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The prospect of a wet surface for the running of the Group 2 $175,000 Moreton Cup (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday has given trainer Kris Lees some confidence in Aide Memoire returning to her best form.

Calanda, above, has drawn nicely in the Moreton Cup at the Sunshine Coast. Photo by Steve Hart.

Calanda, above, has drawn nicely in the Moreton Cup at the Sunshine Coast. Photo by Steve Hart.

The Sunshine Coast track was rated a heavy 10 at acceptance time on Wednesday and the Group 1 winning Kiwi mare has won six of her seven wins on rain affected surfaces.

Aide Memoire hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since claiming the Group 1 NZ$200,000 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in New Zealand on December 3 in 2016 and has been unplaced from four runs for the Kris Lees stable which includes a last start sixteenth in the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Legacy Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) on day two of The Championships at Randwick on April 14.

Lees said that the dry tracks over the Sydney Autumn Carnival didn’t suit Aide Memoire and he is expecting a better performance on the soft Sunshine Coast track after the mare won an 800m barrier trial on the Beaumont track at Newcastle.

“It was an unusually dry autumn in Sydney. She was disadvantaged because she does need a wet track and hopefully we get that on Saturday,” Lees told AAP.

Aide Memoire drew barrier nine out of eleven in the original draw but has already moved in one spot after the Moreton Cup field was reduced to ten runners with the early scratching of Chalk.

Trainer Darren Weir’s two runners had mixed results in the Moreton Cup barrier draw with Platinum Angel drawing nicely at barrier two in the original eleven horse field while Handsome Thief will jump from one from the outside.

Dean Yendall has retained the mount on Handsome Thief after combining with the five year old to win the Listed $150,000 Midfield Group Wangoom Handicap (1200m) at Warrnambool on May 2 and the pair were also together when seventh to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 19.

Jeff Lloyd’s Moreton Cup mount Platinum Angel is also the second emergency in the Listed $100,000 Helen Coughlan Stakes (1200m) with Dean Yendall listed as her rider.

The Team Snowden trained Calanda is a good first up performer for the stable and has drawn nicely at barrier three with Jim Byrne booked to ride.

Calanda has two wins and a second from four first up attempts and hasn’t been to the races since winning the Listed $150,000 Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford on January 11 but has finished second in two recent Randwick barrier trials.

Final field for the 2018 Moreton Cup (1200m)

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp Rating
1 22027×0780 AIDE MEMOIRE (NZ) Kris Lees Corey Brown 9 58.5kg 103
2 12234430×5 THE MONSTAR Brett Cavanough Skye Bogenhuber 6 57kg 103
3 611x84241x CALANDA Peter & Paul Snowden Jim Byrne 3 57kg 103
4 15028x26x0 LEGLESS VEUVE (NZ) Henry Dwyer Damian Browne 5 57kg 98
5 5909701217 IN HIS STRIDE Rex Lipp James Orman 1 56.5kg 95
6 1×32721617 HANDSOME THIEF (IRE) Darren Weir Dean Yendall 10 56.5kg 97
7 5x0287x141 IRISH CONSTABULARY John Symons & Sheila Laxon Micheal Hellyer 8 56kg 95
8 254457×318 RINGO’S A ROCKSTAR Norm Stephens Ron Stewart 11 56kg 85
9 x21376x497 CHALK Wendy Roche Scratched 4 56kg 68
10 11128x230x PEPPERANO Liam Birchley Michael Cahill 7 54kg 88
11 x31x285131 PLATINUM ANGEL Darren Weir Jeff Lloyd 2 53kg 76.5

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.