The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Joe Pride’s impressive recent WJ McKell Cup winner out of Sydney, Stockman, is odds-on favourite against just six rivals in the rescheduled edition of the 2021 Caloundra Cup this Sunday at the Sunshine Coast.
Following last weekend’s washout, the postponed Caloundra Cup Day program runs this weekend and the meeting’s feature has attracted just seven final acceptors.
Set to run as the Sunshine Coast Race 5 at 2:59pm (AEST), the $175,000 Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) looks set to be run on a Heavy (9) track and the money is coming for Stockman to best handle the muddy conditions.
Jumping from barrier three in the mile and a half feature with in-form hoop Ryan Maloney to ride, the Kiwi-bred Tavistock four-year-old is a proven mudlark with a gun record on Heavy going.
He has had four runs on wet tracks for a trio of wins and a second, including his lead-up Listed WJ McKell Cup (2000m) win at Rosehill on June 19.
Stockman carried 54kg to victory that day and is up in both weight (55.5kg) and distance for the Caloundra Cup, but remains the horse to beat at a short quote of $1.70 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
The danger occupying the second line of updated Caloundra Cup betting is the Chris Waller-trained market mover Wu Gok ($5.50) set to carry the 58kg top weight from gate five with Luke Dittman in the saddle.
Despite giving the weight away to his rivals, the Sebring seven-year-old is being kept safe as he looks to improve on the distant sixth to Stockman in the McKell Cup.
He comes back in weight from the 59kg he carried there and will relish the step back up to 2400m.
It has been a while between drinks with over a year since his last win in the 2020 Listed Winter Cup (2400m) run on a Heavy (9).
He placed a close fourth in that same event before his McKell Cup failure and looks a threat.
Following closely in the markets are Mitchell Fry’s Lucas Cranach gelding Flash Aah ($6.50) and Happy Go Plucky ($8).
Gold Coast-trained Flash Aah has a consistent record of six wins from 15 starts to date and has previous winning form at the Sunshine Coast track back in late May when carrying a big weight to victory over 1000m.
He is yet to win over further than 1800m however and how he handles the staying distance will be key to his chances.
Last time out Flash Aah ran a close third only a half-length beaten in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) on June 19, and he again faces the winner of that Queensland feature with Happy Go Plucky chasing the double.
Stephanie Thornton has been riding in terrific fashion and partners John Gilmore’s rising eight-year-old Happy Go Plucky in the Caloundra Cup field.
The horse was solid in the Ipswich Cup at big odds, but faces a notable task here being yet to place at the Sunshine Coast and rising from 54kg to 55.5kg on the weekend.
2021 Caloundra Cup Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||7079×83046||WU GOK||Chris Waller||Luke Dittman||5||58kg||100|
|2||6713254221||HAPPY GO PLUCKY||John Gilmore||Ms Stephanie Thornton||7||55.5kg||95|
|3||35×3764231||STOCKMAN (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Ryan Maloney||3||55.5kg||95|
|4||45xL140143||FLASH AAH||Mitchell Fry||Ms Madeleine Wishart (a)||2||54kg||92|
|5||3046588108||VICTORY EIGHT (NZ)||Trevor Miller||Larry Cassidy||1||54kg||90|
|6||221×762504||CELLARMAID||Kelly Schweida||Ben Thompson||6||54kg||80|
|7||0139×08079||PICKA PLUM (NZ)||Paul Jenkins||Robbie Fradd||4||54kg||78|
*Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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