The Sunshine Coast Cup 2016 on Australia Day in Queensland is the confirmed next-up assignment for the in-form Kelly Doughty-trained mare from the Gold Coast Little Brown Horse.
The evergreen seven-year-old daughter of Waterford Road targets the January 26 feature at Caloundra after posting her 14th career win at start number 58 at the Sunshine Coast track last Saturday.
Backing up from a brave third as a $21 outsider in betting behind this weekend’s $1 million Magic Millions Cup contender Bachman in the Listed Goldmarket Handicap (1300m) at the Gold Coast on Boxing Day, Little Brown Horse headed north for her weekend run.
Dropping back in class but going up in distance, the diminutive mare enjoyed the weight relief provided by apprentice jockey Matthew McGillivray carrying just 53kg to victory in the $65,000 Sky Racing Open Handicap (1600m).
“She’s only about 15.2 hands and that’s why we nearly always have to claim on her,” Doughty told Racing Queensland.
“That’s about the sixth apprentice who has won on her.”
She is now set to return to the track and chase her first black-type win since the Listed Tattersall’s Classic (1200m) at Doomben last November at the end of the month in the $100,000 Listed Sunshine Coast Cup (1400m).
To date she has secured $462,050 in prize money and her dominant win last Saturday further increased her future broodmare value as her retirement looms at the end of this year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Last year’s Sunshine Coast Cup winner Tarloshan also came off good lead-up form in Queensland having won the Listed Just Now Quality (1350m) at Doomben before a second to 2014 Queensland Oaks winner and next-up Magic Millions Stayers Cup champion Tinto in the Listed Toowoomba Quality (1625m) the month before.
The Rex Lipp-trained Tinto meanwhile was last seen winning over 1800m at the Gold Coast on Boxing Day, the now five-year-old Red Dazzler mare overcoming the 60kg top weight to claim the December 26 showdown with Damian Browne aboard.
She boasts an undefeated three-from-three record over that track and distance and shoots four her fourth when return to the Gold Coast this Saturday for the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy (1800m), formerly the Stayers Cup, defending her title in the event.
Runner-up to Happy Clapper at Randwick two back in Sydney’s Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m), Tinto has had five runs for four wins at the Gold Coast and is allocated equal 59.5kg top weight in her Saturday assignment.
She shares the top kilos with the Peter Robl-trained Centre Pivot, a five-year-old son of More Than Ready who comes off a Doomben win from December 19 in the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1615m).
Fields for the Magic Millions Classic and Guineas are now out with final acceptances for the seven other restricted features on Australia’s richest race meeting this Saturday out on Wednesday.
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