Spechenka is a name which plenty expected to see a lot of over the Brisbane Winter Carnival but things just haven’t gone to plan for the horse and connections.
Trainer Ben Ahrens says it’s been a terribly frustrating six month period but he’s hopeful of changing that this Saturday on the Sunshine Coast.
Spechenka will run over 2400m in the $200,000 Caloundra Cup off a very different lead up path than planned.
Originally the five-year-old was to run in the Brisbane Cup back in the start of June but that was a long way out of reach.
Instead he’s had three runs off a spell, starting with a first up second on the cushion track at Toowoomba over a mile.
After that he stepped up to the Strawberry Road at Eagle Farm but struggled badly to come home second last.
He went from there to the Ipswich Cup over a 2150m distance and looked a chance with 800m to go when he made a move form the back of the field.
With 300m to go though he hit the wall and could only manage seventh, a long way off the winner.
While the results haven’t been ideal, Ahrens explains that his horse has excuses coming off a poor spell.
“We’ve just been that far behind all this preparation. One thing after another has gone wrong,” Ahrens said.
“First of all he hurt his pastern from kicking the wall of his tie-up stall. Then he wrenched a fetlock and missed work.
“Then a workmate kicked him and badly cut his hock. That cut needed stitches and more time off work.”
After failing to see out the 2150m last start stepping up to the 2400m in the Caloundra Cup seems like a big ask.
Ahrens though is hoping that he’s taken enough out of that run to just sneak over the line.
“I would have preferred no further than 2200 metres this week but his work last Saturday over long ground was encouraging,” Ahrens said.
The Queensland Cup over 3200m was the plan earlier on but it would take an absolute monster of a run to justify that where he is now.
It seems more likely that he’ll travel south to Grafton to tackle the Grafton Cup over the shorter 2400m.
Spechenka has had 27 starts in his career for 10 victories and three second placings.
He announced himself onto the scene at the end of last year when he won the Summer Cup at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day.
In fact the gelding managed to win four of his last five going into the break at the end of 2010 and has earned around a quarter of a million in prize money.