Chris Waller cast off Instrumentalist has several hurdles to overcome if he is to break his winning drought and score his first win for new trainer Dale Healey in the Listed $100,000 Variety Queensland Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Instrumentalist will be stepping up to 3200m for the first time and also has to carry the top weight of 59khg in the ten horse field.
“I see no reason why he won’t run a strong 3200 metres. But the thing that worries us is the weight he has been given. He hasn’t won since the Mornington Cup and there are a couple of relatively recent Sydney winners in the field,” Healey told AAP.
“He started with a high rating here but it has been a while since he won and I would have thought his rating would have gone down.”
“But he has gone from 54 kilograms to 59 and we just have to hope the weather stays fine. If the track is wet he really has a task.
Instrumentalist hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since claiming 2014 Listed $350,000 Mornington Cup (2400m) at Mornington but has been placed twice from eight starts since finding his way into Healey’s stables.
The seven year old stayer’s recent form has been fair with a third two starts back to Maurus, although beaten six and three quarter lengths in the Listed $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich on June 18 followed by a fourth to Amexed in the Listed $175,000 Ross Maclean Fellowship Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast two weeks later.
Healey picked up Instrumentalist at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Summer Racehorse Sale in January for $9000 and is looking to make a handy profit id he can win the Queensland Cup.
“We got him at the Magic Millions sales in January and he is as sound as a bell,” Healey said.
“We virtually train him out of a paddock and he has stood up well. We gave him a little break in April after he ran in the Toowoomba Cup but he continues to work well.”
Brisbane’s leading apprentice James Orman will continue his association with the Instrumentalist who has drawn barrier six in the Queensland Cup.
Ironically the main danger in the Queensland Cup is the Waller trained Murphy’s Delight who has been installed as the $2.30 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au while Instrumentalist is listed at $8.
Murphy’s Delight has been already been tested at the 3200m when he ran second two starts back to stablemate Opinion in the $100,000 Strayers Cup at Randwick on June before running third in a 2600m BanchMark 78 Handicap at Randwick on June 25.
Premiership winning jockey Jim Byrne takes the ride on Murphy’s Delight who has drawn out wide at barrier eight.
On the second line of betting at $3.80 is the John Thompson trained Jiayuguan who was scratched from yesterday’s Listed $160,000 McKimms Real Estate Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton to run in the Queensland Cup.
Jiayuguan is also stepping up to the 3200m following his last start fourth to Tucanchoo in the Listed $100,000 ATC Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on July 2.
Queensland Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.30 Murphy’s Delight, $3.80 Jiayuguan, $7.50 Viva Espana, $8 Instrumentalist, $13 My Diamantine, Pop ‘N’ Scotch, $15 Tunes, $34 Kurrajong Dragon, $41 Mullet Man, $71 Valtari.