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Sunshine Coast horseman Dale Healey is confident the two miles is not outside of his stayer Instrumentalist’s reach in the 2016 Queensland Cup on Saturday but admits the weight is a concern.
Ten runners are set to face off in Eagle Farm’s $100,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) on the weekend including the former Chris Waller-trained import Instrumentalist.
The seven-year-old son of Amadeus Wolf is now prepared in the Sunshine State by the Glasshouse Mountains-based Healey and is in top form coming into his first run over the traditional Cup distance of 3200m on Saturday.
Two back the veteran, who hasn’t won a race since the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) back in February of 2014, ran third to Maurus in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m).
He then raced in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) on July 2 and finished under three and a half-lengths back for fourth behind Amexed showing good ability despite having been consistently in work since February.
“We got him at the Magic Millions sales in January and he is as sound as a bell,” Healey, who has only held his training licence since last November, told Racenet.
“We virtually train him out of a paddock and he has stood up well. We gave him a little break in April after he ran in the Toowoomba Cup [when fifth to Honey Toast in mid-April] but he continues to work well.”
In both the Ipswich and Caloundra Cup the galloper carried the 54kg minimum so will need to be improving notably to handle Saturday’s 59kg top weight in the Queensland Cup.
Healey has no qualms the horse will rise to the distance, but is worried about the weight on Instrumentalist’s back in the form of apprentice James Orman who retains the ride for the fourth time on the trot.
“I see no reason why he won’t run a strong 3200 metres. But the thing that worries us is the weight he has been given,” Healey said.
“He hasn’t won since the Mornington Cup and there are a couple of relatively recent Sydney winners in the field.
“He started with a high rating here but it has been a while since he won and I would have thought his rating would have gone down.
“But he has gone from 54 kilograms to 59.”
In Europe earlier in his career, Instrumentalist won over 2776m and he has won with up to 58.5kg on his back previously, although not in this class and not in Australia.
Four runners are under $10 for the win in the latest Queensland Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, markets led by Waller’s market mover Murphy’s Delight ($2.20) who ran second over the distance two back behind Opinion in the Stayers Cup (3200m) at Randwick.
Instrumentalist meanwhile is at a current quote of $8 in Queensland Cup betting to handle the metres and kilos, the dour type out to break the drought.
Healey also has worries about the track conditions with Eagle Farm currently a Soft (5) and with further showers predicted for Saturday, the course could be further downgraded.
“We just have to hope the weather stays fine,” he said.
“If the track is wet he really has a task.”
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