The Joe Pride trained Kuro and Ball Of Muscle can force their way into the final field for the Stradbroke Handicap if they can win the Group 2 $175,000 Magic Millions QTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Three year old Kuro and stablemate Ball Of Muscle are two of the final eight acceptors in the QTC Cup with the winner being exempt from the ballet for the Group 1 $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday week.
Pride also has the promising Rock Sturdy aimed towards the Stradbroke Handicap after the four year old finished seventh to Boban in the Group 1 $750,000 Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.
“Rock Sturdy is the only definite in terms of being aimed at the Stradbroke and for Kuro and Ball Of Muscle it depends how they go this Saturday,” Pride told The Courier-Mail.
Kuro scored a comfortable win against his own age in the Listed $100,000 IPG Connect Mick Dittman Plate (1200m) at Doomben on May 9 with Craig Williams in the saddle and the top Melbourne jockey will be on top again and is certain to give the colt the run of the race from barrier two.
Ball Of Muscle has been a consistent performer, not having missed a place from his twelve starts, and heads into the QTC Cup after finishing second over 1000m down the Flemington straight on April 11 and then second to Srikandi in the Group 2 $200,000 SMEG Victory Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on April 25.
Glyn Schofield takes over from Blake Shinn and the Doomben 10,000 winning jockey will be keen to keep his perfect five from five winning record on the four year old intact.
Ball Of Muscle has drawn alongside of his stablemate and will jump from the rails position.
Falino is racing as good as ever and was back in the winner’s circle with an upset victory in the Listed $100,000 Yalumba Wines Bribie Handicap (1000m) at the Sunshine Coast on May 16.
Jim Byrne will take over from Bard Stewart and the seven year old will jump from gate five.
That’s A Good Idea also goes into the QTC Cup as a last start winner of the Listed $140,000 Arrowfield Ortensia Stakes (1100m) at Scone on May 16 and Hugh Bowman retains the ride and will jump from outside barrier.
Kiwi sprinter El Roca gets his chance to regain his best form and will stripe fitter following his first up run in over twelve months when eleventh to Hot Snitzel in the Group 1 $500,000 UBET BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 9.
The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained four year old showed plenty of ability during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a second to Dissident in the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick followed by a third to Gordon Lord Byron in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
Tommy Berry takes over from Bowman on El Roca and has come up with gate six.
Peter Moody will saddle up Office Bearer (Glen Boss, barrier 4), Gerald Ryan has Dances On Stars (Timothy Bell, 7) and trainer Liam Birchley and jockey Anthony Allen will combine with Time To Plunder (3).