Brisbane galloper Brayroan scored an upset Caloundra Cup 2014 result at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday handing jockey Chris Munce with a win he described as being better than a Melbourne Cup victory.
The veteran Zabeel seven-year-old improved on some average lead-up form to relish the step up to a mile and a half and win the $175,000 Listed Ross Maclean Caloundra Cup (2400m) running away.
Last start they were 10th to Brave Ali in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m), but on Saturday they were able to turn the tables on their last start conqueror.
The Barry Mitchell-trained Brayroan ($17) had nearly three lengths to spare over Tony Gollan’s Ipswich Cup winner Brave Ali ($4.80) in the Caloundra Cup quinella.
In a distant third nearly seven lengths off the winner was then last year’s Caloundra Cup champ Zennista ($10) for New Zealand trainer Lisa Latta.
The short Victorian-trained $3.10 favourite Mr O’Ceirin meanwhile ran a disappointing ninth beaten 14 lengths.
The Caloundra Cup was Brayroan’s first win for their current trainer having previously been prepared in Sydney by Anthony Cummings.
It was also their first win since a 2400m effort at Geelong during last year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival where they ran a competitive fourth to Caravan Rolls On in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m).
Winning jockey Munce was thrilled with the win as Brayroan’s trainer Mitchell, 71, is his father-in-law, and said that it was the roomier Sunshine Coast track that gave his mount the advantage today.
“Everything had been going perfect up to Ipswich and it was a bit of a back slap when he didn’t aim up as well as we thought there,” Munce told The Courier Mail.
“But he was only beaten 4.5 lengths and you see so often horses that struggle on a little track like that and then are a completely different horse when they get onto a bigger track like this.
“We did things a bit different then, played with his head, took him to the beach and it’s just so satisfying.”
Brayroan has now won seven of their 41 career starts for $338,050 in prize money, Munce pleased the old warhorse still had what it takes for a feature race win.
“He’s an old horse with plenty of tricks up his sleeve,” Munce said.
“A lot of people have put in a lot of hard work with this horse.”
Munce was also celebrating his third Caloundra Cup win over the past two decades having previously won on Oompala (1994) and Yammer (2000).
While Munce went on to also win the 1994 Melbourne Cup 20 years ago, he described Brayroan’s victory as “better than any Melbourne Cup.”
“It’s great because the family has been involved in getting him to win today,” he said on Sunday.
If the horse comes through their weekend win well then connections will consider backing them up seven days later at Eagle Farm over the two miles in this Saturday’s $150,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m).
That’s a distance Munce believes they can be competitive over again after hitting the like strongly in the Caloundra edition.
“They turned it into a genuine staying test (in the Caloundra Cup) and he is a Zabeel who has won at 2400m,” he said.
“I knew he would be strong at the finish.”
If not the Queensland Cup then Mitchell said that the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) across the border on July 10 could also be a nice next start option.
See below for the full Caloundra Cup 2014 results.
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2014 Caloundra Cup Results & Finishing Order
Sunshine Coast Race 7 – 28/06/2014
|1||8||BRAYROAN (NZ)||Barry A Mitchell||Chris Munce||–||10||54kg||$17|
|2||2||BRAVE ALI (NZ)||Tony Gollan||Jim Byrne||2.8L||3||56kg||$4.80|
|3||4||ZENNISTA (NZ)||Lisa Latta||Ric McMahon||6.8L||9||55.5kg||$10|
|4||5||HIGH KIN (NZ)||Stewart Mackinnon||Eddie Wilkinson||8.3L||11||54kg||$41|
|5||3||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Jason Taylor||9.3L||7||55.5kg||$4|
|6||6||LUCKZAT (NZ)||Wayne Walters||Luke Tarrant (a)||9.5L||5||54kg||$31|
|7||12||BRING BACK||Mark Ashby||Anthony Allen (a)||10.3L||6||54kg||$11|
|8||11||CATALONIA||Len Treloar||Geoffrey Goold (a)||11.3L||8||54kg||$14|
|9||1||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Glen Colless||14.1L||1||59kg||$3.10F|
|10||10||DENWOOD||Darryl Hansen||Ryan Wiggins||17.1L||4||54kg||$31|
|11||9||CLONMACNOISE (NZ)||Alan L Jones||Glen Killen||22.6L||2||54kg||$101|
|–||7||PERFECT START (NZ)||Wayne Hillis||Larry Cassidy||–||0||–||–|