Top Brisbane jockey Glen Colless is looking for some late Winter Carnival joy when he returns from injury on Victorian stayer Mr O’Ceirin in the Listed $175,000 Ross Maclean Fellowship Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Colless has been out of action for a month after injuring his tail bone in a barrier trial accident in late May and is very keen to get back amongst the winners.
“It has been a matter of giving it time. I missed the big race days at Eagle Farm in the carnival so I am keen to get back into it,” Colless told AAP.
“My weight is good at the moment and I have been able to take rides at 54.5kgs.”
Colless has picked up six rides at the Sunshine Coast for his first day back in the saddle.
Ciaron Maher was looking for a local rider to replace Blake Shinn who is riding at Rosehill on Saturday and the Caulfield trainer was steered towards Colless after receiving plenty of good reports about the leading rider.
“They tell me it can be a tricky course to ride so I thought we might go with a Queensland rider,” Maher said.
“Also I am told he is very patient and a good judge of pace.”
Maher has been waiting for a soft track for Mr O’Ceirin over the Winter Carnival and is hoping the Sunshine Coast track, currently rated a dead 5 on Thursday morning, can hold some it’s moisture leading up to weekend.
“Apparently, the track is the softest in the state and as I have said several times O’Ceirin is up with the top liners in the wet but probably a length off them on dry tracks,” Maher said.
Mr O’Ceirin has only raced once on a rain affected surface from his four Queensland starts when second on a heavy track to Streama in the Group 2 $358,000 Wimmers Soft Drinks A. D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 3.
At his next run the six year old finished seventh to Streama again on a dead 4 in the Group 1 $500,000 Titan Energy Services Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 17 before running second to Moriarty on a good surface in the Group 2 $250,000 Merlo Coffee Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm on May 31.
Mr O’Ceirin will be dropping dramatically in grade in the Caloundra Cup after a fifth to Floria in the Group 2 $300,000 Croser Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 and as the class runner of the field has been installed the $2.10 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Trainer Gerald Ryan has scratched dual acceptor Ironstein from the Listed $100,000 ATC Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on Saturday and the Sydney stayer is sharing the second line of betting for the Caloundra Cup with Ipswich Cup winner Brave Ali at $5.
Three year old Bring Back is the next in the betting at $11 ahead of last year’s winner Zennista and local mare Catalonia at $17.