Transformed hurdler Tuscan Fire will be one step closer to a Caulfield Cup start in the Spring if he maintains his hot form in the Listed $120,000 National Jockeys’ Trust Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at Caulfield tomorrow.
Trainer Dan O’Sullivan’s immediate target is to get Tuscan Fire through tomorrow then head to Mornington in eleven days for the Listed $300,000 Mornington Cup (2400m) at Mornington on February 13.
The Melbourne Racing Club has listed the Mornington Cup a ballot free race for the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield in October enabling the winner to get a free ticket into the rich handicap.
Tuscan Fire followed a hurdle campaign during the winter but his form has been so good that a jumps preparation is the furthest thing from O’Sullivan’s mind as the six year old lines up for his third win in succession on the flat.
“He’s had a nice three-week break heading into the race, he’s fit, in-form, nicely drawn and has G. Boss on board, so there’s not too much to dislike about where he’s at,” O’Sullivan said.
“His flat form has been so good we haven’t bothered with any hurdles this time in.
“I’ve seen stronger races for $120,000 too.”
O’Sullivan has brought Tuscan Fire back to 2000m tomorrow as a lead into the 2400m Mornington Cup after he made it two Flemington wins on the trot scoring over 2500m three weeks ago.
“If he comes through tomorrow we’ll certainly go to the Cup with him,” O’Sullivan said.
Premiership leading jockey Glen Boss will again be aboard after steering Tuscan Fire to two impressive wins this time in and thinks that the drop back in distance could be the only thing going against his chances.
“Tuscan Fire is in great form coming off two straight wins but he’s coming back in distance to target the Mornington Cup. I don’t think that will affect him too much, but it’s still a query,” Boss said in his weekly blog.
Tuscan Fire is the $4.80 second favourite and has only raced once at Caulfield for a second over 1600m back in early December beating home the Peter Moody trained Elusive King who has been posted the top pick tomorrow at $3.80.
Elusive King, who is a winner over the 2000m at Caulfield, is coming off a second to Kutchinsky over 2000m at Flemington two weeks ago.
On the third line of betting is Westsouthwest at $5 just ahead of Moody’s other runner White Universe at $5.50.