Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse will host two stakes races this Saturday including the meeting’s feature event, the Queensland Cup 2014.
There are 16 stayers in the mix for this year’s $150,000 Listed bmag Queensland Cup (3200m), the favourite of which is the Barry Mitchell-trained Brayroan.
A rising eight-year-old Zabeel gelding they come off an upset win in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast last weekend and are expected to enjoy the step up to the two miles in what could be their final Queensland run.
Brayroan pays $4 in the latest Queensland Cup odds and is followed closely in the markets by Astro Avalanche at $4.40.
Sam Kavanagh’s exciting Galileo gelding raced over the distance at Randwick in the mud last start (June 7) when second to Destiny’s Kiss in the Stayers Cup.
They were taken to the front that day and had a big lead throughout before getting run down by the winner, still an impressive effort for them to hang on after such a fast affair to lose by just half a length.
Others under double figures then include three-year-old Pop ‘n’ Scotch ($6), last start Tattersall’s Cup winner The Inventor ($8.50) and a former Waller-trained import Wazn ($9.50).
So will the Queensland Cup winner come from one of these single figure hopes?
Or is there a blowout Queensland Cup result on the card from a longer priced hope such as Kiwi raider Military Move ($17) carrying the 58kg top weight or early market mover Major Major ($14) whose Sydney trainer Bryce Heys has been talking up this week?
#1 Military Move ($17)
We’re tipping an upset and have Shaune Ritchie’s New Zealand-trained veteran Military Move as the one to beat. They are up in distance like most in this field but caught the eye with a Toowoomba Cup win last start. Failed in the Tatt’s Cup when 11th (of 12) but they were trapped wide that day and had too much work to do. Carry a big weight but think with a better run over more distance they could surprise.
#6 Astro Avalanche ($4.40)
Really exciting stuff from this European import in the Stayers Cup at Randwick at the start of the month when going nearly all-the-way over the two miles. This field as a similar class about it, better having had a run over the distance and if their new hoop Ryan Wiggins gets them into the right position up front again from their inside alley is a real chance to go one better than last time.
#3 The Inventor ($8.50)
Bevan Laming’s Danasinga five-year-old is shooting for their third straight win after backing up from an Ipswich success to take out the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) on June 21 at the track. How they handle the distance is of course key, and they go up from 54kg to 54.5kg but that’s hardly worth stressing about. The problem could be the wide barrier (14), but if the pace is on and they can get home late could come close.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change