Trainer Scott Brunton has confirmed that Banca Mo is set to start his 2015 Brisbane Cup campaign in the 2015 Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Banca Mo recorded the biggest race win of his career to date when he outstayed his rivals to take out the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) at Mornington on March 28 and he did enough to convince Brunton that he was deserving of a trip to Queensland for the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Brunton is not overly optimistic about the winning chances of Banca Mo in the Hollindale Stakes, but he told Racing Ahead that he believes the Group 2 event will give him a good grounding in Queensland for the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 9 and the Group 1 Brisbane Cup (2200m) at the same venue on June 6.
“If that got good rain up there and the track was fairly wet that would be his go over 1800 or else they would probably be a little bit slick for him especially at weight-for-age,” Brunton said.
“It actually looks like a decent field and it is one of those things.
“I am thinking about using it as a stepping stone and getting him familiar with that way of going.
“I have given him a couple of gallops at Hobart the reverse way, which I think he has handled quite well and I am really happy with the way that he is.
“He is not very hard to train and if I make a mistake he covers me up.”
While Brunton does not rate the chances of Banca Mo in the Hollindale Stakes, he is happy with the physical condition of the veteran gelding and he said that the seven-year-old has done very well coming out of his Mornington Cup win.
“He is in really good order,” Brunton said.
“We left home last night at 10 o’clock and we were lucky enough to arrive at 4.30 this morning, so it was a pretty quick trip and we are really happy with that.
“He is getting good at it and he seems to cope with it a lot better than me.
“I took him on the barge a couple of days after he ran because I thought it was the best option to head home to the beach and what he was familiar with and he seems to have really picked up good.
“He has really come and on and I am really happy with him.”
The 2015 Hollindale Stakes field will be released this morning and is set to include the likes of Pornichet, Moriarty, Silent Achiever, Arabian Gold, Foreteller, Green Moon, Hawkspur, Precedence and Rudy.