Winx will chase an unprecedented fourth-consecutive Cox Plate. Photo: Steve Hart

2018 Sunshine Coast Guineas Winner – A Star in the Making?

The Sunshine Coast Guineas was only inaugurated in 2000 but it has quickly become a campaign target for some of the country’s best three-year-olds.

The three most-recent editions of the Group 3 feature have produced three particularly impressive winners, each of whom have moved onto bigger and better things.

We are set for another exciting edition of the race on the Caloundra Cup card on Saturday afternoon – Will the 2018 Sunshine Coast Guineas winner join the likes of Winx, Tivaci and Crack Me Up as a Group 1 mainstay?

2015 – Winx

Everyone knows the story; equine superstar Winx has won three-consecutive Cox Plates, eighteen Group 1 titles and more than $18 million in prize money for her connections.

Her incredible twenty-five-race undefeated streak was launched at Corbould Park in May, 2015 when she flew home on the outside of her rivals to win the Sunshine Coast Guineas. Jockey Larry Cassidy elected to settle the daughter of Street Cry at the tail of the field in transit and was merely a passenger as the filly savaged the line.

The story is not yet complete and the former Sunshine Coast Guineas winner will campaign for a record-breaking fourth win in the $5 million weight-for-age classic at Moonee Valley in spring.

2016 – Tivaci

Clearly not in the same class as Winx, but Tivaci recorded a dominant win in the 2016 edition of the Sunshine Coast Guineas, before taking out the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) as a four-year-old.

Damian Browne allowed the horse to stride forward after jumping well and enjoyed an ideal run in transit just behind the early pace and on the rail. The veteran hoop pulled the horse off the fence as the field turned for home and was greeted with an impressive turn of foot; something that became a trademark of his performances in subsequent seasons.

The son of Sebring has since returned into a career as a stud in New Zealand.

2017 – Crack Me Up

Crack Me Up broke a drought for Queensland-trained horses by taking out last year’s edition of the Sunshine Coast Guineas in impressive fashion.

The Mossman gelding’s chances in the race appeared to be dashed when he drew a wide barrier, but Damian Browne was able to cross the field with relative easy after jumping well and dictated terms for his rivals.

Joined on pace by the likes of Flow upon arriving in the final straight, Crack Me Up continued to find and was tough to the line; extending late to win by two lengths.

Crack Me Up has since won several Stakes races in Queensland and New South Wales, and was last seen running a close-up fourth in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.