Joe Pride’s progressive sprinter Ball Of Muscle enjoyed a comfortable win in Doomben’s QTC Cup 2015 on Queensland Oaks Day ahead of a likely return to the track next weekend for the Stradbroke Handicap.
While no horse has ever completed the QTC Cup – Stradbroke double, Pride’s always honest Dubawi four-year-old Ball Of Muscle will attempt the feat after leading all the way in the opening leg.
One of just eight starters in this year’s $175,000 Group 2 Magic Millions QTC Cup (1200m), Sydney visitor Ball Of Muscle came off a second in the Gold Coast’s Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) behind Srkiandi back on April 25.
The freshen-up worked a treat as the galloper, ridden to perfection by jockey Glyn Schofield, hit the front early in his Doomben debut and stayed on well throughout the sprint clash to take it out in a fine effort ahead of Queensland’s richest race, the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) on June 6.
“What a lovely horse he is,” the QTC Cup winning hoop said post-win.
“He’s well named, looked the part and he’s starting to live up to the hype of his family.
“I had an open mind (about where I would settle) but he just sprang to the lead so cleanly and was effortless in leading.”
First out of the gates, Ball Of Muscle went to the lead without much effort and led initially from the Kiwi El Roca before the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained That’s A Good Idea, the Flying Spur gelding coming off a first-up win in Scone’s Listed Ortensia Stakes, moved up to slot into second on the outside.
It was Pride’s other runner, last start Listed Mick Dittman winning three-year-old Denman colt at the track Kuro who got the gun run in the box seat third on the rails.
Ball Of Muscle led them round on the inside coming into the corner with That’s A Good Idea on the chase and Kuro looking to split the pair up the middle.
Having enjoyed a rest with a fairly cruisy first half of the race, race favourite Ball Of Muscle ($3.50) had plenty in the tank late to hold off his challenges and won from the Team Snowden-trained market mover That’s A Good Idea ($3.80), who fought hard in the end after taking his time to get into the race, and Kuro ($3.90) who were also the first three in QTC Cup betting.
It was an intriguing contest with every horse looking a chance at some stage down the straight and at the 150m it looked like the eventual second and third placegetters would join Ball Of Muscle before he fought back, pleasing Schofield.
“I never felt in any danger,” he said.
“It was a comfortable win. He seemed to do things on auto-pilot.
“He’s best with lots of speed on.
“He seemed to work out what he was supposed to do in the last furlong, stuck to it and won well.”
Back the QTC Cup winner next race at the right price online through Ladbrokes.com.au where by quoting the code BETBONUS when you sign-up and make your first deposit you’ll be eligible for up to $500 in bonus bets!
2015 QTC Cup Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 5 – 30/05/2015
|1||4||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||Glyn Schofield||–||1||56.5kg||$3.30F|
|2||2||THAT’S A GOOD IDEA||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||0.3L||8||57.5kg||$3.70|
|3||3||KURO (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Craig Williams||0.4L||2||57kg||$3.70|
|4||7||OFFICE BEARER||Peter G Moody||Glen Boss||1.7L||4||53.5kg||$10|
|5||1||EL ROCA||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Tommy Berry||3.5L||6||59kg||$12|
|6||5||DANCES ON STARS (NZ)||Gerald Ryan||Timothy Bell||4.5L||7||56.5kg||$15|
|7||6||FALINO||Darren Bell||Jim Byrne||7.5L||5||54.5kg||$17|
|8||8||TIME TO PLUNDER||Liam Birchley||Anthony Allen||8L||3||53kg||$51|