The final leg of the Queensland Winter Carnival is at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday; the Sunshine Coast Guineas for 3-Y-O over 1600m is at Group 3 level while the Listed Caloundra Cup over 2400m and Listed Glasshouse Handicap over 1400m have attracted strong fields. Maurus is an odds-on favourite to complete the Ipswich Cup/Caloundra Cup double. The Listed Winter Cup over 2400m and Listed Civic Stakes over 1350m are the highlights of racing at Rosehill.
|Meeting||Rail Position||Track Ratings|
|(Thursday 6pm)||(Saturday 8am)|
|Caulfield||7 metres entire circuit||Soft-5||Soft-6|
|Rosehill||7 metres entire circuit||Soft-6||Soft-5|
|Morphettville||11 metres 1200 to WP
8 metres remainder
Caulfield, Race 2 - Kevin Dunne Plate (12:15)
Longeron (3) has steadily improved this preparation and he can go back-to-back in this open handicap over 2000m; two starts back Longeron was nosed-out by Turnitaround in an open handicap at Sandown (1800m) before he proved too strong for Alcohol and Backbone in an open handicap at Moonee Valley (2040m). Longeron rises 2kg but he is drawn for another good run close to the speed, he is a Caulfield winner, he handles all track conditions and Dwayne Dunn rides again. Self Sense (6) has run well at his two starts from a spell and he has winning claims here; first-up Self Sense finished second to Leveraction in the Echuca Cup (1400m) before he battled-on strongly for a close second to Minnie Downs in the Swan Hill Cup (1600m). Self Sense should be at peak fitness now, he handles all track conditions, he has a good record at Caulfield and he is suited by the step-up to 2000m.
Caulfield, Race 4 - The Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap (1:28)
Makatiti (8) is racing consistently and another good run can be expected in this open handicap for 3-Y-O over 1400m; after a solid win in a Sandown maiden (1400m) Makatiti battled-on for third behind Tango Rock and Divine Mr Artie in a 3-Y-O handicap at Sandown (1400m). Makatiti was then nosed-out by Rising Stock in a BM-70 at Sandown (1400m). Makatiti returns to his own age, he is drawn for a good run close to the speed, he races well on soft tracks and Craig Williams rides for the first time. Divine Mr Artie (3) is also racing well; after winning a 3-Y-O handicap at Caulfield (1200m) Divine Mr Artie finished a close fourth in a 3-Y-O handicap at Caulfield (1200m), a nose-second to Tango Rock in a 3-Y-O handicap at Sandown (1400m) and a solid second to War Legend in a 3-Y-O handicap at Sandown (1600m). Divine Mr Artie has been freshened-up for the drop-back to 1400m, he is a Caulfield winner and he will only carry 53kg. Stormcraft (2) is undefeated in two starts for Darren Weir so he must be respected; first-up Stormcraft shared first prize with Swiss Kiss in a BM-64 at Bendigo (1000m) before he was too strong in a BM-70 on the Pakenham synthetic (1200m). Stormcraft is not proven over 1400m but he is drawn for a soft run and he could not be in better form. Rewarding Effort (14) was an impressive last-start winner on the Pakenham synthetic (1400m) and he must be respected on that performance.
Rosehill, Race 1 - TAB.com.au Handicap (11:25)
Chris Waller's Foxplay (1) is on an upward spiral and she is the one to beat in this open handicap for 2-Y-O over 1400m; first-up Foxplay finished strongly for a half-length second to Raiment in a Warwick Farm maiden (1300m) before she sat right on the speed and proved much too strong defeating Cogliere by three lengths in a 2-Y-O handicap at Rosehill (1350m) carrying 55.5kg. Foxplay has to carry 58kg on this occasion but she is proven at Rosehill and on soft tracks and Blake Shinn is a very worthy replacement for Hugh Bowman. Waller has another three runners which were all last-start winners at Beaumont (Newcastle), High Mist (3), Octavian Augustus (4) and Awoke (5) and they must be respected;
Rosehill, Race 4 - ATC Winter Cup (1:10)
Tucanchoo (4) only has to maintain his current form to be hard to beat in this Listed race over 2400m; at his first start after a let-up Tucanchoo finished strongly to win a BM-84 at Sandown (1600m) before he lead all the way showing a lot of courage to nose-out Vassal in a BM-84 at Randwick (2000m). Tucanchoo then stepped-up in class and distance and he finished a close second to Index Linked in the G3 Tattersall's Cup at Eagle Farm (2200m) last Saturday. Tucanchoo refused to surrender in the Tatt's Cup so another 200m should be of little concern, he handles all track conditions, he will only carry 54kg and this field is no stronger.
Sunshine Coast, Race 6 - HMR Projects Glasshouse Handicap (3:17)
Stratum Star (1) returned to form at his last start and he can go on with it in this Listed race over 1400m; three starts back Stratum Star finished a solid sixth behind champion Winx in the G1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick (1600m) before he finished a dismal last behind Malaguerra in the G1 BTC Cup at Doomben (1200m). Stratum Star then improved sharply for a strong third behind Spill The Beans and Federal in the QTC Cup at Eagle Farm (1300m) carrying 59kg. Stratum Star has to lump a hefty 61kg here but he has an excellent 1400m record, he handles soft tracks, he is drawn for a good run and he is definitely the class runner of the field. Sacred Star (2) was beaten seven lengths in the G1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm (1400m) but he was certainly not disgraced finishing fifth; Sacred Star has to carry 59kg but he has a good 1400m record, he is proven on soft tracks and he is a dual G1 winner in New Zealand. Saluter (5) has returned in very good order; after a strong win in an open handicap at the Sunshine Coast (1000m) Saluter was nosed-out by Into The Red in last Saturday's G3 Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm (1200m). Saluter was having his first run for 41 days in the Healy so he will be better for the run and he has an excellent record at the Sunshine Coast. Pillar Of Creation (6) and Flamboyer (9) are among the other chances.
Sunshine Coast, Race 7 - Cellar Maintenance Australia Caloundra Cup (3:57)
Maurus (2) is clearly the one to beat in this Listed race over 2400m; after placing at his first two starts from a spell in Sydney Maurus thrashed moderate opposition in an open handicap at Doomben (2200m) at his first start for eight weeks. Maurus then loomed ominously against much stronger rivals in the G1 Doomben Cup (2000m) before he weakened slightly for fifth behind Our Ivanhowe. Maurus then dropped in class and he proved a mile too good for Jumbo Prince, Instrumentalist and Puccini in the Ipswich Cup (2150m). Maurus has to lump 59kg but this is only 1kg more than he carried in the Ipswich Cup, this field is no stronger, the step-up to 2400m is of little concern, he handles all track conditions and Damian Browne rides again.