Twelve classy stayers have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s 2016 Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben Racecourse; highlighted by the inclusion of some of the Brisbane Winter Carnival’s standout horses.
Leading trainer Chris Waller will launch a multi-pronged attack on the Group 3 feature after confirming both Junoob and Index Linked in the 2016 Premier’s Cup field.
Junoob has been a strong and consistent performer for Waller since arriving in his care in 2013; posting an impressive career total of eleven wins and ten minors through forty-seven competitive starts.
Winning the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) and finished second in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at the conclusion of a typically smart 2015 campaign, the Haafhd gelding clearly required a run when resuming this time for thirteenth in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup (1600m).
Having responded well for fourth in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2000m) at Doomben a fortnight ago, Junoob will relish a step-up in trip this weekend and will be tough to beat in the Premier’s Cup from barrier 5, with Blake Shinn aboard.
Index Linked has found smart form leading into the Premiers’ Cup and should find a good position early from barrier 3, particularly with James McDonald in the saddle.
Resuming for twelfth in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) on March 26th, the Dansili gelding progressed to a close second in the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 16th before placing fifth in the Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) on May 7th.
Darren Weir is also set to be offered several chances of success in the staying feature after confirming both Real Love and Puccini in the 2016 Premier’s Cup field.
Former Perth galloper Real Love has been a strong and consistent performer through her entire racing career, but has arguably improved noticeably since arriving in Weir’s care this year.
Capping her west coast tenure a credible third in the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) on January 2nd, the Desert King mare resumed this time for third in the Doriemus Handicap (2000m) on January 30th before running on for third in the Listed Torney Night Cup (2400m) three weeks later.
Returning to winning form in the Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) on March 5th, Real Love charged home for third in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) on March 14th.
Resuming from a brief freshen-up for second in the beck Property Group Plate (2000m) on April 23rd, Real Love will carry winning form into the Premiers’ Cup after taking out the JRA Cup a fortnight ago.
Puccini has mustered a few good results between lacklustre performances and it is tough to say how he will fare in the Premier’s Cup.
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of the New Zealand Derby (2400m), Puccini placed tenth in the Ascot Racecourse Trophy (1400m) first-up this time, and while progressing to third in the Group 3 TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m), failed to fire again in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m).
Placing fourth in each of the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) and Listed Mornington Cup (2400m), the Encosta De Lago gelding failed to beat a single runner home in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) last time out.
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2016 Premier’s Cup Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||5092012×04||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||5||60kg||107|
|2||0099×63951||RUDY||Helen Page||Mark Zahra||12||58.5kg||104|
|3||6x5300x025||INDEX LINKED (GB)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||3||58kg||103|
|4||7843331321||REAL LOVE||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||4||58kg||107|
|5||820×030440||PUCCINI (NZ)||Darren Weir||Kerrin McEvoy||8||57.5kg||102|
|6||15160×5408||JETSET LAD (NZ)||Brian Smith||Paul Hammersley||11||56kg||99|
|7||43×6530612||BENZINI||Adrian Bull||Ms Rosie Myers (a)||10||55.5kg||98|
|8||41×7421216||HONEY TOAST||Ben Currie||Jim Byrne||1||54kg||94|
|9||x870x86853||INSTRUMENTALIST (IRE)||Dale Healey||James Orman (a)||9||54kg||89|
|10||119237×663||IMPERIAL LASS (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Mark Zahra||6||54kg||82|
|12||07×1970226||LEVER LEVER (NZ)||Matthew Dunn||Ms Tegan Harrison||2||54kg||67|