a return to form this weekend is likely to see him back up to chase the $1 million winner’s cheque on offer in the Stradbroke.
“Nash Rawiller will ride him and if he happened to win then we would seriously look at the Stradbroke,” Ryan said.
If Hot Snitzel was to win this weekend he would have to overcome history. The QTC Cup has often been seen as a “kiss of death” on the way to the Stradbroke, with no galloper ever backing up to win the winter’s most lucrative race after claiming QTC Cup honours.
Another quality Sydney speedster in the field is Clarry Conners-trained five-year-old Decision Time. The 2010 Golden Slipper runner-up has been in consistent form without winning this preparation and arrives on the back of a third-place finish in the Luskin Star Stakes at Scone.
Robert Heathcote will be hoping for a change of luck with seven-year-old gelding Griffon who has produced eye-catching fourths in two starts this campaign.
Others contesting the QTC Cup include Gai Waterhouse-trained mare Miss Stellabelle, BRC Sprint runner-up Mahisara and local hope Startsmeup.
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QTC Cup 2013 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||453x5x56x0||MIC MAC||Paul Messara||Christian Reith||13||59kg||107|
|2||x150x23663||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||Peter Robl||12||58.5kg||106|
|3||50x942x610||HOT SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||Nash Rawiller||3||58kg||105|
|4||5x72532x52||CONSERVATORIUM||Gary Kennewell||Joe Bowditch||17||56.5kg||102|
|5||10x1435x57||STARTSMEUP||John, Daniel & Christopher Meagher||Brad Stewart||1||56.5kg||102|
|6||x85049x428||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Mick Price||Larry Cassidy||16||56kg||101|
|7||07x128x488||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||TBA||14||55kg||99|
|8||x1009x5043||BORDER REBEL||Sue Grills||Timothy Bell||8||54.5kg||98|
|9||x1811x5942||MAHISARA||Paul Messara||Jim Cassidy||7||54.5kg||98|
|10||2143251×74||MORNING CAPTAIN||Kelly Doughty||Jim Byrne||15||54.5kg||98|
|11||4340×73243||MISS STELLABELLE||Gai Waterhouse||Chris Munce||9||53kg||99|
|13||609690×883||CELTIC DANCER||Noel J Doyle||TBA||6||53kg||94|
|14||L21104P510||DOZINTMATERANYWAY (NZ)||Liam Birchley||TBA||5||53kg||94|
|15||7x2230x700||LATIN NEWS||Bryan Dais||TBA||10||53kg||94|
|16e||03x46230x8||GALAH||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||11||53kg||94|
|17e||21x08x830x||MYSTICAL GREY||Craig Stott||Geoffrey Goold (a)||4||53kg||92|