Tony Pike’s New Zealand raider Sacred Star needs to win this Saturday’s QTC Cup 2014 to be assured of a start in the following weeks Stradbroke Handicap field.
The Flying Spur four-year-old is one of 14 hopefuls engaged to face off in the last on Queensland Oaks Day at Eagle Farm Racecourse on the weekend, the $175,000 Group 2 Magic Millions QTC Cup (1300m) to run as Race 8 at 4:20pm.
Group 1 runner-up over 1400m last start in New Zealand back in February, Sacred Star races back in Australia for the first time since November 2012 when prepared by Chris Waller ahead of a hopeful run in the $1.36 million Group 1 AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) back at the track on June 7.
They go into the QTC Cup on the back of a winning Doomben trial over Adebisi from May 13 and were one of 30 first acceptances taken for the Stradbroke Handicap 2014 today.
With only 18 horses assured of a Straddie start however, plus five emergency runners taking the total number of final acceptances to 23, Sacred Star needs to win the QTC Cup to be elevated from their current 28th position on the ballot.
One notable non-acceptor for the Stradbroke who runs in the QTC Cup this weekend meanwhile is the Gerald Ryan-trained Hot Snitzel.
While the Stradbroke has been ruled out for the Snitzel five-year-old, Hot Snitzel still has a chance to atone for their back-to-back Doomben defeats with a win on the weekend from a nice barrier two draw.
After running sixth in the BTC Cup they were last seen finishing even further back in the field last Saturday when eighth to Spirit Of Boom in the 10,000 beaten nearly four lengths.
Also drawn well one outside of Hot Snitzel in barrier three is then their stable mate Dances On Stars.
The fellow Ryan-trained Snitzel gelding comes into the race on some consistent form having run top four in their past four runs.
A win two back at the Gold Coast in the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup (1300m) was followed by their fourth behind River Lad in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) form May 17, an effort the four-year-old will be looking to improve on here.
Also coming off a good fourth place finish is then the widely-drawn Belltone for Kelso Wood with barrier 12 to overcome.
Belltone is the second heaviest weighted hope with 57.5kg behind only Hot Snitzel (59kg), Chris Munce to ride the Brahms eight-year-old who ran fourth behind Dances On Stars in the Prime Minister’s Cup.
Another in-form Queensland in the mix then comes from Stuart Kendrick’s Sunshine Coast stables, Not A Single Doubt mare Doubtfilly second-up here.
She returned on May 10 at Doomben when third behind Pure Purrfection in the Listed Bribie Handicap (1100m) carrying 54kg, a kilo more than she’ll carry from the inside barrier on Saturday with Larry Cassidy riding.
Other notable QTC Cup hopes then include Les Ross’ improving local four-year-old Mishani Stealth and David Lawlor’s Bel Esprit gelding Architect out in the far outside barrier who ran fourth to Eastern Prince in the Listed Queensland Day (1200m) last weekend.
Check out the full QTC Cup 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below.
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2014 QTC Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Eagle Farm Race 8 – 4:20pm – 31/05/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||6x902x2168||HOT SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||Tye Angland||2||59kg||107|
|2||03992017×4||BELLTONE||Kelso Wood||Chris Munce||12||57.5kg||104|
|3||06×1254414||DANCES ON STARS (NZ)||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||3||56.5kg||102|
|4||865337678x||ALMA’S FURY||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||6||56kg||101|
|5||78x111532x||SACRED STAR||Tony Pike||Timothy Bell||4||54.5kg||98|
|6||5403431305||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||Mark Du Plessis||11||54.5kg||98|
|7||50x4380x36||BENNETTA||Grahame Begg||Kerrin McEvoy||5||53kg||99|
|8||3D5x1400x0||LUCKY HUSSLER||Kent Fleming||Jason Taylor||7||53kg||95|
|9||1x530357x3||DOUBTFILLY||Stuart Kendrick||Larry Cassidy||1||53kg||94|
|10||70x796020x||PHELAN READY||Jason McLachlan||Eddie Wilkinson||13||53kg||94|
|11||x1141636x9||BLACK CASH||Kelly Doughty||Tegan Harrison (a)||10||53kg||91|
|12||124x755x34||MASTHEAD||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||8||53kg||91|
|13||23321x15x2||MISHANI STEALTH||Les Ross||Craig Newitt||9||53kg||81|
|14||0738106034||ARCHITECT||David J Lawlor||Andrew Spinks||14||53kg||76|