Acceptances were taken for the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup (1400m) on Thursday morning, with a near-capacity field of 17 sprint-mile horses set to tackle the Australia Day race.
Headlining the field is Robert Heathcote’s Riva De Lago, who will jump from barrier five with Ryan Wiggins in the saddle.
The seven-year-old gelding has enjoyed his share of stakes success within his racing career, which means he’ll carry the top weight of 59kg in the 2015 Sunshine Coast Cup.
Riva De Lago enjoyed a win in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) in September 2013 followed by a minor placing in the City Tattersalls Club Handicap (1400m) but has failed to place in any of his past ten starts.
The gelding travelled to Brisbane during the summer for the first time but couldn’t figure in either the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m) or Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m).
Heathcote will also saddle Saluter in the Sunshine Coast Cup. The gelding will jump from the widest gate with Jim Byrne as jockey.
Saluter won a handicap over 1200 metres on the course proper in December before finishing midfield in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on January 10.
Pat Duff will also deliver a dual-pronged attack on the race after accepting with both Steel Zip and Abu Ben Adam.
Seven-year-old Steel Zip has failed to place in any of his past five starts, including the Listed Recognition Stakes (1630m) and Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) during the summer. The gelding will jump from barrier 15 with Brad Stewart to ride.
Abu Ben Adam also featured in both races but finished end of the field. The gelding was last seen running 11th in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m). He will get an ideal start on Saturday from barrier three which could help turn around his form around.
The Jamie McConachy-trained Vandalised will enjoy the inside jump from barrier one with Chris Whiteley in the saddle. The six-year-old gelding won back-to-back handicaps at Rockhampton earlier in the summer.
Other notable horses that will tackle the 2015 Sunshine Coast Cup include Jason McLachlan’s Phelan Ready, Listed Keith Noud Quality (1200m) winner Time To Plunder, Magic Millions Fillies & Mares Handicap runner-up Anna Lizzie, and Listed Just Now Quality (1350m) winner Tarloshan.
However all four horses will have to overcome awkward, wide starts.
Check out the complete 2015 Sunshine Coast Cup field and barrier draw below.
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2015 Sunshine Coast Cup Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||709×686578||RIVA DE LAGO||Robert Heathcote||Ryan Wiggins||5||59kg||97|
|2||x0941x7x16||PHELAN READY||Jason McLachlan||Eddie Wilkinson||9||58.5kg||96|
|3||6996221763||TIME TO PLUNDER||Liam Birchley||Larry Cassidy||8||57.5kg||94|
|4||8002222×17||SALUTER||Robert Heathcote||Jim Byrne||17||56.5kg||92|
|5||539x64x205||FINISHING CARD||Shane Edmonds||Terry Treichel||12||56kg||91|
|6||x9403665x4||BLACK CASH||Kelly Doughty||TBA||4||55kg||89.5|
|7||x131161125||DAPH ’N’ ALF||Greg Wehlow||Kelvin Wharton||2||55kg||89.5|
|8||12x1322x55||HARADA BAY||John, Dan & Chris Meagher||Michael Cahill||13||55kg||89|
|9||653×994697||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||Brad Stewart||15||55kg||89|
|10||2x0112x912||TARLOSHAN (NZ)||Graeme Boyd||Robbie Fradd||16||55kg||93|
|11||00×0007306||MISHANI WARRIOR||Les Ross||Travis Wolfgram (a)||6||54.5kg||88|
|12||11118×1194||VANDALISED||Jamie McConachy||Chris Whiteley||1||54.5kg||88|
|13||25125x87x2||ANNA LIZZIE||Danny J Bougoure||Glen Colless||14||54kg||87|
|14||x177420x57||SOROS||Kelly Schweida||Ric McMahon||7||54kg||86|
|15||x5200x6489||INTO THE RED||Kelso Wood||Tegan Harrison||10||54kg||85|
|16||30×0110020||ABU BEN ADAM||Pat Duff||Jeff Lloyd||3||54kg||77.5|
|17||80×1653189||HLUDOWIG||Andrew Williamson||James Orman (a)||11||54kg||76|