Darren Weir’s JRA Cup winning mare Real Love will be out to continue her successful Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival raid as she prepares to return to Doomben Racecourse on Saturday for the Premier’s Cup 2016.
The five-year-old daughter of Desert King is the headliner of 14 nominations taken by Racing Queensland for this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Channel Seven Premier’s Cup (2200m).
The handicap clash is a key support race on the Doomben 10,000 Day card and is also the traditional lead-up for stayers heading to Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 11 for the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half.
Winner of the 2015 Perth Cup back in Western Australia, Real Love was last seen finishing first in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2000m) at Doomben a fortnight ago.
She returns to the track if accepted for the Premier’s Cup on Saturday, getting out to over 2000m for the first time since her close third when under a length off the winner Purple Smile in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) in mid-March.
Weir has also nominated for his five-year-old Encosta De Lago stallion Puccini, a veteran of 40 starts out to atone for a last start 12th when failing to beat home any other runner at the Gold Coast on May 7 in the Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m).
He will appreciate a step up in distance on Saturday however having run a far more competitive fourth the start before when under two lengths off Berisha in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) in early April.
Along with the winner Real Love, the other best out of the JRA Cup nominated to back-up in the Premier’s Cup this weekend is the third-placed Volkhere.
Prepared by top Brisbane horseman Robert Heathcote, the rising eight-year-old son of Dehere has been racing well this time in crossing second over the 200m at Doomben in late April behind Maurus before his JRA Cup third when a length off Real Love.
The only other last start winner among the Premier’s Cup entries this carnival is the highly-rated Helen Page-trained Rudy.
A five-time winner for a dozen starts at Doomben to date, the Red Dazzler five-year-old broke a lengthy one and a half year drought when beating home Jumbo Prince in the Listed Members’ Handicap (1600m) at the track on May 14.
That was Rudy’s first success since the 2014 Villiers Stakes and one his Gold Coast-based trainer Page is hoping he can repeat in tougher company this weekend.
The other highest-rated entry is the Chris Waller-trained Junoob whose lead-up was a fourth carrying 60kg in the JRA Cup.
The eight-year-old Haafhd import chases his first win since the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) last November and is back in Brisbane for the first time since his close third behind Streama in the 2014 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) two years ago.
Other notable Premier’s Cup entries include Adrian Bull’s in-form New Zealand raider Benzini, the Ben Currie-trained Toowoomba Cup winner Honey Toast out to improve on a sixth in the Hollindale last time out and Waller’s other hopeful Index Linked.
See below for the full Premier’s Cup 2016 nominations, the final field and barriers out on Wednesday followed by Fixed Win odds at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!
2016 Premier’s Cup Nominations
Doomben Racecourse – 28/05/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|3||41×7421216||HONEY TOAST||G||5||Ben Currie||94|
|4||6x5300x025||INDEX LINKED (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||–|
|5||x870x86853||INSTRUMENTALIST (IRE)||G||7||Dale Healey||89|
|6||15160×5408||JETSET LAD (NZ)||G||8||Brian Smith||99|
|7||5092012×04||JUNOOB (GB)||G||8||Chris Waller||107|
|8||07×1970226||LEVER LEVER (NZ)||G||5||Matthew Dunn||67|
|9||820×030440||PUCCINI (NZ)||H||5||Darren Weir||102|
|10||7843331321||REAL LOVE||M||5||Darren Weir||107|
|12||1x23714x08||SHOTOVER RIVER (NZ)||G||6||John & Chris Meagher||91|