A good barrier draw will assist Champagne...
Unable to figure when seventh in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on a good Brisbane track last time out, trainer Ciaron Maher has revealed he is hopeful of a slightly rain affected track for Mr O’Ceirin’s appearance in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) this weekend.
Producing a strong turn of foot to finish just off the pace of champion mare Streama on a soft Gold Coast surface in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on May 3rd, Maher told AAP the Postponed gelding is well-and-truly capable of mixing it with the best on a slightly affected surface.
“I think of a soft track, he is right up there with the Group 1 horses, but on a hard track he is probably just a bit off them” Maher said.
“He was at his maximum most of the Doomben Cup and I thought he probably should have run fourth. He is only a little fellow and a couple of them muscled him out of it.
“Still, Saturday’s race is a bit easier and it should be an interesting battle of tactics.
“There doesn’t look to be much pace in the race and perhaps we will push forward in the small field.”
Securing an impressive total of 10 wins and five minor places from 31 competitive race starts to date, Mr O’Ceirin is a noted performer in winter events, having claimed the featured Grafton Cup (2350m) most notably in 2013.
Quickly building to the task this time in, the six-year-old overcame a disappointing run for eleventh in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) first-up with his impressive performance on the Gold Coast in early May.
Allocated the ideal barrier 4 for the 2014 Eagle Farm Cup, Mr O’Ceirin is currently sole occupant of the third line of betting for success this weekend; offered at generous odds of $6.
A standout performer over his current preparation, Akzar has opened as and maintained favouritism in betting markets for success in the 2014 Eagle Farm Cup, currently featured at $2.50 odds.
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