Group 1 racing has drawn to a close for another season but there’s still plenty of black type features set to be run and won on the Sunshine Coast this weekend.
2018 Caloundra Cup Day boasts a total of ten races on Saturday afternoon, including the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas, Listed Glasshouse Handicap and the time-honoured stayers classic, contested over a mile-and-half.
There’s been plenty of rain north of the border this weekend and wet-trackers look like they’ll have conditions to suit on Caloundra Cup Day.
Several horses have already been scratched from Race 1 and Bluebrook has subsequently firmed into $3.10 favouritism. Bluebrook has been a strong and consistent performer through four starts this time and hit the line well for second on soft-going at Ipswich a fortnight ago. He is drawn and weighted ideally this week and will take a power of beating from a forward position.
An open and capacity field has been taken for Race 2 and there is a case to be made for several runners, including current favourite Shogun Sun ($2.50). Shogun Sun has produced a number of quality performances amongst black type company throughout his entire racing career so far and while he is yet to register winning form this time, has performed well in much tougher company than this.
Southern raider Laszlo ($15) is ready to peak third-up and is worth consideration at each-way odds. The Teofilo gelding hit the line well for fourth at Kembla Grange last time out and is drawn and weighted for a big performance on the Sunshine Coast.
The field for Race 3 has also been tightened with a few early scratchings and Newcastle-based raiders Our Gravano ($3.30) is now race favourite. Our Gravano shook off the cobwebs over 1500m at Rosehill on May 19th and has since finished mid-pack in a pair of races at Rosehill and Randwick respectively. This is a big drop in class and he should be fighting out the finish.
There is a case to be made for the Steve Tregea-trained Bergerac ($3.70), who has failed to miss a place at his three most-recent starts, but gives weight to Our Gravano and will need luck from a wide draw.
Eleven two-year-olds will step out in Race 4 and of those horses, two will be making their competitive debuts.
The Michael Nolan-trained Unconditional ($3.30) is seeking a third-consecutive race win and is set to jump favourite from barrier 8. The Jet Spur colt ran a credible third over 1050m at Toowoomba on debut and has since dominated two races, including a lucrative one on Ipswich Cup Day two weeks ago. This looks to be no harder a task and with in-form hoop Jag Guthmann-Chester aboard, he can continue his winning form.
Topweight Beat Street has been scratched from Race 4, but emergency Jetsonic has been confirmed for a start and we are still faced with a capacity field.
Exceedingly has been a decent drifter in betting ($3.70 out to $4.20 at publish), but remains the race favourite. The Testa Rossa gelding has quickly built to the task this time and is ready to peak third-up after placing at Doomben and the Gold Coast this time in.
A horse that appeals at a longer price is the Les Ross-trained Sister Patti ($9), who has drawn ideally into this field in gate 3. The daughter of Court Command has placed in her three most-recent runs and just failed to make up the distance when second over this course at distance last time out.
Fifteen horses will step out for this 1000m dash and there is a case to be made for more than half the field.
Dal Cielo ($5.50) is yet to show his best this time but has still turned in a number of decent performances and finds himself in a very winnable race here. The Per Incanto gelding finished a credible third in races over 1050m and 1100m at Doomben and Randwick upon resuming, before a decent run for sixth behind Jungle Edge in the Listed June Stakes last time out.
Tiyatrolani ($7.50) failed to fire last time out but she is a mare with plenty of ability and capable of finding her way into he money on Saturday. The daughter of Captain Sonador ran third in the Listed Chief De Beers two runs back before a tough run in the Listed Lighting Stakes last time out.
The first black type race of the day has drawn a classy field of three-year-old milers and it is an open event from a betting perspective.
Kiwi raider The Bostonian ($3.50) is seeking a third-consecutive race will and looks extremely well placed again here. The son of Jimmy Choux flew home to win the Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes on the Sunshine Coast three weeks ago, before repeating that performance and result over 1350m at Doomben last week.
Seaway has continued to receive plenty of interest in betting and has firmed into $2.70 favouritism at the time of publish. The Ocean Park colt savaged the line for second in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) last time out and is primed for another big run.
The feature race has drawn an open field of stayers and looms as a lucrative betting race; offering punters plenty of value and opportunities to place a winning wager.
Tradesman ($3.70) has been a strong and consistent performer for Darren Weir this time and is a fitting occupant of the top line of betting. The Trade Fair gelding ran second behind Egg Tart in the Group 2 PJ O’Shea Stakes three runs back before returning to winning form in the Ipswich Cup a fortnight ago. He again finished a close-up second in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup last weekend and will be tough to beat here.
A horse that is worth consideration at odds is the John McArdle-trained Smart As You Think ($12), who has been racing well this time in. The So You Think mare finished second over 2000m at Flemington on May 5th and has since run fourth in both the PJ O’Shea Stakes and Ipswich Cup.
This year’s Glasshouse Handicap field is outstanding and it is a particularly open betting race, particularly with Fat Odds available on every runner.
Jamaican Rain is seeking a third-consecutive win on Saturday and has opened the $5.50 favourite in betting here. The Manhattan Rain mare dominated a 1500m race at Moonee Valley last time out and while she does face a rise in class, will enjoy a noticeable relief in the weights.
The four topweights; Lucky Hussler ($26), Religify ($21), Ulmann ($11) and I’m A Rippa ($8) are all more than capable of winning this race and all represent great value in betting.
A horse that looks over the odds at his current price is Aqua Vite ($26), who will relish the heavy-going and who is drawn ideally on the rails. The son of Northern Meteor ran second in both the Listed Gold Coast Cup and Listed Members’ Handicap, but failed to fire last time out. He’s weighted well and can produce a big performance under these conditions.
The final race on the Caloundra Cup card has drawn an open field of three-year-old sprinters and it is shaping as a great opportunity for punters to take some late value.
Winter Bride ($2.50) has returned to racing in smart form this time and should be right in the finish. The Not A Single Doubt filly was a smart winner over 1200m at Doomben first-up before placing third in the Daybreak Lover Stakes over this track and distance three weeks ago.
Sacred Rebel ($9.50) is on a seven-day back-up and will enjoy the heavy going. Sacred Revel was a smart winner from the front over this course and distance first-up, but clearly did not enjoy the hard track at Doomben last weekend.