Future stallion prospect Counterattack will get another chance to put a Group 1 win on his resume before he starts his stud duties when he lines up in the Group 1 $700,000 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m), formerly the BTC Cup, at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Counterattack will only get two more opportunities to join the Group 1 winner’s club and as well as Saturday’s race, will also have a second attempt of winning the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 10.
The Redoute’s Choice four year old was well beaten in last year’s Stradbroke Handicap when seventh to Under The Lourve but is in top form heading into the Kingsford-Smith Cup with a last start second to Redzel in the Group 1 $700,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1200m) at Doomben on May 13.
The Chris Waller trained sprinter was also Group 1 placed as a three year old when third to stablemate Japonisme in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Counterattack will begin stud duties at Kitchwin Hills at the beginning of the breeding season this Spring and owner Geoff Grimish is hoping he will be begin his new career with Group 1 win beside his name.
“He is going home where he was born and raised,” Grimish told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“He has been such a good horse for us and deserves to get a group 1 before he retires.”
“We could have gone on for another year but at some point you just have to say the time is right for him for finish up and become a dad. We will go to Brisbane to watch him have those final couple of runs and Chris (Waller) tells me he is a group 1 horse, so I hope he is proven right.”
Waller trained Counterattack’s half-sister Red Tracer who was successful at Group 1 level on two occasions and the champion trainer said that there are a number of similarities between the two.
“He can hopefully be like his sister Red Tracer, which won her first group 1 at four in Brisbane in the Tatts Tiara,” Waller said.
“He is a speed horse from a great family and the group 1 victory would make him the complete stallion.”
Grimish is going into Saturday’s Kingsford-Smith Cup full of confidence following Counterattack’s fast finishing Doomben 10,000 run with top Kiwi jockey Opie Bosson on board.
“He is a winner at two, a group 3 winner at three and was third in the Coolmore Stud Stakes as well as his Doomben 10,000 second,” Grimish said.
“He has shown speed throughout his career and we believe he can cap it with a win on Saturday.”
Counterattack has drawn barrier seven in the fourteen horse Kingsford-Smith Cup field with Bosson in the saddle again.