The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Victorian-based trainer Michael Moroney is planning another raid on a Sunshine State Cup showdown with his veteran galloper Tinseltown set to run in their fourth feature during the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival, this Saturday’s Queensland Cup.
Allocated the 58kg top-weight of the 17-horse final field for the $150,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm, Pentire seven-year-old Tinseltown is one of the early favourites for the testing two-mile clash.
Drawn well in barrier seven and due to be ridden by ace Kiwi hoop Chad Ormsby, Tinseltown comes into Saturday’s race on the back of a brave third to Spechenka in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) from last weekend.
While connections of Caloundra Cup winner Spechenka have decided to bypass the Queensland Cup in favour of next Thursday’s Grafton Cup over a more suitable 2350 metres, Moroney is likely to press onto the 3200 metres with Tinseltown.
“At this stage I’ve accepted with him and he’ll more than likely back up,” Moroney said on Wednesday.
“He seems okay after his Caloundra Cup run bit I was a bit disappointed with him.
“He had to make up ground quickly but then seemed to get the wobbles which is not like him.
“I thought he had to chase from a fair way out.”
Originally from New Zealand, Moroney followed the same winter campaign with Tinseltown 12 months ago that he has again this year, the horse’s 2010 crusade culminating with a fifth place finish behind Solid Billing in the Queensland Cup.
His earlier runs last year were sixth in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m), ninth in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) and second in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m).
After a season of mixed results throughout the end of 2010 and start of this year, Tinseltown suffered a nasty setback during the autumn.
Lining up in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick in April, Tinseltown fell during the race and spent over a month on the sidelines recovering.
Moroney bought Tinseltown, lucky to escape from the fall with only minor injuries, back in May to embark on the same race programme as they did last winter.
Despite their age and the Sydney Cup fall, Tinseltown proved he was in the same, if not slightly better form than last year.
After running a game second to Shuffle The Cash first-up in the Premier’s Cup at Doomben, Tinseltown continued on to finish sixth behind Tullamore in the Brisbane Cup at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day and then their Caloundra Cup third when beaten less than half a length.
Now against a seemingly lesser field of rivals, Tinseltown will look to finally add a ninth career victory to their name when they make their half-century of race appearances in the Queensland Cup.
It has been a long time between drinks for the old warhorse, Tinseltown’s last victory being the Group 2 DHL Counties Cup (2100m) in New Zealand back in November last year.
Although the step down in class on Saturday is in Tinseltown’s favour, Moroney still harbours concerns over their 58kg weight allocation, which is the same weight they carried to fifth in the 2010 Queensland Cup.
“The biggest thing against him is his weight and I think that’s why he got the wobbles with 57 kilos at Caloundra,” Moroney said.
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