On paper Curtana is the only horse that comes anywhere near the favourite Sincero in today’s QTC Cup and Peter Moody is expecting her to step up the plate at Eagle Farm.
After initially being nominated for the Doomben 10,000 she was scratched before the withdrawal of Hay List but Moody is content with his decision to save her for today.
The ultimate goal for Curtana like many others is the Stradbroke Handicap next weekend with the QTC Cup one final tune up.
In theory it might sound like a fair option but the reality is no horse has ever won the QTC Cup and then backed up to win the Stradbroke as well.
Still, Moody is confident Curtana can break that trend starting with the Group 2 today where she faces a very talented field.
He says backing her up twice in seven days won’t be an issue and he’s happy with the current schedule.
“I’m very comfortable with the fact she didn’t run in the 10,000 even though Hay list came out,” Moody said.
Leading the competition on current betting markets is Sincero, he’s also leading the betting markets for the Stradbroke as well.
Sincero has won six in a row for trainer Stephen Farley and today he’ll jump from barrier one.
While his recent record is immaculate this is a big jump in grade and he’ll need to lift again if he is to triumph here.
Curtana’s recent record certainly isn’t all that bad and she’s also coming off a couple of wins.
Her most recent was over 1200m at Caulfield in the middle of May.
“The extra week has really helped her,” Moody said.
“She’s thrived in the extra time in Brisbane.”
All up Curtana is five from nine in her career but she’ll ahve to work a little ahrder earlier starting from barrier 12 after the emergencies are taken out.
“There are still a couple of hurdles, I would have preferred a better draw,” Moody said.
“We definitely need luck early.
“I’d like to see her settled just ahead of midfield with cover and if she gets that I’m sure she will hit the line hard.”
There are no thought of running second to try and avoid the QTC Cup / Stradbroke hoodoo either, according to Moody Curtana is more than capable of re-writing the record books.
“The record says horses can’t win this and the Stradbroke but she is the right horse to back up.”
It’d be a massive effort given it’s a stat that’s held up for 32 years but Curtana has shown she can back up before.
After running an impressive second at Group 1 level behind Star Witness in the Coolmore Stakes she ran again just five days later in the Listed Gucci Stakes and scored a solid victory.
“Curtana was Group 1 runner-up to Star Witness,” Moody said.
“Sincero has built a great record and obviously has talent but this is his D Day.”
Despite this it’s Sincero who is a clear favourite with punters, comfortably ahead of Curtana, but according to Moody the real danger is even further back in the market.
“Like Curtana, King Pulse also has run against better opposition than Sincero,” he said.
“King Pulse was beaten a nose in the Coolmore Stud Stakes as a spring three-year-old and then finished fourth to Wanted first-up in the (2010) Newmarket.
“Obviously he has had injury problems but he looks to be back on track now.”
King Pulse will start from barrier five for trainer Michael Moroney.
His four runs so far this year haven’t been overly impressive however he was just two lengths off Woorim last start in the Group 3 BRC Sprint at Doomben.