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The marquee race at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday is the Caloundra Cup 2016, betting tips for the mile and a half showdown found below.
Set to run as Race 7 at 3:57pm (AEST) as the penultimate event on the latest Queensland Winter Racing Carnival card, this year’s $175,000 Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) originally drew 13 final acceptors.
The Caloundra Cup field is down to a dozen however after the scratching of Michael Kent’s mare Holy Cow (12).
Sitting top of the updated Caloundra Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is the odds-on favourite Maurus ($1.65) whose local jockey Damian Browne is tipping as the one to beat.
Maurus jumps from gate eight with Browne aboard the David Vandyke-trained five-year-old who comes off a runaway 3.5 length win in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) on June 18.
At his current odds-on price, Maurus is set to start the shortest priced Caloundra Cup favourite in the race’s 31-year history and if successful he’ll be the fourth stayer to complete the Ipswich Cup – Caloundra Cup double.
Those to achieve the feat to date are Oompala (1994), Paul’s Folly (1998) and Portland Singa (2004).
The bookies are rating up upset Caloundra Cup result unlikely but there are two other runners under double figures with the Chris Waller-trained Tattersall’s Cup winner in Brisbane last weekend Index Linked ($7) who won this race last year and Ipswich Cup runner-up Jumbo Prince ($7).
So will Maurus salute for the punters or is there value further down the Caloundra Cup odds in the likes of Ipswich Cup third placegetter Instrumentalist ($15) or the Darren Weir-trained fourth placegetter from the same lead-up Puccini ($12)?
#2 Maurus ($1.65)
All the signs point to the local hope who is being backed like there’s nothing else in the race. He has won two of his past three starts in Queensland since the move from Sydney with Vandyke and is loving the Sunshine State. Won by 3.5 lengths at Doomben over 2200m in April, finished under two lengths off a class horse in Our Ivanhowe in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) then did it easy in the Ipswich Cup. Chases the double, only rises one kilo, faces a similar class field and Browne stays on. Looks hard to beat.
#4 Jumbo Prince ($7)
Sticking with the same Trifecta as that in the Ipswich Cup, which looks the form line to follow again into the Caloundra edition. This four-year-old stallion from Toowoomba was second to Maurus last time out, and is yet to win over further than 1800m, but can surprise dropping back from 56.5kg to 55.5kg here with Jim Byrne retaining the ride. Distance is the test, but he battled away well and can finish in the money again.
#5 Instrumentalist ($15)
Finished third in the Ipswich Cup and can do it again here from gate two on the 54kg minimum, the local Sunshine Coast galloper a gun over 2400m (6-3-0-1) giving him a notable advantage getting out over more distance against a similar field.
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