Chris Waller’s classy top weight Index Linked held on in a brave effort on the line to score a feature race win at the Sunshine Coast in the 2015 Caloundra Cup by the barest of margins this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
Waller has a good record in the Sunshine State this time of year and that proved true again with his imported Dansili seven-year-old Index Linked getting the job done, just, in the $175,000 Listed Linked Group Plumbing Caloundra Cup (2400m).
The evergreen veteran was coming off a good last start second when only half a length off the winner Epingle in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2200m) on the Gold Coast on April 25.
The short freshen-up between runs and step up to 2400m for the first time since his only other attempt at the mile and a half when running a disappointing 10th in the Mornington Cup back in late March worked for the horse.
He carried the 59kg top weight with ace Queensland jockey Damian Browne aboard and had the ideal run, switching off just worse than midfield after slotting into a lovely spot on the rails.
The Caloundra Cup field was led around by the Robert Heathcote-trained Volkhere who held the early lead from Sir John Hawkswood after he took up quickly to settle second on the outside of the pacesetter.
At the halfway mark it was Volkhere up front ahead of the likes of Ongoing Venture and the Chris Munce-trained Perplexity while Index Linked continued to get a gun run on the inside of the Matt Laurie-trained Casino Prince five-year-old Escado out to atone for a 12th in both the Hollindale Stakes and last Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane.
On the turn for home Index Linked was still sitting eighth but was full of running and only needed the room to get around them.
In the closing stages dour staying type Escado hit the front but Index Linked was thundering home inside the 200m to join him, the pair going stride for stride before winner just put his head down to win in a close call.
Five lengths further back finishing off the Caloundra Cup trifecta was then the Beaudesert-based Shadow Creek four-year-old Kobi Creek coming off a win at the Gold Coast over 2200m from last Saturday.
There is a good chance Waller will continue on with Index Linked in Brisbane next race taking him to Doomben Racecourse for something like the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 6.
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2015 Caloundra Cup Results & Finishing Order
Caloundra Race 6 – 16/05/2015
|1||1||INDEX LINKED (GB)||Chris Waller||Damian Browne||–||4||59kg||$3.40F|
|2||3||ESCADO||Matt Laurie||Luke Nolen||0.1L||7||56kg||$7|
|3||12||KOBI CREEK||Mark Palmer||Robbie Fradd||3.9L||1||54kg||$101|
|4||7||FRETON||Troy Hall||Luke Tarrant (a)||5.2L||10||54kg||$19|
|5||6||PERPLEXITY||Chris Munce||Jeff Lloyd||7L||6||54kg||$10|
|6||4||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Jim Byrne||7.1L||8||54.5kg||$5|
|7||10||SUPERCOACH||Ben Currie||Ryan Wiggins||8.4L||12||54kg||$26|
|8||5||VOLKHERE||Robert Heathcote||Tegan Harrison||10.9L||11||54.5kg||$5.50|
|9||11||WIMPOLE STREET (IRE)||Louise White||Larry Cassidy||11.7L||5||54kg||$101|
|10||2||TREMEC (NZ)||John P Thompson||Timothy Bell||15.2L||2||57kg||$8|
|11||9||LUCKZAT (NZ)||Wayne Walters||Jason Taylor||17.5L||3||54kg||$31|
|12||8||ONGOING VENTURE||Darlene Duryea||Michael Cahill||26L||9||54kg||$31|