Brisbane was hit by a few small showers overnight and trainer Ciaron Maher is hoping that some more rain hits Eagle Farm before Mr O’Ceirin runs in the 2014 Eagle Farm Cup tomorrow.
Mr O’Ceirin started his 2014 Queensland Winter Racing Carnival campaign with a narrow second place finish behind Streama on a heavy track at the Gold Coast in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on May 3, but finished a disappointing seventh on a dead track in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 17.
Maher told AAP that he is confident that Mr O’Ceirin can bounce back from his lackluster showing in the Doomben Cup, but believes that the tough gelding will be a better winning chance if some rain falls in Brisbane to soften up the Eagle Farm track, that is currently rated a Good 3, ahead of the Eagle Farm Cup this weekend.
“I think on a soft track, he is right up there with the Group One horses but on a hard track, he is probably just a bit off them,” Maher said.
“He was at his maximum most of the Doomben Cup and I thought he probably should have run fourth.
“He is only a little fellow and a couple of them muscled him out of it.
“Saturday’s race is a bit easier and it should be an interesting battle of tactics.”
There are only seven runners in the 2014 Eagle Farm Cup field and there does not look to be a great deal of pace in the race; with tactics set to play a major role in deciding the winner of the race.
Jockey Glen Boss famously stole victory in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) on Mr O’Ceirin during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, when he took control of the race after a farcical pace was set in the early stages, and Maher said that he would not be against the leading hoop pushing forward on Mr O’Ceirin in Eagle Farm Cup.
“There doesn’t look to be much pace in the race and perhaps we will push forward in the small field,” Maher said.
Imported stayer Akzar ($2.50) is currently a narrow favourite in 2014 Eagle Farm Cup betting markets from Darley mare Wistful ($3.70), Chris Waller-trained Moriarty ($4), Mr O’Ceirin ($6) and talented mare Floria ($10), while Kiwi gallopers Perfect Start and Lauren Tate are the outsiders of the field at a quote of $51.