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Former champion hoop turned trainer Chris Munce believes his flying three-year-old Constantine will be at his best stepping out over a mile for the first time in Saturday’s 2017 Sunshine Coast Guineas.
The Brisbane-based Munce has been keen to get the son of Turffontein out over the distance for a while and is looking forward to the progressive galloper’s Caloundra Cup Day run in the $125,000 Group 3 XXXX Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m).
The Sunshine Coast Guineas nominations attracted 32 early entries with plenty of class among the potential contenders that include Dane Ripper Stakes runner-up My True Love and Group 1 placegetter Faraway Town.
Another key three-year-old in the mix is Munce’s sole nominee Constantine who has won four of his five career starts to date.
After a third on debut at Beaudesert last November when trained by Sydney’s Gerald Ryan, the gelding has remained undefeated for Munce with three Ipswich wins on the trot before his last start Gold Coast victory in a Class 4 over 1400m.
Saturday marks the youngster’s maiden black-type assignment, but Munce is confident Constantine will equip himself well in the company with the extra distance the key second-up.
“It was a strong race for a midweek Class Four but he finished very powerfully and beat them well,” Munce told the media this week.
“I have always felt he was going to be best at 1600 metres or further.”
A $62,000 buy for connections – including Kitchwin Hills, Mystery Downs, Werrett Bloodstock, Whitby Bloodstock – Constantine has already won over $51,500 in prize money.
Saturday’s Sunshine Coast Guineas winner will take home an $80,000 cheque.
Munce has a total of five Caloundra Cup Day nominees including Sharpe Hussler in the $175,000 Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) and Ours To Keep in the $60,000 Bruce McLachlan Memorial QTIS 2YO Handicap (1200m).
Seidnazar colt Ours To Keep is best known for his Group 3 B.J. McLachlan (1200m) win at Eagle Farm on New Year’s Eve when making it three-from-three to start his career.
He then failed to fire when ninth behind Houtzen, who has a spot in the $10 million The Everest field in Sydney this October, in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast.
Ours To Keep has had a further three unplaced starts, most recently running dead last when struggling on the Heavy (8) track for 18th behind Melody Belle in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Getting firming going at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday, Munce expects notable improvement from Ours To Keep who will also appreciate the step back in grade.
“He didn’t handle the Eagle Farm track at all in the Sires. But he seems to have got over the run and he is ready to run a good race,” Munce said.
To back Munce’s Sunshine Coast runners on Cup Day at Caloundra in 2017 head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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