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Newcastle’s Kris Lees is tipped to enjoy a feature race win in Queensland on Saturday with his gallopers Big Duke and Saunter Boy topping the latest 2019 Caloundra Cup odds.
In-form seven-year-old Big Duke is the market mover for this winter’s Listed $175,000 Kendrick Racing Caloundra Cup (2400m) backed right in from $3.30 to $2.45 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
He comes off a strong prep during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival including the big effort when runner-up to 2019 Melbourne Cup-bound Vow And Declare in last Saturday’s Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (3000m).
Big Duke must set a new weight-carrying record in the Caloundra Cup with 60.5kg on his back this weekend, but the likelihood of a Heavy-rated Sunshine Coast track boosts the proven mudlark’s chances.
The Caloundra Cup field is down to 14 starters after the early withdrawal of the Chris Waller-trained Mazaz (2).
The last start Winter Cup placegetter instead races in Sydney on Saturday in the Stayer’s Cup (3200m) over the two miles.
Of the remaining hopefuls Lees’ other acceptor Saunter Boy occupies the second line of Caloundra Cup betting at $5.
Jeff Lloyd partners the European import third-up down under, the classy grey beaten under one and a half-lengths in the Listed Winter Cup (2400m) when fifth at Rosehill last time out.
Just one other runner is currently under $10 Caloundra Cup odds with the Robert Priscott-trained Kiwi visitor Igraine at $6.
The German-bred Galileo mare crossed the ditch in great form earlier this prep and had two top runs in Brisbane for a Group 3 second at Doomben and Group 3 third over 2200m at Eagle Farm.
She is out to atone this weekend however after a luckless run for 12th behind Sixties Groove in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) on Stradbroke Day and is another who will benefit greatly from a rain-affected Caloundra track.
The best of the rest looking at the Caloundra Cup markets include the rails-drawn So You Think mare Sopressa ($12), local track specialist Travistee ($13) and Terra Sancta ($13) for Kiwi horseman Tony Pike of The Bostonian fame.
Another of the top local hopes is the Tony Haydon-trained Master Zephyr ($19) to be ridden from gate five with Glen Boss aboard.
The rising eight-year-old had excuses two back when 14th in the Brisbane Cup before an improved run with Boss in the saddle for an Ipswich Cup fourth on June 15.
“He missed a run and got away on me a bit before the Brisbane Cup where he was a month between runs,” former Victorian-based trainer Haydon told the media this week.
“The horse hasn’t turned a hair and he has been sensational since I’ve had him, but we missed a run and he went from 2000 to 2400m and he’d done that well that he was too fresh in the Brisbane Cup.
“He was a lot better in the Ipswich Cup and fought on pretty well.”
Haydon also saddles-up roughie hope Tucano ($31) who is up notably in grade, the Monsun eight-year-old a proven wet-tracker unlike Master Zephyr who prefers firmer ground.
“Both horses are going as well as we can have them,” he said.
“I think both horses are in there with their chances.
“The bigger trainers like Kris Lees and Chris Waller have obviously got plenty of bullets to fire but my two are going well enough to have a go at the race on their home track.
“Both horses are going as good as they can but will probably depend on the weather.
“One won’t mind it wet but the other one doesn’t want it too far into the soft range.”
For the latest Caloundra Cup 2019 betting odds and offers head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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