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Wet track specialist Calanda will be suited by the rain affected surface when he resumes in the Group 2 $175,000 Moreton Cup (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

Calanda, above, will handle a soft track in the Moreton Cup at the Sunshine Coast. Photo by Steve Hart.

Calanda, above, will handle a soft track in the Moreton Cup at the Sunshine Coast. Photo by Steve Hart.

The Sunshine Coast track was still rated a heavy 9 on Thursday after receiving 65mm of rain in the last seven days and while there is no rain forecast for the lead up to the weekend, the track is still expected to remain rain affected for Saturday’s Queensland Winter Racing Carnival feature race day.

The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Calanda is the winner of six racess from sixteen starts with half of those wins coming on tracks rated in the soft and heavy range.

The Snitzel four year old was spelled after winning the Listed $150,000 Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford on January 11 and co-trainer Paul Snowden said Calanda has prepared well for his resumption with two seconds in two recent Randwick barrier trials.

“It is a suitable race for him to kick off in,” Paul Snowden told Racenet.

“He’s a horse that is going to handle the soft conditions and I would image the track will be on the worst side of soft.

“He’s going into the race of two good trials and he was good last prep.

“He’s come back in great shape. I’d say he’s definitely the horse he was last prep.

“This is his time of year and we expect him to run well on Saturday.”

Top Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne has secured the mount on Calanda who has drawn barrier three in the Moreton Cup field that has been reduced to ten runners with the early scratching of Chalk.

Calanda is well in contention on the third line of betting at $4.80 for the Moreton Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au behind the Darren Weir trained Handsome Thief at $4.40 and The Monstar at $4.60.

The top of the market order is very congested with Handsome Thief’s stablemate Plantinum Angel marked at $5 and Victorian mare Legless Veuve is also under the $10 mark at $8.50.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.