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Caloundra Cup 2016: Vandyke Keen On Maurus

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Maurus is currently available at 2016 Caloundra Cup odds of $1.65 and trainer David Vandyke is confident that the short-priced favourite will get the job done in the Listed event at Caloundra tomorrow.

Maurus is the horse to beat in the 2016 Caloundra Cup at the Sunshine Coast. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Maurus is the horse to beat in the 2016 Caloundra Cup at the Sunshine Coast. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Maurus started his 2016 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign with a dominant victory at Doomben on April 30 and he finished a gallant fifth in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 21 before he was far too good for his rivals in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) on June 18.

Vandyke told Racing Ahead this morning that he is confident that Maurus has improved from his Ipswich Cup effort and expects him to be too strong for his rivals in the 2016 Caloundra Cup tomorrow.

“I think he has improved from Ipswich,” Vandyke said.

“He did have that four weeks between the Doomben Cup and the Ipswich Cup and it wasn’t ideal going into a 2150 metre, but he has tightened up nicely since Ipswich and he pulled up terrific.

“He has been eating well, he is covered in dapples and he has been enjoying the recent good weather up here.

“This will be his grand final and he is in great shape to take on the feature race.

“He is meeting a similar field and when you draw a line through his form it is hard to see him getting beat.”

Vandyke, who is now based in Queensland on the Sunshine Coast, is no certainty to be training Maurus next preparation – as owners Waratah Thoroughbreds could elect to base him in Melbourne or Sydney – but he is still confident that the imported stayer can measure up in the spring.

Maurus will be nominated for all the feature staying events during the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival and Vandyke believes it is the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) that is the most suitable race for the Medicean gelding.

“I can’t see why he can’t go on to win a Group 1 next preparation,” Vandyke said.

“I think he would be suited in a race like the Caulfield Cup where the pace is on.

“The only area he might struggle tomorrow is if they drop anchor midrace because he does start to tug a bit, but if he was on in a race like the Caulfield Cup where there is a constant level of pressure I think that would suit him and he could run the closing sectionals in a race like that.”

Maurus is currently available at 2016 Caloundra Cup odds of $1.65 and he is a clear favourite from Index Linked ($7), Jumbo Prince ($7) and Puccini ($12).

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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