The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The opening Group race on Queensland Oaks Day has been won by the John O’Shea-trained filly Pretty In Pink who held off a late-lunging Brave Song to take out the Group 2 $200,000 Moreton Cup (1200m) and win the Stradbroke Handicap ballot exemption for Saturday week’s feature.
Second-up this prep, Sebring filly Pretty In Pink was at $101 in futures betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for next weekend’s Group 1 $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm before her gutsy victory in the Moreton Cup at Doomben.
The improving three-year-old, who had two Group 2 thirds at Randwick on her record from last September, is now at $17 Stradbroke Handicap odds and is currently allocated just 49.5kg for the winter classic.
Just eight runners lined-up in the Moreton Cup field this afternoon including the $2.80 favourite Viridine who was one of the last out of the barriers.
The top elect settled near the back of the field, while Team Snowden’s Brave Song was tracking on the outside in last position seven or eight lengths off the leader Divine Dice.
Jockey Robbie Fradd had Pretty In Pink in a nice position fourth on the outside around the home turn tracking up to take the lead from Winter Bride.
Those two were battling it out in a slowly-run race before James McDonald came flying home aboard Your Song four-year-old Brave Song.
In a photo finish the Moreton Cup result went the way of the filly, Pretty In Pink ($14) holding on to defeat Brave Song ($4) with the Toby Edmonds-trained mare Winter Bride – fourth last time out in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) in late April – rounding out the trifecta in third.
It is looking likely that connections at Sengenhoe Stud will attempt the Moreton Cup – Stradbroke Handicap double with the lightly-raced filly, confident that an easy week between will get her there on the big day.
“She certainly raced against the best fillies in Sydney in the spring and had a little mishap in the autumn – minor sort of injury that just set us back a bit on time,” stable rep Bill Mitchell told the Brisbane Racing Club post-win.
“John said a long time ago that we’ll just have to aim for Brisbane and what a great job he’s done to get here and win this.
“I think we will [back-up in the Stradbroke]. She’ll just have an easy week and off we go.
“She’s a bit of a whippit you know there’s not a lot of her so the back-up will be testing, but at the same time you nearly have to do it if she pulls up well.”
If Pretty In Pink does race on successive Saturdays and attempt to win the Stradbroke Handicap in 2019 it will give trainer O’Shea the chance to do so with a three-year-old filly for the second time following his 2003 Stradbroke success with Private Steer.
Rachael King looks set to partner Pretty In Pink in the Stradbroke Handicap field.
To back the Moreton Cup winner Pretty In Pink to win the Stradbroke Handicap 2019 at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
2019 Moreton Cup Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 4 – 01/06/2019
|1||9||PRETTY IN PINK||John O’Shea||Robbie Fradd||–||2||53kg||$14|
|2||4||BRAVE SONG||Peter & Paul Snowden||James McDonald||0.1L||8||56kg||$4|
|3||6||WINTER BRIDE||Toby Edmonds||Blake Shinn||0.3L||7||55.5kg||$4.40|
|4||1||VIRIDINE||James Cummings||Tim Clark||1.05L||5||58kg||$2.80F|
|5||3||I AM EXCITED||David Pfieffer||Damien Oliver||1.55L||6||56.5kg||$7|
|6||7||DIVINE DICE||John & Chris Meagher||Tegan Harrison||2.3L||4||55kg||$15|
|7||8||ECHO EFFECT||Kristen Buchanan||Jackson Murphy (a)||3.55L||3||55kg||$101|
|8||5||HANDSOME THIEF (IRE)||John & Chris Meagher||Corey Brown||5.05L||1||56kg||$26|
|–||10||SHE’S A THIEF (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Jake Bayliss||–||0||–||–|
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