Hickmott Declares War on 2017 Caloundra Cup

Beaudesert trainer Kelvin Hickmott has named the Caloundra Cup 2017 as the likely next-up target for his impressive Ipswich winning mare from the weekend War Baby.

War Baby

War Baby could be 2017 Caloundra Cup bound after her big Ipswich win over the weekend. Photo: Daniel Costello.

The five-year-old daughter of Warhead lined-up for her 60th career start and enjoyed her eighth turf triumph with a runaway six and a half length win in the Winter Provincial Stayer’s Final over 2150m on Ipswich Cup Day.

War Baby, ridden to victory by Larry Cassidy, enjoyed the Soft-rated Ipswich track and overcame her wide barrier 13 of 15 draw for her maiden win since success over the Grafton mile on May 19.

After settling mid-field on Saturday, Cassidy got his mount to the front of the pack by the top of the Ipswich straight and from there War Baby let down impressively romping home for the big win.

“It was a great ride from Larry but I couldn’t believe her price,” Hickmott told Racing Queensland.

Hickmott has thrown in a nomination for the mare to possibly head to Doomben in Brisbane this weekend, War Head one of 14 early entries for the $200,000 Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m).

The mare is unlikely to be accepted for the seven day back-up into the Tattersall’s Tiara Day support act, with Hickmott leading towards a run at the Sunshine Coast on July 1 in the $175,000 Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half.

“She’ll go on now and run in the Caloundra Cup then the Queensland Cup,” he said.

The $150,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) takes place over the two miles at Caloundra on July 15.

The same Caloundra Cup – Queensland Cup 2017 double is also next-up on the winter campaign for Victorian stayer Self Sense after the six-year-old bolted home by seven lengths in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) over the weekend.

Pop ‘N’ Scotch meanwhile is likely to bypass the lead-up Caloundra Cup run, instead heading straight into the Queensland Cup field for the fourth year on the trot.

Eighth in the Ipswich Cup as a $31 roughie last weekend, the Liam Birchley-trained Husson six-year-old has run second in the past three editions of the Queensland Cup but will be out to go one better in the 2017 edition.

“You don’t need to do much with him and he likes his runs well spaced,” Birchley told AAP.

It has been a long time between drinks for the Group 1 performed stayer who hasn’t posted a win since June of 2015 at Ipswich.

Last year Pop ‘N’ Scotch was runner-up in the Queensland Cup behind Murphy’s Delight having run ninth to Amexed in that season’s Caloundra Cup.

“He is just a genuine two-mile horse,” Birchley said.

“He ran second as a three-year-old in the race at Eagle Farm when John Thompson had him.

“It was the first time in something like 44 years a three-year-old had been placed in the Cup.

“Then when I had him, the Cup was run at Caloundra and he shot away with what looked like a winning break.

“One of the owners started patting me on the back and next thing he got nailed right on the line.

“It was another example of never having a 3200 metre race won until they pass the post.”

Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the upcoming staying races in Queensland this winter with betting on all the features available at Ladbrokes.com.au.

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