The 2017 Caloundra Cup Form Guide is essential reading for punters and racing fans ahead of the feature race for stayers on the Sunshine Coast this weekend.
Some of the Brisbane Winter Carnival’s best stayers have been confirmed in the 2017 Caloundra Cup field, but we have analysed every horse in detail, in order to help you find the race winner.
Ipswich Cup winner Self Sense should prove extremely tough to beat, however horses like Benzini, Neverland and Supply And Demand are more than capable of being crowned the Caloundra Cup winner.
Kiwi raider Benzini has not been far away in each of his three starts in Australia this time and should prove extremely tough to beat in the Caloundra Cup, even with 59.5kgs in tow. The Tale Of The Cat gelding returned to the races for a smart second in the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 16th, before running on for third in the Group 3 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m). Having finished fourth in each of the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) and Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) upon arriving in Queensland, Benzini carried 60kgs to finish second in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) a fortnight ago and should find a good position behind the early pace from a wide draw. Regular hoop Kelly McCulloch retains the ride and the horse appears as though he is ready to peak.
Self Sense was a brilliant winner of the Ipswich Cup a fortnight ago and is undoubtedly the horse to beat once more in the Caloundra Cup this weekend. Self Sense has been a strong and consistent performer through a long and busy autumn and winter preparation; spanning nine starts and close to six months. While failing to fire in the Brisbane Cup following a tough run in transit, the Street Sense gelding strode clear of his rivals in the final straight at Ipswich last time out and found the line more than seven lengths ahead of Benzini. Self Sense could receive the run of the race from barrier 8, he is weighted well and Michael Cahill retains the ride in the Caloundra Cup.
Supply And Demand
Supply And Demand has found terrific form this time in and is another horse that appears set to peak in the Caloundra Cup. Fifth in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m) on May 12th, the Sebring gelding worked to the line well to finish second in the M Taylor Outreach Program BM85 (1600m) on May 27th and has since won both the Eremein Handicap (1800m) and Kensei Handicap (2000m) in Sydney with complete ease. In-form hoop Josh Parr will take the ride from barrier 9 and the horse should find little issue in performing with only 55.5kgs in tow.
Neverland has yet to return to winning form this season, but the five-year-old undoubtedly has the class to win a race like the Caloundra Cup on her day. Formerly saddled by Grant Williams in Perth, the Big Brown mare placed sixth in a Flemington minor over 1800m first-up on April 25th, before working to the line well for fourth in the Chandler Macleod BM84 (2000m) on May 13th. Arriving in Brisbane for fifth in the Premier’s Cup, Neverland was last seen finishing sixth in the Brisbane Cup. She will undoubtedly need to improve, but Neverland’s consistency could count for plenty in this Caloundra Cup field.
Emerald City has been unable to match it with much of this Caloundra Cup field in races previously and he is probably only a place chance at best this weekend. Emerald City returned to the races for a lacklustre ninth in the Listed Tattersall’s Members’ Cup (1600m) on March 4th before finishing a credible sixth in the Toowoomba Cup (2000m). Freshened up after he ran second in the Mandate Handicap (2200m) at Doomben on April 22nd, the Bernardini gelding failed to produce much when eleventh in the Brisbane Cup and probably faces too great a task in improving up to the standard of this race, second-up.
My Diamantine has steadily built to the task this time and represents good value as an each way chance in Caloundra Cup betting markets. Fifth in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) on May 13th, the Eighth Wonder mare failed to fire in the Premier’s Cup, but has since finished ninth in the Brisbane Cup and fourth in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) last weekend. The mare should enjoy a step up in distance to a mile and a half, is drawn ideally in barrier 4 and has the notable advantage of Jeff Lloyd in the saddle.
Consistent mare War Baby has form around several outstanding stayers this time in and is not without a chance of posting an upset win in the Caloundra Cup. Eighth in the Casino Cup (1400m) on May 26th, the Warhead mare ran tyhird in the Digital Vision Direct BM75 (2200m) on the Sunshine Coast, before returning to winning form in the Ipswich Provincial Stayers Cup (2150m) a fortnight ago. Working to the line well for third in the Tattersall’s Cup last weekend, War Baby should enjoy a step up in distance and is rock-hard fit.
Paragon is another horse that probably faces too great a task amongst this classy Caloundra Cup field. The Reaan gelding has managed several good efforts between lacklustre performances this time, but did arrive in Queensland a fortnight ago for a credible fourth in the Ipswich Cup. Jim Byrne has retained the ride on Paragon this weekend, who could receive a nice tow into the Caloundra Cup from barrier 6 and with only 54kgs.
Tears Of Joy
Tears Of Joy has only had one start since joining the stables of Toby Edmonds and she is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from her first-up run in the Ipswich Cup a fortnight ago. Formerly trained by Mark Kavanagh, the Street Cry mare ran well in several Victorian races earlier this season, but failed to fire in the Listed Centaurea Stakes (2019m) in Adelaide, in what was her only other start prior to the Ipswich Cup.
Viva Espana faces a big step up in class into the Caloundra Cup field and will need to improve tenfold if she is any chance. The Dubawi mare was a strong and consistent performer in country races last preparation and resumed this time for fourth in the Ipswich Mile (1600m) a fortnight ago. She will enjoy a step up in distance and she is weighted well.
I Feel Good
Veteran I Feel Good has returned to competitive form through his recent starts and is worthy of a position in the Caloundra Cup field. The Delago Brom gelding was an impressive winner of the Integrale Homes BM65 (2200m) on June 11th and followed that performance up second behind War Baby in the Ipswich Provincial Stayers Cup. Drawn and weighted well, the horse is an outside chance of a big upset.
Stable mate to Viva Espana, Choysa ran on for a credible fifth as one of the field’s rank outsiders in the Ipswich Cup and is primed for another big performance on Saturday. bred to get the distance, the Zabeel gelding has performed well in a host of country Victorian distance races this time in.