It’s a case of “been there, done that” for a couple of horses entered for feature races at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Victorian stayer Shenzhou Steeds has been entered to chase back-to-back titles in the Listed $200,000 Caloundra Cup (2400m) while Kelso Wood’s sprinter Belltone will again head to the Listed $175,000 Glasshouse Handicap (1400m).
Shenzhou Steeds took out the Ipswich-Caloundra Cup double last year but has taken a different route this time around.
But despite skipping the Ipswich Cup the five-year-old takes strong form to the Sunshine Coast, having closed quickly to take second place in Saturday’s Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup at Eagle Farm.
The Michael Moroney-trained gelding is one of 25 horses nominated for the Caloundra Cup. Among his main rivals will be Ipswich Cup winner Anagold and New Zealand mares High Kin and Zennista.
In the Glasshouse Handicap Belltone is expected to appreciate a drop back in class after being beaten seven lengths when 16th in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.
Prior to that Belltone’s form was hard to fault, with the seven-year-old showing his best when winning the Group 3 BRC Spring at Doomben last month.
Eighteen horses have been nominated to take the Glasshouse crown off Belltone including fellow Wood-trained sprinter Someday.
The four-year-old is highly rated but has had little luck this campaign, securing three minor placings from four winter starts.
Also set to take on Belltone this Saturday are Saturday’s Healy Stakes runner-up River Lad, Sydney sprinter Riva De Lago and last-start Listed winner Tokamak.
The other major race on the Sunshine Coast program this Saturday is the Listed Sunshine Coast Guineas which has attracted 29 nominations including Group 3 winner Lucky Hussler.