The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Top local Brisbane horseman Robert Heathcote has two genuine contenders in the 2023 Stradbroke Handicap field now following the bullish Group 2 Moreton Cup (1200m) victory by Prince Of Boom on Saturday.
Prince Of Boom will now join stablemate Rothfire in next weekend’s Group 1 $3 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) field back at Eagle Farm Racecourse with the confidence of his big lead-up success in easier company.
The country’s premiere front-running hoop Tim Clark was at his brilliant best in the Group 2 $300,000 Moreton Cup on Queensland Oaks Day leading from barrier to box aboard Heathcote’s progressive Spirit Of Boom four-year-old.
Prince Of Boom was blessed with a good gate and made the most of his barrier jumping well and going straight to the front.
From there horse and hoop controlled the race never relinquishing the lead for an impressive all-the-way win.
Clark went for home early on the eventual Moreton Cup winner hitting the button at the top of the home straight and Prince Of Boom ($3.90) responded beautifully.
The horse hit another gear kicking away and was far too strong for his rivals with two-and-a-half-lengths to spare on the line.
Far Too Easy ($6.50) made up late ground to run a brave but distant second ahead of a likely trip to Grafton for the Ramornie Handicap, while Contemptuous was huge at 80/1 holding for third after running on-speed throughout.
“When he got such reasonably soft sectionals in front, with a guy like Tim Clark on board, who’s arguably the best front-running jockey in Australia, he was going to be hard to catch,” Heathcote said of Prince Of Boom speaking to Sky Thoroughbred Central post-race.
Winner of the Listed Ascot Handicap (1000m) by nearly three lengths fresh at Eagle Farm in mid-April, Prince Of Boom had two other lead-ups before his Group 2 triumph.
He ran third in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) only a quarter-length off Rothfire in a blanket finish two back before a credible sixth at 20/1 behind The Everest champ Giga Kick in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m).
He now presents rock hard fit and will be on the quick back-up rising to Group 1 company again for Queensland’s richest race.
Prince Of Boom was 20th on the Stradbroke order of entry before his Moreton Cup success sweating on a start.
Now assured of a run the horse has firmed notably in pre-field 2023 Stradbroke Handicap odds online in from $34 to $12 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
“I think we were into the Stradbroke anyway, it just makes the decision a little easier for the owner,” Heathcote said.
“I’m a realist. I know he’s going to find it tough 1400 (metres) around here.
“We haven’t got a rider yet so I expect the phone will be ringing now.”
History is against Prince Of Boom however.
Sincero (11th in 2010) was the latest graduate out of the then QTC Cup race to back-up a week later and win the famous Queensland Group 1.
Heathcote though remains optimistic especially with Prince Of Boom into the Group 1 with 54kg, two kilos down from his Moreton Cup winning weight.
“He showed today he’s a serious racehorse,” he said.
“Stradbroke’s a funny thing.”
Heathcote chases his first Stradbroke trophy and his other runner Rothfire currently pays $15.
2023 Moreton Cup Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||PRINCE OF BOOM||Robert Heathcote||Tim Clark||4||56kg||$3.90|
|2||10||FAR TOO EASY||David McColm||Kyle Wilson-Taylor||2.64L||2||55kg||$6.50|
|3||12||CONTEMPTUOUS||Steven O’Dea & Matthew Hoysted||Jaden Lloyd (a)||3.6L||1||55kg||$81|
|4||11||CLEMENCEAU||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Ryan Maloney||4.59L||3||55kg||$5|
|5||4||QUANTICO||John O’Shea||James McDonald||4.82L||5||56kg||$2.80F|
|6||7||IRISH SONGS||Louise White||Larry Cassidy||5.77L||10||55.5kg||$101|
|7||13||ARENTEE||Chris Meagher||Mark Du Plessis||6.68L||9||55kg||$18|
|8||5||GRAVINA||James Cummings||Ben Thompson||6.77L||11||55.5kg||$17|
|9||1||BALLER||Tony Gollan||Mark Zahra||8.91L||6||57.5kg||$16|
|10||6||FIFTEEN ROUNDS||Barry Lockwood||Jason Collett||11.74L||7||55.5kg||$41|
|11||9||FROSTY ROCKS||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||12.17L||8||55kg||$61|
|14||SHAQUERO||Chris Waller||John Allen||0|
|3||ATHELRIC||James Cummings||James Orman||0|
|8||BLONDEAU||Chris Waller||Craig Williams||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.