A pleasing early morning gallop today has cleared the way for Mr O’Ceirin to take his place in the Listed $175,000 Ross Maclean Fellowship Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher received a positive report from Mr O’Ceirin’s work rider after galloping at Doomben.
“He worked very well at Doomben this morning. His regular rider said he felt terrific,” Maher told Racing Network.
Maher had been hoping to get some soft tracks in during the Winter Carnival but Mr O’Ceirin has only raced once on a rain affected surface once 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 class after a fifth to Floria in the Group 2 $300,000 Croser Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 but is the class runner of the field with the handicapper allocating him the top weight of 59kgs for the Caloundra Cup with top Brisbane jockey Glen Colless to ride.
Ipswich Cup winner Brave Ali is the second top weight with 56kgs while last year’s Caloundra Cup winner, Kiwi mare Zennista, has been given 55.5kgs, with the Gerald Ryan trained Ironsteiin receiving the same weight.
The country trained Winning Glory is the only other runner not on the minimum with 54.5kgs with the remainder of the field all receiving 54kgs.
Even though the weather looks clear leading into the weekend, Mr O’Ceirin could get a softish track with Ryan indicating that he will run Ironstein in the Listed $100,000 ATC Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on Saturday after hearing reports that the Sunshine Coast track is taking a long time to dry out after receiving rain early in the month.
“The forecast is good and they tell me the track at the Sunshine Coast is not drying out,” Ryan said.
According to willyweather.com.au, Caloundra has received 30.2mm of rain from June 1 until June 23 with fifteen wet days.
“That’s why we sent him up there – to get some wet tracks,” Maher said referring to Mr O’Ceirin good wet track record.
“Mind you, he’s been racing really well on dry tracks and he’ll run on Saturday in the Caloundra Cup.”