A win by Splurge in the Group 2 $175,000 Ascot Green Moreton Cup (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday might be enough incentive for connections to pay the late entry fee to gain a start in the Stradbroke Handicap.
Splurge was one of three horses raced out of New Zealand by Te Akau Racing that missed being paid up as first acceptances for the three Group 1 races at Doomben on Saturday week and late nominations fees will have to be submitted for the trio to get back in contention.
Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis will decide after Saturday if a $45,000 late entry fee will be paid for Splurge to run in the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m).
Ellis has already committed to paying the $18,000 late fee for both Melody Belle for the Group 1 $600,000 BMW Australia J.J. Atkins (1600m) for the two year olds and for three year old Shocking Luck in the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2200m).
A win by Splurge in the Moreton Cup will exempt him from the ballot for the Stradbroke Handicap and the first prizemoney cheque of $112,000 will cover the late fee.
The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards trained Splurge has had one run in Australia for a ninth to Jungle Edge in the Group 3 $125,000 Taxibox BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on May 20 and Ellis is expecting a better result in the Moreton Cup.
“He didn’t travel at all the other day at Doomben and he copped a couple of bad bumps,” Ellis told Racing Queensland News.
“But he’s come through the race well and Jamie is very happy with him.”
Jason Collett takes over the reins from the suspended Opie Bosson on Splurge who has drawn barrier nine in the original barrier draw but will move in one spot with the early scratching of Bonny O’Reilly who came up with barrier five.
Splurge is well in contention in the betting for the Moreton Cup at $7 with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Gerald Ryan trained Deploy as the $5 favourite.