Trainer Chris Waller has admitted that he would think about backing Masthead up in the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap if he wins the QTC Cup on Saturday.
Masthead is currently sitting 27th in the Stradbroke Handicap order of entry and needs to win the ballot-exempt QTC Cup to be assured of a start in the field for the Group 1 event, but Waller told Racing Ahead that the Written Tycoon gelding is not in Queensland simply to chase a start in the feature event of the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
“It is not the reason that he is running in the race, he is running in the race to win some good prizemoney, but if he did win it would be something that we would discuss,” Waller said.
“We thought about it prior to accepting with him on Wednesday, about running in the Stradbroke, and we thought that he is probably not quite good enough to win and not the right horse to be backing up within a week, but we decided that we would send him there anyway to see how we go.”
Masthead joined the stable of Chris Waller after spending two years under the care of Michael Freedman in Singapore and returned to Australian racing with a third place finish in the Hawkesbury Rush (1100m) on May 3 before finishing a close fourth in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Scone on May 17.
Waller included Masthead in the acceptances for both the QTC Cup and the Octagonal Handicap in Sydney, but believes that the QTC Cup is a very winnable race for the Group 1 placegetter and was happy to send him on the float to Brisbane.
“Both of his runs since being back from Singapore have been pretty good and hopefully he can peak tomorrow,” Waller said.
“It is the right race for him, he has drawn ok and Glen Boss is on board with a nice light weight.”
Sacred Star is currently a narrow favourite in 2014 QTC Cup betting markets, while Masthead is available at odds of $6 to win the Group 2 event and $51 to take out the Stradbroke Handicap next weekend.
Masthead is chasing his first win at Group level after previously being placed in the 2011 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), the 2011 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) and both the 2012 and 2013 editions of the Kranji Sprint in Singapore.