Saturday, 9 June 2012
: Imported galloper Mawingo can continue his strong run of Australian form to win this afternoon's Group 2 Timeform Brisbane Cup (race 8) at Eagle Farm.
The German galloper, formerly from the Hirschberger yard, has settled in very well for new trainer Anthony Freedman with two wins from three starts. He has the ratings to go close again as he steps out over the 2400m journey of the Cup – a race that is a vital to him getting qualified for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in the Spring.Mawingo
was sparingly raced before being sold to Australian interests and the last time the four-year-old was at 2400m he was fourth in the Grade 1 Deutsche Derby at his penultimate start before coming down under.
At his last run in Europe he was fifth to the handy Zazou over 2010m at Group 1 level in Rome.
Mawingo was Timeform
rated 114 in Europe but has rapidly improved his rating with maturity since coming to Australia.
Now a four-year-old, Mawingo had his first start in Australia over a mile at Flemington, proving too classy with a comfortable two length win.
Heading straight to Queensland for the winter carnival he stopped off at the Gold Coast for the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes, where he carried 59kg to a determined third behind Shez Sinsational in very heavy ground, running to a new Timeform peak rating of 117.
Last start over 2000m in the Group 1 Doomben Cup he recorded not only a deserved Group 1 success but also claimed a career high Timeform rating of 124.
In a messy race, carrying 59kg under the weight for age conditions, he settled fifth on the inside but was held up for a run turning into the home straight before gaining a split with 300m to go.
Once into the clear he quickly burst through and scored a head win over the smart mare Lights Of Heaven.
He has been given a short 21 day freshen up since then missing the Eagle Farm Cup, but Lights Of Heaven went to that race and franked the form with an effortless win.
Both Mawingo and Lights Of Heaven
meet on the same weight terms today as they did in the Doomben Cup, the pair dropping 1.5kg each for today's race. As expected, on weight adjusted Timeform ratings there is little between the pair.
In Mawingo's favour is a better barrier draw than Lights Of Heaven. However he should be fitter for the three runs back and be better suited at the longer journey now.
I expect champion rider Nash Rawiller will have him handy in the race and when produced prove hard to hold out.
Both Mawingo and Lights Of Heaven go into the race with Timeform ratings that would have won any of the last five renewals of the Brisbane Cup.
The clear danger is Lights Of Heaven. She looms large as his main rival again despite drawing a poor gate.
The Peter Moody trained mare, trying to record her first Group 1 success since winning the Schweppes Oaks in Adelaide as a three-year-old, is in top form since arriving in Queensland and will also be suited by the longer journey now.
One time favourite for the Cups last spring, the mare failed to train on as an early four-year-old but after a long spell and further maturity she is starting to realize the considerable potential of those earlier form lines.
After finishing a solid seventh fresh up in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes behind More Joyous in Sydney on her way through to Queensland, the mare turned in an eye catching run, just edged out in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes over 1800m behind Shez Sinsational on the Gold Coast.
Lights of Heaven then went to the Group 1 Doomben Cup over 2000m but was again beaten in a photo this time behind Mawingo.
Last weekend Lights Of Heaven tackled the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (formerly O'Shea Stakes), and after settling just off the speed proved too tough in the heavy ground to score easily recording a new master Timeform rating of 120.
She backs up here over the longer journey and will be at her top but has drawn to need a little luck out in gate 19.
The Chris Waller-trained The Verminator
looks to be coming into form at the right time.
A winner of the Group 1 Metropolitan over today's Cup distance of 2400m at Randwick last Spring before failing in the Melbourne Cup, The Verminator has raced three times this campaign improving on each occasion with rising fitness levels.
Last start in the Listed Winter Stakes at Warwick Farm he shouldered 59.5kgs in very heavy ground to a half head defeat at the hands of Reuben Percival, who incidentally opposes him again today but at a significant worse weight turnaround of 3 kilos.
The Verminator will be fourth up from a spell today, a state he races very well in, winning and never missing a place in three previous outings.
Another with an awkward high draw, The Verminator (Timeform rated 118) will improve again and should be close to peak fitness now.
Kiwi galloper Booming didn't have a lot go right at his winter carnival debut and could be a big improver at odds.
The Jeff Lynds trained gelding tackled the Group 1 Doomben Cup and not only was he resaddled behind the gates but he found trouble at the winning post on the first lap and was tightened for room going into the next turn.
He made ground to finish eighth in the race but will be fitter for that and suited by the longer journey.
His best figures include a fourth over two miles in the Group 1 Auckland Cup three starts back where he was wide throughout.
He drops 4kg on his Doomben Cup run for today's race and from a good gate can improve sharply.
2011 AJC Oaks winner Absolutely looms as a value chance if she continues to hold her form.
Even though she has not won a race since the Oaks, she has managed to stay under notice in good company.
She has now raced four times since a spell and has not had a lot of luck being caught wide on most occasions.
Back to a bigger track this afternoon combined with step up in distance could see her return to her best ratings. Definitely one for the multiples at good odds.
Chris Waller has another runner on the fringe chances in the former UK galloper Wazn. His only run over 2400m in Australia yielded an impressive victory in the Listed Australia Day Cup and it will pay to overlook his last run at Doomben where he was totally unsuited the way the race was run.
He will need to find more to be a winning hope but a return to a larger course will certainly aid his prospects.
Enjoy a competitive Timeform Brisbane Cup and one of the best renewals in the last five years.