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Krystle Johnston’s flying four-year-old Craiglea Deken is the standout galloper among the Mackay Cup 2017 nominations for the North Queensland feature race this Saturday.
Ooralea Racecourse comes to life on the weekend with the Mackay Turf Club hosting their biggest race meeting of the year headlined by this year’s edition of the $75,000 Mackay Cup (1800m).
The Mackay Cup nominations attracted 18 stayers with Craiglea Deken sure to start favourite if accepted.
The Longhorn gelding has won his past six races on the trot including a brilliant effort as the odds-on favourite over 1560m at the Mackay track on June 15.
Craiglea Deken has had seven runs at the course for three wins and four seconds, but is yet to win over further than a mile.
He has more than deserved his shot at the 1800m on Mackay Cup Day however and is tipped to handle the extra 200m without a worry.
Craiglea Deken may not be a household name but the tough Queenslander shares a 2016/17 racing season record with the best in the business.
Only he and superstar mare Winx have won eight races at TAB meetings.
Last start Craiglea Deken relished the weight-for-age conditions, but he’ll be facing a heavier impost kilo-wise in the Mackay Cup open handicap.
He’s shown he can get the job done with plenty of weight on his back however having saluted at Townsville in his five other recent wins carting up to 64kg to victory.
The next best behind Craiglea Deken in the H.L. Black Memorial last start were the Glenda Bell-trained Fastnet Flyer (2nd) and Old Smokey (3rd) who are both nominated for a rematch in the Mackay Cup.
Four other last start winners feature among the early Mackay Cup entries this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival including the John Dann-trained Anymore coming off a 2000m victory at Gatton from June 11.
Mt Gambier horseman Wayne Walters has nominated for his recent Casterton Cup third placegetter Manny and progressive four-year-old Brigadier.
Nicely-bred Commands gelding Brigadier was last seen running fourth in the Ipswich Queensland Times Provincial Cup Final over 2150m on June 17.
The form of that race was franked on Tattersall’s Tiara Day at Doomben over the weekend when the winner War Baby finished under a length away third to Rudy in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m).
Other notable hopefuls in the mix include Tony Sears’ Toowoomba-trained Testa Rossa four-year-old Palace Tycoon coming off a mile win at Rockhampton from June 22 and highly-rated mare Mamselle Corday.
Check out the full Mackay Cup 2017 nominations below, the field out on Wednesday followed by betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Mackay Cup Nominations
Mackay Racecourse – 01/07/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|3||8231235714||BRIGADIER (NZ)||G||4||Wayne Walters||64|
|5||1002111111||CRAIGLEA DEKEN||G||4||Krystle Johnston||–|
|7||177x0x8x58||DODGE THE GREY||G||6||Lyle Wright||69|
|9||0x456x3022||FASTNET FLYER||G||6||Glenda Bell||78|
|10||0187×12225||GO BY RIO (NZ)||G||5||Errol Sewell||74|
|11||71×6616353||KNOWING ME (NZ)||G||8||John Manzelmann||–|
|12||110×133422||MAMSELLE CORDAY||M||5||Tony McMahon||79|
|13||2264550130||MANNY (NZ)||G||7||Wayne Walters||70|
|14||415×260123||OLD SMOKEY||G||5||Trinity Bannon||74.5|
|15||323x0x1661||PALACE TYCOON||G||4||Tony Sears||72|
|17||5812218431||TRY ME DOL||M||5||Tracy Simmons||71.5|
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