Alma’s Fury will have his first start for Tony Gollan in the 2014 QTC Cup and the leading Brisbane trainer believes that the tough gelding is fit enough to run well in the Group 2 event at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Alma’s Fury has not been seen at the races since he finished eighth behind Jacquinot Bay in the Listed Canberra Cup (2000m) on March 9 and he joined the stable of Tony Gollan after previously being prepared by Kembla Grange-based trainer Paul Murray.
The Refuse To Bend gelding has performed consistently at Group level since he made his debut as a two-year-old and Gollan admits that he has had trouble placing the six-year-old, due to the high rating that he earned after winning the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1200m) in 2013, but is hopeful that he will perform well first-up in the QTC Cup this weekend.
“I didn’t really know what to do with him or where to start him with his rating,” Gollan told Racing Ahead.
“He is a lovely old horse to have around the stable and he doesn’t pose you any problems.
“I only know the horse from this preparation and he hasn’t had a start for me yet, but I have gone back through his old form and this distance looks really good for him fresh and first-up.
“We have done plenty with him, he has had two jump-outs, and I am sure that he is fit enough to run well.
“I am probably going to learn a lot about him, but the horse is fit and healthy and he can pull out a run over 1300 fresh.”
Alma’s Fury has shown plenty of tactical versatility throughout his racing career and jockey Jim Byrne will have plenty of options from barrier six in the QTC Cup this weekend, but Gollan is hoping that the Group 2 winner will settle towards the front of the field for the $175,000 race.
“I think that his best runs fresh are when he is in the first half a dozen of the field,” Gollan said.
“I don’t think that he will be leading, but I think that he will be in behind the speed somewhere getting the run of the race.
“If he is a winning chance, I think that he would have to be running in the first four or five.”
Sacred Star is the current favourite in 2014 QTC Cup betting markets from Hot Snitzel ($6.50), Dances On Stars ($6.50), Bennetta ($6.50), Masthead ($7) and Alma’s Fury ($10).