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Despite a disappointing finish in the Ipswich Cup last start Muirfield has the ability to return to form and break a 15-month losing streak in this Saturday’s Caloundra Cup 2013 according to jockey Eddie Wilkinson.
Wilkinson partnered the Michael Moroney-trained Don Edurado gelding for the first time in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) west of Brisbane on June 15.
The pair however could only manage to finish seventh to the upset 40-1 winner Anagold, albeit beaten only two and a half lengths.
“A few things went against him but overall I thought he ran well,” Wilkinson said of Muirfield’s Ipswich Cup effort.
“The pace of the race didn’t suit him when they slowed up in the middle stages and I thought he did a good job to keep finding the line.”
It was a good improvement on their previous start when 10 lengths separated them in eighth from the winner Motivado, a 2013 Melbourne Cup hope, in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2500m) at Morphettville in May when ridden by Michael Walker.
Things have definitely been hit and miss for the rising six-year-old over the past year and a half, Murifield not having won a race since an 1800m handicap at Sandown back in March last year.
Wilkinson however believes their time to re-enter the winners’ stall is near and rates them a genuine chance on turning the tables on Anagold when they face them again in Saturday’s $200,000 Listed Yalumba Caloundra Cup (2400m).
The jockey believes the tight turns at Ipswich worked against them last start and they will be able to get a much kinder run on the roomier Sunshine Coast track this Saturday as they go up to a more suitable 2400m.
“He was a little bit lost around Ipswich but his last 150 metres was good once he got balanced up and into the clear,” he said.
“The step up to 2400 metres will be better as well. He ran second in the Warrnambool Cup over 2350 metres so the trip won’t be a problem.”
There were 25 Caloundra Cup nominations taken this year with other notable entries including Ipswich Cup runner-up High Kin and third placed Za Magic as well as the flying Peal Of Bells coming off a massive seven length victory in the Stayers Cup over the two miles at Randwick.
Moroney meanwhile will also be represented by the reigning Caloundra Cup winner Shenzhou Steeds who ran at Eagle Farm last Saturday finishing a brave second to Rialya in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m).
Wilkinson is the regular rider of Shenzhou Steeds aboard for their four most recent runs as well as their seven length Caloundra Cup romp in the mud 12 months ago but will jump off them this weekend in favour of a ride on Muirfield.
The 2013 Caloundra Cup field of final acceptors is due out tomorrow and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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