English import Sir John Hawkwood has continued to firm in the betting for the Listed $175,000 Linked Group Plumbing Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast today.
Sir John Hawkwod opend at $7.50 at Ladbrokes.com.au when the final field for the Caloundra Cup was released on Wednesday and he is now the second favourite at $5.50 behind the Chris Waller trained Index Linked at $3.30.
Index Linked finished ahead of Sir John Hawkwood when second to Epingle in the Group 3 $125,000 Goldcoastwebsites.com.au Chairman’s Handicap (2200m) at Gold Coast on Anzac Day while Caloundra Cup rivals Volkhere (3rd), Perplexity (4th) and Tremec (6th) all finished in front of the Peter Moody trained stayer.
Sir John Hawkwood has mixed his form since arriving from England mid 2013 and has recorded one win and on second from nine starts for leading Caulfield trainer.
The Sir Percy six year old looked to be finding some form two starts back when second to Tremec in the Group 2 $300,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Randwick on April 6, the first day of the rescheduled ‘The Championships’, but then he could only beat one runner when seventh to Epingle in the at Gold Coast.
Supporters of the Moody stable must have forgiven the English stayer for his last start failure at the Gold Coast are willing to give him another chance.
Sir John Hawkwood’s only win for Moody was over 2000m at Flemington in January and the bigger track at the Sunshine Shine Coast would suit him better that the tight Gold Coast circuit.
He has also record a win over 2400m at York in England so the step up to that distance today will also be in his favour.
Top Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne takes over from Luke Nolan and he should be able to slot him in somewhere midfield from barrier eight and give him a nice run in the race.
Volkhere is on the third line of betting at $6 and trainer Robert Heathcote is full of confidence heading to the Caloundra Cup after running second to subsequent Doomben Cup winner Pornichet in the $100,000 XXXX Gold Toowoomba Cup (2150m) at Toowoomba on May 2.
“He loves a fight. He will always fight to get past the horse in front of him, but if there’s two more ahead of that one, he will let them go,” Heathcote told The Courier-Mail.
“I think 2400m will suit him. He was strong on the line at Toowoomba. He was coming back at Pornichet on the line. Now it may well be right that Pornichet was kidding with them, but the form looks all right now doesn’t it.
“Tegan rode him on Tuesday and said he felt so strong.”
Tegan Harrison has been aboard Volkhere at his last two start and gets the mount again today.
Rookie trainer Chris Munce is also heading to the Sunshine Coast with plenty of confidence and knows that Perplexity, a $9 chance, has a great chance of collecting the winning trophy.
“This race has been in our mind all along so he has had a good build-up to the 2400m. He has had four runs at the 2200m in the lead-up and gone well each time,” Munce said.
“I wouldn’t say he is getting better but he is getting more confident. And don’t forget he has won up to 2500m at Randwick.
“The way the race was run (last start) didn’t suit him and he got caught deep.”
Perplexity has won two of his last four starts and is coming off a fourth in the Chairman’s Handicap at the Gold Coast.