Saturday, 30 June 2012
: Promising galloper Shenzhou Steeds can record another feature Queensland winter carnival win in Signwave Caloundra Cup over 2400m on the Sunshine Coast this afternoon.
The former Kiwi galloper, prepared by Mike Moroney at Flemington, was a strong Ipswich Cup winner last start and should relish the longer 2400m for this weekend's winter carnival feature.
As a three-year-old, Shenzhou Steeds made his Australian debut at last year's winter carnival and was unbeaten in three runs.
He won a Class 1 by five lengths here, then scored a Class 3 win at Doomben before stepping up further in grade to claim the Listed Sunshine Coast Guineas here at his final run of the season.
He capped it with a career high Timeform
figure and spelled for the remainder of the winter before returning to Melbourne for the spring.
He raced only twice there, though, placing fresh at Seymour before a fifth at Flemington during Cup week before a longer break missing much of the autumn.
Resuming at Flemington he needed the run fresh and could manage only ninth over 1400m but relished the longer journey when up to a mile there next time.
With the run under his belt and a soft track underfoot, he raced on the speed and proved too good to bring up another win and another career high figure.
The gelding didn't have any luck next start at Caulfield when strung up in traffic and could manage only sixth, before heading north again for the Ipswich Cup over 2150m.
There he drew the inside gate and settled just off the speed but ran on well to score his biggest career success and further lifting his Timeform figure.
Shenzhou Steeds is open to further improvement in today's race and has always indicated he would appreciate some more ground.
His dam was a consistent middle distance performer and he can only be fitter again.
He has a bigger weight this time but is only 3.5kg off the minimum and despite the outside gate he should take running down again.
Another former Kiwi galloper Roi D'Jeu should have any trouble running out the trip after a game effort in the Stayers Cup at Rosehill last time.
Prepared by Craig Ritchie at Warwick Farm, the six-year-old is ready to show his best after four runs from a spell and will be tough to beat.
He farewelled New Zealand with a career high rating in the Group 3 Trentham Stakes over 2100m, just missing out when runner up behind Six O'Clock news.
He then headed to Australian and tackled the Group 3 Hobart Cup where he ran on late and finished sixth before a spell.
Well held at his first two runs back over 200m at Wagga and also Rosehill, he improved third up at Wariwck Farm when fifth behind Reuben Percival who followed that win with a good fifth in the far tougher Group 2 Brisbane Cup.
Roi D'Jeu stayed in Sydney instead for the Stayers Cup over 3200m at Rosehill where he tried to lead throughout and beat all bar Adroitly, who forged clear only late in an epic battle up the straight.
Roi D'Jeu rises 1.5kg today but is on the minimum and will be hard to beat against this field.
Well travelled galloper Anudjawan will find this far easier than the Brisbane Cup and is long overdue for a win.
The Shaun Dwyer trained gelding was placed third up at Caulfield over 2000m then was fourth at Randwick in the Group 2 Chairman's Quality over 2600m, running on well when less than two lengths from Permit.
He then wasn't disgraced when a three length fifth in the Group 1 Sydney Cup behind Niwot, again working home steadily and recording a career best Timeform figure.
He was freshened and returned to Melbourne to finish a narrow second over 2000m at Flemington, flying home late to just miss.
Last start, heading north to Queensland for his first winter carnival run, he tackled the Group 2 Brisbane Cup and had a shocking gate so went back towards the tail before running on steadily to finish seventh.
He will not only find this easier but has drawn ideally in barrier two and is certainly overdue to break through.