Grafton Cup Distance Rise No Issue For Queenstown

By: Thomas Hackett
July 10th, 2014

Queenstown has been the best backed runner in 2014 Grafton Cup betting markets and jockey Tim Clarke is confident that the talented mare can record her maiden black type racing win in the Listed event at the Clarence River Jockey Club this afternoon.

The Grafton Cup odds of Queenstown have shortened dramatically in the past 24 hours.

The Grafton Cup odds of Queenstown have shortened dramatically in the past 24 hours. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Queenstown started her winter campaign with a promising third behind Tromso and Honorius in the Octagonal Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on May 31 before finishing a credible fifth behind Kingdoms in the Listed Mercedes Benz Centenary Mile (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 21.

The Stratum mare will be jumping straight up to 2350 metres in the Grafton Cup this afternoon, but Clarke told AAP that he is confident trainer Gai Waterhouse has the four-year-old fit enough to run out the testing trip.

“Gai has done it before with success,” Clark said.

“Queenstown is looking for the trip now.

“I rode her in an exhibition gallop at Rosehill last Saturday and she worked real nice over 1200m with a mate.

“She is a mare that has hardly missed a place throughout her career and she’ll present fit and well.

“She has got good tactical speed to put herself into the race early.”

Queenstown made her racing debut with at Hawkesbury in 2012 and has worked through the grades before stamping herself as a genuine contender at Group level during her successful 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.

The promising mare started her spring preparation with a fast-finishing second behind Lucky Lago in the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm on September 29 and was narrowly denied a maiden win at Group level in the Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 12.

Queenstown returned to winning form in the City Jeep Handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and missed out on a Group level win again when second in the Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 9.

A week later, Queenstown made her weight-for-age debut and stepped up to 2400 metres for the first time in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Caulfield on November 16 and finished a brave second behind Sertorius and Epingle.

Queenstown is currently available at 2014 Grafton Cup odds of $3.10 and is a clear favourite in betting for the Listed event from the Chris Waller-trained duo of Secessio ($6) and Hoylonny ($7) and stablemate Travolta ($7.50).

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