Sunshine Coast trainer John Zielke is full of confidence about the chances of Worthy Cause at Sandown on Saturday and expects him to win the Group 3 $150,000 mypunter.com Eclipse Stakes (1800m).
Worthy Cause is the only horse to have beaten crack Kiwi galloper Turn Me Loose over the Spring Carnival and he considers Saturday’s Quality Handicap not overly strong.
“He’s expected to win,” Zielke told the Sportsman.
“Theirs is nothing there that has been racing in the company he’s been racing and finishing where he’s finishing.”
Since Worthy Cause beat Turn Me Loose in the Listed $120,000 Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on October 4, the Murray Baker trained four year old has gone through the Spring scoring a hat trick of wins.
Turn Me Loose won the Listed $150,000 Darley Seymour Cup (1600m) at Seymour, the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley and then wrapped up his Spring campaign with a win in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 7.
Worthy Cause has had two runs since the Paris Lane Stakes for a fourth in the Group 3 $150,000 William Hill Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 17 followed by a fifth to Turn Me Loose in the Crystal Mile.
Zielke said that Worthy Cause is overdue to step up to the 1800m of the Eclipse Stakes which will better suit him at this stage of his campaign.
“That race at Moonee Valley didn’t really suit him, he’s looking for more ground and we should have stepped him up a while ago rather than trying to keep him at a mile,” Zielke said.
“He’s not a miler, more an 1800m to 2000m horse and it’s a little difficult to keep a horse there for too many starts.”
Zielke will head home to Queensland with Worthy Cause after the Eclipse Stakes and set the four year old for the $1m Magic Millions Trophy (1800m) at the Gold Coast on the $10m Magic Millions Raceday on January 9, next year.
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Worthy Cause has come in for some solid pre-race support at Ladbrokes.com.au and has firmed in from $7.50 to be on the second line betting at $5.50 for the Eclipse Stakes.
The John O’Shea trained Malice heads the market order at $5 and Scream Machine at $8 and Casino Dancer at $9 are also well in contention.
Eclipse Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Malice, $5.50 Worthy Cause, $8 Scream Machine, $9 Casino Dancer, $10 Plot The Cause, $12 Garud, $13 Jacquinot Bay, Slate On Edge, $15 Rudy, $18 Calvin Williams, Tristram’s Sun, $21 Desert Jeuney, Digitalism, $26 Puccini, $31 Cadillac Mountain, Assign, $101 Durnford.