Caloundra Cup winner Megablast will stay in Queensland for one more run in the Group 3 $150,000 The Queen’s Cup Trophy (3200m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 14.
The front running Kiwi stayer produced a memorable win when he stride clear in the straight to put three lengths on his nearest rival to secure the Listed $175,000 Scott McMahon Electrical Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday.
New Zealand trainer Nigel Tiley did a superb job to produce Megablast in winning order after the grey had to recover from a minor leg injury and was having his first run for a month since finishing third behind Egg Tart and Tradesman in the Group 2 $200,000 Bradford Access Insulation P.J. O’Shea Stakes (2200m) at the Sunshine Coast on June 2.
“He went to bed on the Wednesday before the Brisbane Cup as good as gold, but he may have become cast in his box during the night as the next morning he had a lump the size of an egg on one of his sesamoids,” Tiley told the NZ Racing Desk.
“We did all we could to get him to the race but we just ran out of time and had to scratch him. Thankfully he had plenty of residual fitness on his side so I could back off him and then plan for what we would do next.
“I sat down with John and Di and we looked at our options and decided we would have a crack at the Caloundra Cup.”
Megablast’s light Queensland Winter Racing Carnival campaign will be extended for another two weeks with Tiley pencilling in the two mile The Queen’s Cup Trophy.
“He came through the race well so we are going to bring him back here for the two-mile race in a fortnight,” Tiley said.
“We know he gets the two miles and I expect he will carry around the same weight to what he won with on the weekend.
“If we can get similar track conditions he would have to be a big show of a repeat performance.”
Megablast was suited by the heavy track conditions for the Caloundra Cup and has now won all of his ten races on rain affected surfaces and there is a good chance that the Sunshine Coast track will be wet again with showers forecast in the lead up to the July 14 weekend.
“He is at his best when the tracks are wet and loose and that rain we got was just perfect for him,” Tiley said.
“I was pretty confident I had him near peak after his setback so all we needed was some luck during the running and he was going to be a big chance.”
Tiley is also confident that Megablast will have no trouble running out a strong 3200m after finishing fourth at his only attempt at the distance in the 2017 Group 1 NZ$500,000 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie in New Zealand.
Sunshine Coast based Kiwi jockey Damian Browne has been aboard Megablast for his two Queensland starts but could be in doubt for the Queen’s Cup Trophy as he is appealing a two month suspension that the QRIC Stewards handed to him for his ride on Toowoomba gelding Fighting Teo at the Sunshine Coast on June 11.