Just eight gallopers are set to face off in the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival’s opening Group 1 with a diminutive but classy field accepted for Saturday’s BTC Cup 2014.
Due to run as Doomben Race 7 at 3:40pm (AEST), this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Bunderberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) lost one of its headline entries yesterday with the John O’Shea-trained Sidestep sent to the paddock with injury.
Clear favourite with Sidestep out of the equation is then the Robert Heathcote-trained Buffering who shoots for their fourth Group 1 success.
The son of Mossman came via a Victory Stakes success last year to run fourth behind Your Song in the BTC Cup run on a Heavy (9).
With late week rain predicted for Brisbane this year’s edition is also likely to be run on a wet track.
While on paper that looks to suit the local champ, Buffering boasting an excellent Heavy-track record (5-2-1-1), Heathcote believes they are vulnerable in the mud.
Damien Browne retains the ride for the weekend where the six-year-old is third-up for the season and after their first victory since completing their elite level treble in last November’s Winterbottom Stakes in Perth.
Buffering comes via a third in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick from April 12 and jumps from barrier three which has produced just the one BTC Cup winner since 1983.
Following the short priced Buffering in BTC Cup betting are then a logjam of other single figure fancies out for an upset including Hot Snitzel.
Sydney’s Gerald Ryan has accepted for both five-year-old Snitzel gelding Hot Snitzel as well as their Group 1 winning stable mate Snitzerland.
Also by boom sire Snitzel, four-year-old mare Snitzerland is still far from an assured starter in the BTC Cup field however.
Far better on top of the ground, Ryan has said all along he won’t risk running the Black Caviar Lightning champ in the wet and will scratch her out of Saturday’s showdown if the rain comes.
If the track remains in the Dead range however Snitzerland is sure to firm in the markets following her last start third behind Tony Gollan’s ‘Boom Brothers’ in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm two weeks back.
Hot Snitzel meanwhile has the outside barrier for Saturday with Nash Rawiller to ride as they shoot for back-to-back wins.
Last time out they raced at Randwick on April 26 and enjoyed a nice win over Knoydart in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m), an effort they’ll be out to repeat when up in class here.
Gollan’s Victory Stakes quinella of Temple Of Boom and Spirit Of Boom are also both accepted for the BTC Cup drawn in barriers one and seven respectively.
Temple Of Boom broke a two year drought in the Victory when scoring an upset as a 40-1 outsider for their first win since the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) back in April of 2012.
They held on to beat home half-brother Spirit Of Boom by a long neck, despite jockey Tegan Harrison losing her whip, and is looking for two-from-two in the BTC Cup.
Apprentice Harrison retains the ride for the Group 1 while top six-year-old Spirit Of Boom will be ridden by Michael Rodd.
Fourth to Buffering in the Winterbottom last season, this time in Spirit Of Boom has been in flying form.
Two second place finishes behind Lankan Rupee in Melbourne’s Oakleigh Plate – Newmarket Handicap double kicked this pep off before they won the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley one run before the Victory.
The other headline BTC Cup acceptor is then the Joe Pride-trained Tiger Tees.
A known mudlark with a win and second from their three Heavy-track starts to date, the Dubawi six-year-old comes off some very good Group 1 form in Sydney.
After winning this year’s The Galaxy they ran fourth in the TJ Smith Stakes in the wet and then finished third in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) two weeks ago in a great run behind Japanese raider Hana’s Goal.
Rounding out the BTC Cup field this winter are then the Noel Mayfield-Smith-trained Famous Seamus (barrier four) and John Thompson’s Husson mare Peron (barrier five) with top expat Kiwi hoop James McDonald to ride.
Check out the full BTC Cup 2014 field, barriers and jockeys below.
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2014 BTC Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Doomben Race 7 – 3:40pm (AEST) – 10/05/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||32x2111x73||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||3||58.5kg||118|
|2||32124×2212||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||7||58.5kg||112|
|3||22805×8661||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||Ms Tegan Harrison (a)||1||58.5kg||109|
|4||0x80x19143||TIGER TEES (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Glen Colless||2||58.5kg||110|
|5||076x902x21||HOT SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||Nash Rawiller||8||58.5kg||108|
|6||63135×3905||FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ)||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Ryan Wiggins||4||58.5kg||106|
|7||27x82x1203||SNITZERLAND||Gerald Ryan||Jim Byrne||6||56.5kg||111|
|8||1110x227x8||PERON||John P Thompson||James McDonald||5||56.5kg||98|