Trainer Liam Birchley will be hoping for a case of history repeating itself when his young stayer Pop’n’Scotch contests this weekend’s Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2400m) on the Gold Coast. Last year’s winner of the Tatt’s Cup was The Inventor who, like Pop’n’Scotch did last weekend, claimed the Provincial Cup at Ipswich at his start prior. Pop’n’Scotch is rated a $10.00 chance to complete the double whilst Epingle and last start winner Faust are battling it out for favouritism at $4.00 and $4.60 respectively. Epingle has an exceptional record at this particular distance, having won two – the G3 Launceston and Hobart Cups, and finishing second twice in the G2 Zipping Classic behind Sertorius and then last year, Au Revoir. If successful, she will give jockey Hugh Bowman his second win in the race from the past four years after he piloted Ginga Dude to victory in 2012.
Special Offer: $501 BONUS BET – Sportsbet
1. EPINGLE – J Bowman (2)
Chased 3yo Werther valiantly in the G2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) two starts back before being involved in a tight finish in the G2 Brisbane Cup (2200m), finishing a neck third behind Jetset Lad. Weaving through for a run closer to the fence, Mick Kent’s mare looked to have hit the lead for a stride or two just prior to the post. Does raise 4kgs on that run but is going well and has a record at this trip, better than most in this race.
2. BANCO MO – M Cahill (6)
After two disappointing runs in Queensland, the Victorian galloper was back to his best last week when narrowly defeated in the Listed Ipswich Cup. With 54kgs, he looked to be finishing too well for eventual winner Danchai who kicked back late to edge out the 7yo gelding. Winner of the Mornington Cup his last attempt at this distance and off last week’s effort, has to be rated a legitimate chance.
3. ESCADO – B Melham (3)
Matt Laurie’s 5yo gelding looked set to break a long winless drought in the Listed Caloundra Cup on the Sunshine Coast two starts back before being claimed in the final bound by Index Linked. He then led the field turning for home in the G2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) but could only battle over the final 200m, weakening to finish eighth (4.9 lengths). Drew wide last start and had no option but to push forward and whilst he is better ridden back, it’ll be a game punter who’ll think with any confidence that he’ll finally register his fourth career win here.
4. FAUST – Z Purton (9)
Exceptionally well-rated in front to score a long neck win in the G3 Premier’s Cup (2020m) at his most recent start four weeks back. That followed up his length second in the Wagga Gold Cup behind the in-from Landlocked and continued his solid form this year for trainer Kurt Goldman. It was off a similar break that he won the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m) earlier this year and whilst he could not be in better form, he’ll need another cheap lead to get a strong 2400m
Special Offer 2: $500 BONUS BET – Ladbrokes
5. SHOREHAM – B Avdulla (12)
The 5yo gelding will be having his first start for new trainer Gerald Ryan with connections of the horse hoping Ryan can help him find his first win since September 2013. The son of Reset has had five starts since April at or beyond 2000m, so whilst this is his first start for a month, fitness should not be of concern. He only whacked away at his most recent outing, the Listed Andrew Ramsden (3200m) when eighth (9.1 lengths). Drop in weight, distance and the possibility of a wet track are in his favour and if he produces his best, could run better than his current quote suggest.
6. SURPASS – T Bell (4)
As expected being first up for two-and-a-half months over an unsuitable 1600m, the New Zealand based galloper struggled in the G3 Lord Mayor’s Cup before a much improved effort in the G2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) when seventh (3.2 lengths) behind Jetset Lad. Had his chance last time out with a nice run in transit but, being third up and getting onto a wet track will see him go better again. Good chance for shopping wider.
7. ZOOMANIA – J Byrne (10)
Lightly raced and well-bred 7yo mare from the leading Tony Gollan stable, she registered her sixth career win when accounting for five opponents in a BM 90 (1800m) at the Sunshine Coast track last time out. Last two runs have been solid but this is a different kettle of fish all together and she’ll need to make too much improvement to be winning here.
8. MAJOR MAJOR – K McEvoy (11)
Put two wins back-to-back on heavy tracks when claiming a BM 75 and BM 70 – both over 2400m, recently but has struggled in two runs since when contesting better classes of race. He was a heavy track again when battling home for fifth placing behind Sense Of Occasion when seventh (5.5 lengths) before making no impression from the tail of the field on a good surface in the Brisbane Cup. Wet conditions will help but maybe not by enough to see him victorious here.
9. POP ‘N’ SCOTCH – J Lloyd (7)
Turned some plain performances around last week at Ipswich when he finished strongly from the second half of the field to claim a BM 80 (2150m) by a head from Holly Holy. Rolled here earlier in the campaign on a heavy track when the 7/4 favourite in Class 6 (2200m) and wouldn’t be in a rush to suggest that he’ll make it back-to-back wins here.
Special Offer 3: $300 BONUS BET – Luxbet
10. MONACO DOLL – T Berry (6)
Was the surprise winner (20/1) of a BM 85 (2220m) three starts back but in both of her runs since, the Toby Edmonds trained mare has been a few lengths off the pace. She battled home for ninth (2.9 lengths) behind Leaders Road over the Scone Carnival in a BM 75 before, in the same class over the same trip, running sixth (2.6 lengths) to Wimpole Street on the Sunshine Coast. A softer track improves her chances but would have to think still not by enough of a margin to see her winning here.
11. HOLLY HOLY – L Tarrant (1)
The 5yo mare came close to breaking a sixteen start winless drought last week at Ipswich when failing by a head short of Pop ‘n’ Scotch in a BM 80 (2150m). Closed from a long way back last weekend and although this is her first try at 2400m, it may be something that is overdue.
12. BACHELOR ZEEL – J Taylor (5)
Frank Ritchie trained galloper from New Zealand who was expected to produce a lot more than his fifth (4.6 lengths) placing behind Miss Husson on the Sunshine Coast two starts back before giving a glimpse of potential in last weekend’s Ipswich Cup (2150m). He finished fifth (4.6 lengths) behind Danchai and Banco Mo and will be fitter again, this being his fourth run back from a twelve month break. Each of his two career wins have come on soft grounds in New Zealand and with similar conditions expected this weekend, he may be capable of further improvement and running a good race.
RACE PREVIEW –
Epingle has twice been placed over this trip at G2 level when carrying 57kgs, so would think she’s not too harshly treated here with the 59kgs. Combined with her wet track form – she’s too hard to go past as the top pick. Banco Mo almost got there last week in the Ipswich Cup and he too has an enviable record over the 2400m – not missing a place in three starts – all of which have been in Group or Listed company. These two clearly on top from Surpass the improving – particular if track is wet, and Faust who is going to well to leave out but do have some queries about running out a solid 2400m.