Veteran Queensland hoop Jim Byrne has picked up a plum ride in the Caloundra Cup 2014 this Saturday aboard Brave Ali thanks to the suspension of a fellow jockey as he aims for his third win in the Sunshine Coastfeature.
Byrne replaces suspended apprentice hoop Tegan Harrison who has been on fire this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival including her devastatingly close second aboard Temple Of Boom in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) earlier in the month.
She will miss the Caloundra Cup Day meeting however after copping a charge for allowing her mount The Inventor to move out over the line and interfere with the run of Pretty Pins when winning the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
Her temporary ban has paved the way for Byrne then to jump aboard the Tony Gollan-trained Brave Ali in Saturday’s $175,000 Listed Ross Maclean Fellowship Caloundra Cup (2400m), a regular mount of Harrison’s.
If successful he will be celebrating a hat-trick of winning Caloundra Cup rides having previously won the race aboard the Peter Moody-trained Reggie (2009) and before that Raw Instinct (2003) prepared by the late Bruce McLachlan.
O’Reilly seven-year-old Brave Ali, formerly prepared in Tamworth before transferring to Gollan’s Brisbane operation earlier this year, shows a number of the same characteristics as Byrne’s previous Caloundra Cup winners.
He has been in ace form this preparation too winning four of their past five starts all with Harrison, who returns to ride Brave Ali in the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 10, in the saddle.
“I think it would take a bit to get Tegan off him when she is available,” Byrne told AAP.
“I’ve watched his races and like his racing style of rolling along in the lead.”
Two back they ran third behind Pretty Pins in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) which lead into their Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) victory on June 14.
They now back-up in the Caloundra Cup when going up to the 2400m for the first time, Brave Ali paying $5 as the equal second pick with the Gerald Ryan-trained Ironstein.
Caloundra Cup betting markets meanwhile are led by the Ciaron Maher-trained Group 1 performer Mr O’Ceirin ($2.20) who carries the 59kg top weight but drops back in class for their season swansong.
Byrne gets a chance at the feature race double on Caloundra Cup Day too also partnering with Alma’s Fury in the $175,000 Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m).
He was aboard Gollan’s Refuse To Bend six-year-old for their Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) victory on Ipswich Cup Day and will look to go back-to-back here going slightly over more distance.
“He has won an Apollo Stakes at 1400m so the distance shouldn’t worry him,” Byrne said.
Byrne is also looking for his second Glasshouse Handicap victory having ridden Rancho’s Coup for their win back in 1997.
Check out the full Caloundra Cup Day odds and betting options open online now at Ladbrokes.com.au and bet with confidence as they will refund your bet as a bonus wager up to $50 if your first Fixed Win selection runs second on Saturday in the Cup.