Fourteen sprinters have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s 2016 Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Doomben Racecourse, including a number of in-form contestants.
Group 1 winner Stratum Star is yet to find peak condition since arriving in Brisbane, but is arguably offered his best chance of a return to winning form in the 2016 QTC Cup.
Charging home to win the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) most notably in the 2015 spring, Stratum Star resuming this time for seventh in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) before charging home to finish a close second in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later.
Running third in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) on March 12th, the Stratum gelding placed a credible sixth in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), but failed to beat a single runner home in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben three weeks ago.
Brave mare Eloping returned to winning form upon resuming this time and will leave from the ideal barrier 5 in the 2016 QTC Cup.
Eloping has been a strong and consistent performer through her entire racing career since debuting for Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison in 2013; claiming seven wins and four minors through a total of twenty-three competitive starts.
Having transferred to the care of Peter Robl in summer, the Choisir filly produced a typically smart turn of foot to win the Listed Silk Stocking (1200m) on May 7th, and should relish four weeks between runs leading into the QTC Cup.
Leading local Steel Zip will contest the 2016 QTC Cup first-up, but should relish the conditions of the race from the ideal barrier 1.
Claiming eleven wins and a further eighteen minors through his seventy career starts so far, Steel Zip capped a typically smart 2015 campaign with an impressive win in the Listed Keith Noud Quality (1200m) on November 14th,
Resuming in January for third in the Magic Millions Plate (1300m), the Canadian Silver gelding returned to the paddock following a hapless run for sixth in the Sprite Handicap (1350m) on February 6th.
Having trialled well in the lead-up to his competitive return, Steel Zip has been confirmed to be partnered by regular hoop Jeff Lloyd in the 2016 QTC Cup.
Artlee should relish the conditions of the QTC Cup, but has again drawn awkwardly in barrier 10 for the sprint feature.
A standout performer through the 2015 Autumn Carnival, Artlee clearly required a run when resuming this time for ninth in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m), but responded well when arriving in Brisbane for third in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m).
Luckless when seventh in the BTC Cup, the Excellent Art gelding ran on for third in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) a fortnight ago.
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2016 QTC Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||1310×72360||STRATUM STAR||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||13||59kg||110|
|2||x56x4041x0||SACRED STAR||Tony Pike||Jim Byrne||6||57kg||106|
|3||126242×256||TARGET IN SIGHT||Joseph Pride||James McDonald||5||56kg||104|
|4||7×08172421||SNIPPETS LAND||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||9||55kg||102|
|5||512111036x||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||Jeff Lloyd||1||54kg||100|
|6||122x0130x1||KAEPERNICK||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||12||53.5kg||99|
|7||x3x112x111||PERFECT FIT (NZ)||Ken & Bev Kelso||Michael Coleman||2||53kg||101|
|9||0x406925x1||ELOPING||Peter Robl||Ms Tegan Harrison||4||53kg||98|
|10||348x3276x6||OFFICE BEARER||Jason Coyle||–||7||53kg||93|
|11||x623x14812||SPILL THE BEANS||Gerald Ryan||Tim Clark||3||53kg||92|
|12||361111×134||TRUBIA||Michael Lakey||Bobby El-Issa||11||53kg||89|
|13||178x179x25||SURE AND FAST||Paul Murray||–||14||53kg||88|