|Wednesday, 13 June 2012
: Lights Of Heaven has further enhanced her claims as a genuine Cups contender during the spring with another dominant performance in winning the Group 2 Timeform Brisbane Cup at Eagle Farm.Lights Of Heaven
went into the Group 2 Timeform
Brisbane Cup (2400m) as one of the favourites after a convincing display the run prior in the Eagle Farm Cup (2200m).
The Zabeel mare was locked in a battle for favouritism prior to the event with the Anthony Freedman-trained Mawingo who narrowly defeated the four-year-old when they last met in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 19.
Jockey Luke Nolen did an excellent job in negating a wide barrier aboard the talented mare with the duo managing to find themselves in an ideal spot, fifth tracking their main rival Mawingo.
While Rawiller elected to stay near the fence on straightening with Mawingo, Nolen aboard Lights Of Heaven shifted out to the better going with the pair hitting the lead 300m from home on their way to a comfortable three length success. Mawingo
tried hard however began to weaken over the concluding stages where he was collared by Dance With Her
After showing so much promise in her maiden race campaign as a three-year-old, Lights Of Heaven appears to have come of age based on the efforts she has produced during the Queensland Winter Carnival.
Lights Of Heaven following a pair of seconds in the Hollindale and Doomben Cup was simply too good in the Eagle Farm Cup and then improved once again last start.
Her Brisbane Cup success yielded the mare a new peak Timeform figure of 121, a pound higher than the Eagle Farm Cup the outing prior.
The Brisbane Cup was run over a 3200m journey up until the 2007 renewal when it was reduced in distance to the current 2400m journey and also downgraded from Group 1 to Group 2 status.
With Australia's staying ranks obviously lacking depth, the shorter journey for the cup has reaped rewards in terms of enhancing the field quality which is assembled on Eagle Farm's feature race day.
Since the Brisbane Cup has been conducted over 2400m, the five year winning average for the event has increased noticeably.
Lights Of Heaven's latest winning performance of 121 will again bolster the events five year winning average with only Scenic Shot in the past two decades running to that figure when he won the 2009 renewal.
A winner of the Schweppes Oaks (2008m) at Morphettville as a three-year-old which was assessed at 115, all eyes were on Lights Of Heaven during the 2011 spring who was one of the early market favourites for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
Trainer Peter Moody abandoned those aspirations after she didn't quite measure up against open weight for age company earlier in the spring.
Moody stated at the time Lights Of Heaven was too immature for a Cups campaign however looks to be right on track for a tilt at them this spring.
Of horses to have contested the Brisbane Cup in its previous five renewals, three in particular have measured up well during the following Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The latest was UK import Glass Harmonium
who ran second behind Tullamore
in the 2011 Brisbane Cup (117).
Glass Harmonium recorded placings in both the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
The son of Verglas then went up a level when taking out the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington with a performance rated 123, a new peak Timeform figure for the grey entire.
Questions over Glass Harmonium's ability as a stayer were asked immediately after his Brisbane Cup effort with suggestions made the Mike Moroney-trained galloper didn't run out a strong 2400m.
The questions were answered when he beat just one runner home in the 2011 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) won by Dunaden
Interestingly, two of the last three Mackinnon Stakes winners have performed well in the Brisbane Cup during their prior campaigns with the other being Scenic Shot.
As mentioned earlier, Scenic Shot
won the 2009 Brisbane Cup renewal before also running to 123 in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) the following spring.
The connections of Lights Of Heaven no doubt hope their talented mare can emulate the feats of ill fated 2008 Brisbane Cup winner Viewed
On a heavy Eagle Farm surface, Viewed was a class above his rivals as he posted a commanding seven length victory assessed at 119.
The Bart Cummings-trained entire flew under the radar during the subsequent spring right up until his main goal of the Melbourne Cup where he scored a narrow victory over the Luca Cumani-trained Bauer
Lights Of Heaven will now be spelled following her Brisbane Cup win. She is expected to remain in Queensland over the Winter before returning to the Caulfield stables of Peter Moody in August.
It is there that Moody will prepare arguably the strongest team he has assembled for a Cups assault which at this stage consists of Lights Of Heaven, Vatuvei
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