Trainer John Thompson is confident that Tremec is the best horse in the 2015 Caloundra Cup, but he believes that the enigmatic stayer needs to jump cleanly to be any chance in the Listed event at the Sunshine Coast this weekend.
Tremec made a slow start to his 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign and he missed placings in the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m), Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) and Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m), but he returned to his best form to score a tough win in the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.
The Zabeel gelding was rated one of several winning chances in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2200m) at the Gold Coast on April 25, but he missed the start by four lengths and he was never able to get into the race.
Thompson said that he is tried everything to help Tremec jump from the barriers consistently without any luck, but he told Sky Racing HQ that he fancies the chances of the gelding if he is able to jump cleanly in the 2015 Caloundra Cup this weekend.
“That is closer to his right distance rather than the last start, but it is basically all up to him,” Thompson said.
“He has got to behave and do it.
“He is the best horse in the race and he just has to get through the barriers in good shape and he will be fine.
“He is an old cagey bugger, he will do it one day and he won’t do it the next.
“In the past we have tried to give him more barrier education and it doesn’t appear to do anything.
“It is just a matter of him on the day and he is in great shape.”
Thompson has also included Whittington in the 2015 Bribie Handicap field and he is hoping that the four-year-old can return to his best form in the Listed event this weekend after he failed to fire in both the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28 and the Listed Chief De Beers Quality (1110m) at Doomben on April 11.
“He is in good shape and I probably made the mistake of taking him to Melbourne early in the prep,” Thompson said.
“The owners wanted to have a crack at a big race because he was going so well and he has had a bit of a freshen since he has been back.
“Coming back to the 1000 metres is probably his go.”
Tremec is currently available at 2015 Caloundra Cup odds of $6 with Ladbrokes, while Whittington is priced at the lengthy quote of $26 to return to winning form in the Bribie Handicap.