The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Graeme Rogerson’s Duelled gelding Shootoff is looking to continue his winning ways at Canterbury this Saturday before embarking on a Brisbane Winter Carnival crusade up in Queensland.
Three-year-old Shootoff has been nominated for both the $500,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2020m) and the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) giving the galloper two shots to win at elite level for the first time.
Shootoff became a dual winner on April 23 with an impressive three and a half length victory over Happy Trials in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick last start.
“He came through the Packer Plate really well,” Rogerson’s Sydney foreman Roger Elliott said.
The win was just the second from a 14 start career, Shootoff’s only other success being in a 1550m handicap at Randwick last June.
To date Shootoff has run in three Group 1 races, his best performance being a dead heat for third with Praecido in the 2010 Spring Champion Stakes over 2000m in October.
This weekend Rogerson has accepted him for the $100,000 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1900m) at Canterbury, Shootoff drawn ideally in barrier four of the 12-horse field.
“The plan is to run in the Lord Mayor’s Cup and then have one more run in Brisbane before the Derby,” Elliott said.
“It seems as if the track won’t dry out before Saturday which will suit him.”
Both of Shootout’s career wins have been on Slow ground.
Jockey’s are still being sorted but Brenton Avdulla is on standby for the ride on Shootoff if Graeme Begg doesn’t start his Lord Mayor’s Cup acceptor Pagan Princess.
Other notable Lord Mayor’s Cup runners this year include the Joseph Pride-trained dual Group 1 winner Vision And Power (barrier two) and four from the stables of Chris Waller including Rowley Mile runner-up Altered Boy (barrier six) and Beijing Boy (barrier 11) who last ran a close second to Syreon in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day.
Shootoff is the only last-start winner in the field and set to carry just 54.5kg, dropping back 2kg from the weight he carried to victory in the Frank Packer Plate, is sure to start one of the favourites.
In the futures betting for the Brisbane Group 1 features, Shootoff sits as a $31 chance for the Doomben Cup with Chris Waller’s star import My Kingdom Of Fife the equal favourite along with Shoot Out, and the $10 second elect behind Peck for the Queensland Derby.
Meanwhile, Warwick Farm-based trainer Joe Pride is eager to get veteran galloper Vision And Power’s career back on track in the Lord Mayor’s Cup.
Pride was infuriated last month when rising nine-year-old Vision And Power missed out on a start in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, named as the first emergency due to the ballot conditions.
“We didn’t really have a plan B for him, the Queen Elizabeth was his race,” Pride said.
“I just couldn’t understand why a dual Group One winner did not get a start over some of the other horses in the race.
“Why have a benchmark if you don’t use it.”
Pride has named the Doomben Cup on May 21 as the new Group 1 goal for Vision And Power.
“We will target the Doomben Cup now.”
Vision And Power is set to carry the 59kg topweight of the Lord Mayor’s Cup on Saturday with Tommy Berry booked for the ride.
Twelve months ago Vision And Power ran third to Common Objective in last year’s Lord Mayor’s Cup before finishing four lengths away seventh to Metal Bender in the 2010 Doomben Cup.
He is currently rated a $31 outsider in this year’s Doomben Cup odds.
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