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Saturday’s 2014 Caloundra Cup favourite Mr O’Ceirin may be the 59kg top weight but a drop back in class for the Sunshine Coast clash will hopefully be enough to see them through according to trainer Ciaron Maher.
The cool and collected Maher, who saddled up this year’s beaten Stradbroke Handicap favourite Srikandi, is confident his Postponed six-year-old can break a nine month winning drought and take out the $175,000 Listed Ross Maclean Fellowship Caloundra Cup (2400m) this weekend.
Mr O’Ceirin is the easing $2.10 favourite in Caloundra Cup betting to do just that too despite their hefty weight allocation as they run in their first non-Group race of this campaign.
The 59kg is two kilos more than what they carried to a luckless fifth to Floria last time out on June 7 when they got caught wide and were forced to do too much work in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
“The leader elected to take him on fairly early and it ended up bringing about both of their undoing,” Maher told RSN speaking about the Brisbane Cup.
“I thought he did a super job under the circumstances to tough the race out and he actually held on for fourth before ending up fifth on protest.”
Before that they were second in the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m), seventh when four lengths off Streama in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) and second in the Group 2 AD Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast during their Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival prep.
If successful on Saturday the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) winner from the spring will be celebrating their maiden Queensland victory.
They’ve got the inside alley in the 11-horse field, Perfect Star an early scratching, and Glen Colless jumps aboard for the run.
Maher is confident they come into the race in peak fitness and will also appreciate the predicted rain in Queensland on Saturday.
“He’ll roll along up on the speed and hopefully they get a shower of rain which will help him,” he said.
“He had a gallop on Tuesday at Doomben with his regular rider who thought it was his best work since he’s been up there.
“We really targeted the Queensland Carnival with him and he’s run well in all of his target races.
“He’s been able to pick up a couple of seconds but it would be nice to round out his campaign up there with a win if we could.”
Mr O’Ceirin’s main dangers in the Caloundra Cup odds are then Ipswich Cup winner Brave Ali and the veteran Gerald Ryan-trained Sydney raider Ironstein both at $5.
Also in the mix are the likes of three-year-old Queensland Derby graduate Bring Back ($11) who is the other Victorian rep in the race along with Mr O’Ceirin and the defending Caloundra Cup winner Zennista ($17) out to atone for a Brisbane Cup eighth last time out.
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