Former Perth-trained mare Real Love shoots for back-to-back Group 3 wins at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday as the headline final acceptor for the Premier’s Cup 2016 field in Brisbane.
Now trained in Victoria by Darren Weir, the five-year-old daughter of Desert King won the 2015 Perth Cup and finished third in this year’s edition of the same WA feature in her maiden run for Weir.
She then started her interstate campaign and has been in flying form including a third in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) in mid-March and her last start win in Doomben’s Group 3 JRA Cup (2000m) on May 14.
Real Love carried 56.5kg to victory that day with Brad Rawiller in the saddle and returns to the track going up in distance for this weekend’s $125,000 Group 3 Channel Seven Premier’s Cup (2200m).
Due to run as Doomben Race 4 at 2:02pm (AEST) on Doomben 10,000 Day, the Premier’s Cup field features a dozen stayers.
Real Love has Rawiller aboard once more and is drawn a treat in gate four, but rises to 58kg under the quality handicap conditions of the traditional lead-up to the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Day, June 11.
Weir has also accepted for Puccini (barrier eight) who carries 57.5kg with Kerrin McEvoy riding the Encosta De Lago stallion whose last run was a 12th of 12 runners behind Leebaz in the Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast.
Puccini won the 2014 NZ Derby and another Group 1 in New Zealand in January of 2015, but nothing since failing to break his maiden status down under in 14 runs.
Heading the Premier’s Cup weights this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival with 60kg is the Chris Waller-trained Junoob jumping from gate five with Blake Shinn booked for the ride.
A rising nine-year-old, the imported veteran hasn’t won a race since the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) last November when carrying the same 60kg allocation he has for the weekend.
Junoob also comes off a JRA Cup run at the track a fortnight ago on BTC Cup Day having finished a brave fourth to Real Love beaten only a length.
Sydney’s premier trainer, Waller’s other Premier’s Cup hopeful on Saturday is fellow eight-year-old import Index Linked.
His last victory was in May last year when saluting at the Sunshine Coast in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m).
Two back Index Linked ran second in Randwick’s Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) before a last start fifth at Rosehill on May 7 in the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m).
Following Junoob in the weights with 58.5kg meanwhile is the Helen Page-trained Rudy (58.5kg) with the outside barrier (12) to overcome.
Mark Zahra rides the Red Dazzler five-year-old who is trained on the Gold Coast.
He finished fifth in the JRA Plate in Sydney on April 16 before winning the Listed Members’ Handicap (1600m) with more weight on his back (59kg) at Doomben on May 14.
That was Rudy’s fifth win from 12 starts at Doomben where he returns on the weekend and he did it to a similar gate (11) to what he has drawn on the weekend.
See below for the full Premier’s Cup 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2016 Premier’s Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Doomben Race 4 (2:02pm) – 28/05/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||5092012×04||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||5||60kg||107|
|2||0099×63951||RUDY||Helen Page||Mark Zahra||12||58.5kg||104|
|3||6x5300x025||INDEX LINKED (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||3||58kg||103|
|4||7843331321||REAL LOVE||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||4||58kg||107|
|5||820×030440||PUCCINI (NZ)||Darren Weir||Kerrin McEvoy||8||57.5kg||102|
|6||15160×5408||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||Paul Hammersley||11||56kg||99|
|7||43×6530612||BENZINI||Adrian Bull||Ms Rosie Myers (a)||10||55.5kg||98|
|8||41×7421216||HONEY TOAST||Ben Currie||Jim Byrne||1||54kg||94|
|9||x870x86853||INSTRUMENTALIST (IRE)||Dale Healey||James Orman (a)||9||54kg||89|
|10||119237×663||IMPERIAL LASS (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Mark Zahra||6||54kg||82|
|12||07×1970226||LEVER LEVER (NZ)||Matthew Dunn||Ms Tegan Harrison||2||54kg||67|