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Cambridge-based horseman Tony Pike has a stellar record across the ditch in Queensland over the past two seasons and believes his class mare Terra Sancta looks overs in Caloundra Cup 2019 betting at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Pike is best known for his success with The Bostonian, winner of last year’s Sunshine Coast Guineas who returned to take out a Group 1 double in Brisbane this winter carnival.
Last season he also enjoyed two Sunshine Coast wins with his well-bred Pierro mare Terra Sancta who returns to the track this weekend for a shot at the Listed $175,000 Kendrick Racing Caloundra Cup (2400m).
It has been a while between drinks for the four-year-old whose last victory was a 2.25 length win on a Heavy (8) Caloundra track over 1800m over 12 months ago.
This campaign she has raced three times for three below par results when ninth at Doomben in the Listed Members’ Handicap (1600m), before back-to-back sixths at Ipswich.
The latest of those saw her beaten five lengths in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) on June 15, but Pike is confident Terra Sancta can atone on Saturday.
“She just didn’t seem to get around Ipswich and looked unbalanced for much of the race,” Pike told AAP this week.
“She really didn’t seem to get going until it was too late with the short straight.”
Undefeated at the Sunshine Coast and well-suited to the Heavy-rated track for Caloundra Cup Day, the mare is at a current price of $13 through Ladbrokes.com.au to return to winning form.
“This will be the first time she has got back on a big track this campaign. She has won both her starts at the Sunshine Coast,” Pike said.
“Both those runs were on wet tracks so the conditions on Saturday should be no problem.”
Further boosting Pike’s confidence is the fact veteran hoop Jim Byrne – a dual Caloundra Cup winning jockey aboard Raw Instinct (2003) and Reggie (2009) – put up his hand to retain the ride on Terra Sancta.
“Jim Byrne rode her in the Ipswich Cup and was keen to stick with her,” he said.
Pike also confirmed plans to race on with Terra Sancta and target the Listed $160,000 Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 11 should the mare race well on Saturday.
The latest Caloundra Cup odds online have Big Duke as the firming $2.45 favourite to set a new weight-carrying record with 60.5kg.
Check out the full Caloundra Cup racing odds and offers now through Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Sunshine Coast Race 7 at 4:33pm (AEST) on Saturday afternoon.
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