The Queensland Cup 2015 runs at the Sunshine Coast Racecourse this weekend and nominations for this year’s edition of the two mile classic are now out featuring Matt Laurie’s last start winner Escado.
There are 11 stayers making up the original entries for the $150,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m), nominations for the winter feature extended until 9am (AEST) on Tuesday in a bid to attract more numbers.
Twelve months ago it was the John Sargent-trained Iggi Pop who won the Bmag-sponsored black-type clash on the back of a disappointing 10th in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m), both races run at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse.
With Eagle Farm undergoing renovations all of the races traditionally held there during the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival have been moved to other locations including the Queensland Cup running at Caloundra.
Of the current Queensland Cup hopes the top rated and likely favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au if accepted into the final field on Wednesday is the Mornington-based Victoria raider Escado.
A five-year-old son of Casino Prince, Escado has had one previous run at the Sunshine Coast when three back he ran a nose away second behind the winner Index Linked in a devastatingly close finish for the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m).
He backed up from that with a disappointing eighth to Jetset Lad in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) on June 6 before improving with the step back up in distance to win the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2400m) held this year at the Gold Coast on June 20.
There are two other last start winners in the early Queensland Cup entries this winter with the Andrew Williamson-trained local Barge And Charge as well as six-year-old Lovethebeaches for Steve Hodge.
Five-year-old Sunshine Coast-trained Stratum gelding Barge And Charge won a BenchMark 70 over 2213m up at Rockhamptonon June 20 and returns home where he has had just the one previous start when fifth behind Miss Husson in a Class 5 over 1800m on June 3.
Lovethebeaches meanwhile has won two of her past three starts, the latest of which was over the same 3200m genuine staying distance in the Stayers Cup at Randwick on June 6.
Thriving on a Soft (7) Sydney track in her first look at the testing two miles, the Newcastle-based Dubai Destination mare was ultra-impressive winning the Stayers Cup by a big five lengths over the Chris Waller-trained Our Voodoo Prince.
Jockey Paul King let the smart mare settle into her own rhythm in the Randwick feature where she got out to as far as 25 lengths in front at one stage, and while she’s no guarantee to lead this weekend the same hoop will allow her to do her thing once more.
Also coming off nice lead-up form into the Queensland Cup are fellow nominees Count Romano coming off a second over 2150m at Ipswich from June 19, four-year-old Beaudesert-trained mare Glamorgan Babe whose winning form only extends up to 2100m and David Vandyke’s Husson four-year-old Husson Choice.
Improving gelding Husson Choice ran third to Lovethebeaches in the Stayers Cup at Royal Randwick two back before another third place at the same track last time out on June 20 when stepped back down to 2600m on a Heavy (10) track on June 20.
Other notable entries include the Liam Birchely-trained fellow Husson four-year-old Pop ‘N’ Scotch out to atone for a 10th in the Tatt’s Cup behind Escado and Michael Moroney’s Sydney-based import Mister Impatience who was fourth in the same race that produces Husson Choice.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for any late Queensland Cup 2015 nominations before the final field and barriers are out on Wednesday morning.
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2015 Queensland Cup Nominations
Sunshine Coast Racecourse – 04/07/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp Rating|
|1||4x555x8758||BACHELOR ZEEL (NZ)||G||5||Frank Ritchie||66|
|2||94556×6551||BARGE AND CHARGE||G||5||Andrew Williamson||75|
|3||9160376292||COUNT ROMANO||G||8||Peter Blackwell||54|
|5||4419683243||GLAMORGAN BABE||M||4||Greg Cornish||56|
|6||232×510433||HUSSON CHOICE||G||4||David Vandyke||–|
|8||35×3411706||MAJOR MAJOR||G||6||Bryce Heys||78|
|9||9088×00714||MISTER IMPATIENCE (GB)||G||5||Michael Moroney||–|
|10||078×621965||MONACO DOLL (NZ)||M||5||Toby Edmonds||74|
|11||x052400510||POP ’N’ SCOTCH||G||4||Liam Birchley||76.5|