The 2014 Queensland Cup field has been released; with 16 stayers set to contest the Listed event at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
New Zealand stayer Military Move has been allocated the top weight of 58 kilograms for the Queensland Cup and he will be stepping up to 3200 metres for the first time in his racing career.
Military Move (barrier nine) scored his maiden Australian race win in the Toowoomba Cup (2150m) on June 1, but was trapped wide and never able to get into the race when he beat home just a single runner in the Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 21.
The Inventor scored the biggest win of his racing career to date when he scored a tough victory in the Tatt’s Cup and the Danasinga gelding has the opportunity to score back-to-back black type victories after being included in the Queensland Cup field.
Trainer Bevan Laming has set The Inventor for the Queensland Cup since the start of his winter preparation and he is confident that the tough gelding will relish the step-up to 3200 metres, but will need a bit of luck from barrier 14.
Another horse taking winning form into the Queensland Cup is Barry Mitchell-trained Brayroan, who scored an upset win in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast last weekend.
Brayroan (barrier four) is one of the few horses in the Queensland Cup field that has previous experience over 3200 metres, finishing fourth behind Caravan Rolls On in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) at Caulfield last year, and the Zabeel gelding will have no problems running out a strong 3200 metres.
One of the most interesting runners in the 2014 Queensland Cup field is Sam Kavanagh-trained Astro Avalanche and the imported stayer has drawn barrier one for the Listed event this weekend.
Astro Avalanche made a slow start to his racing career in Australia, missing the placings by significant margins in his first four starts, but garnered the attention of the Australian racing public with an brave performance in the Stayers Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick.
At the instructions of Kavanagh, jockey Taylor Marshall set a very quick tempo on Astro Avalanche and the Galileo gelding was over 150 metres ahead of the rest of the field during the race before battling home bravely to finish second behind Destiny’s Kiss.
The same tactics are expected to be used for Astro Avalanche in the Queensland Cup and jockey Ryan Wiggins will have the tricky job of deciding how quick a tempo to set in the early stages of the race.
Other key runners in the Queensland Cup field include last start winner Back The Abilene (barrier five), Queensland Derby runner Pop ‘N’ Scotch (barrier seven), John Sargent-trained Iggi Pop (barrier 12) and imported galloper Wazn (barrier 15).