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Sunshine Coast trainer Andrew Williamson is willing to forgive Tunes an unplaced Caloundra Cup run last start and is confident the galloper can outstay his rivals over the two miles in Saturday’s 2016 Queensland Cup.
A seven-year-old son of Viscount, Tunes is one of just 10 stayers accepted for the $100,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) over the traditional cup distance at Eagle Farm Racecourse on the weekend.
He is drawn the rails with barrier one, jockey Michael Cahill the seventh jockey in as many starts to jump in the saddle of the veteran who has his third start over the 3200m.
The first was in Adelaide in mid-March, Tunes running a stellar race to cross just a neck of the winner Purple Smile in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville in a photo-finish.
The other was two back behind the Chris Waller-trained Opinion, a former Sydney Cup runner-up, when fifth in Randwick’s Stayers Cup (3200m).
Last time out Tunes ran at the Sunny Coast in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m), the 51/1 outsider unable to get on the right part of the track and finishing a well-beaten 10th behind fellow Queensland Cup hopeful Amexed.
Williamson is the fourth trainer to take over the preparation of Tunes who was originally prepared by Peter Snowden before behind sold and transferred to the Murray Bridge stables of Grant Young.
The horse was most recently in the care of Danny Williams, who set him for the Stayers Cup, before the move to Williamson’s Queensland base.
The Caloundra Cup flop was his first run for his current trainer and Williamson is confident the horse will improve sharply in his second run for him.
“He got in the wrong part of the track that day [in the Caloundra Cup] and I don’t know if we rode him the right way. I think he is a horse which needs to get out and roll along,” he told AAP.
“Tunes isn’t the type of horse to hold up and sprint home. I will be telling Michael (Cahill) to let him roll along at his own pace and try to outstay them.”
The galloper put in an impressive piece of track work this week and is doing everything right according to Williamson.
“He hasn’t left any feed and he did work very well on Tuesday morning,” he said.
“I think if he can run up to his Adelaide Cup effort he is going to be hard to beat.”
After the Queensland Cup Tunes will head south, Williamson saying there was nothing left locally this time of year for the horse to contest.
“He looks the type of horse which might even end up a jumper but there is certainly nothing left in Queensland for him,” he said.
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