Victorian stayer Shenzhou Steeds will be out to continue his love affair with Queensland when he chases a second straight title in the 2013 Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
From 27 starts the five-year-old has secured seven victories but his record in the Sunshine State is far better than that. From nine outings in Queensland, the son of Ishiguru has shown a clear appreciation for the warm climate and the clockwise direction, finding his way into the winner’s stall on five occasions.
This weekend he is one of 25 horses nominated for the Listed $200,000 Caloundra Cup, a race he walked away from last year as a seven-length winner.
Shenzhou Steeds has not won since last year’s Sunshine Coast staying feature but he showed promising signs he is on track to repeat his success with a fast-finishing second in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
With Tatt’s Cup winner Rialya not nominated to back up at the Sunshine Coast, the key rivals for the New Zealand-bred gelding appear to be Ipswich Cup winner Anagold and New Zealand mares High Kin and Zennista.
Anagold will attempt to do what Shenzhou Steeds did last year after claiming an upset win in the Ipswich Cup paying an incredible $53 on June 15.
Also coming out of the Ipswich Cup is High Kin who finished quickly down the outside to claim runner-up honours on Australian debut as Anagold snuck along the rail.
The Lisa Latta-trained Zennista has raced consistently without winning at Queensland’s winter carnival and was last seen running a highly credible third behind Moriarty and Quintessential in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup.
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