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London Banker set to steal Caloundra Cup

3 minute read

Trainer Kelly Schweida is hopeful London Banker can fulfill a Cups plan hatched nine months ago when the former Kiwi tackles the Listed Caloundra Cup at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

LONDON BANKER.
LONDON BANKER. Picture: Grant Peters

Schweida has long held the belief London Banker would develop into a strong middle distance performer since he first entered his stable just over a year ago.

After London Banker won four in a row in September of last year, Schweida put the six-year-old away with the Group 3 Tattersall's Cup and Listed Caloundra Cup in mind.

Schweida's judgement proved spot on at Eagle Farm last Saturday when London Banker won the Group 3 Tattersall's Cup over 2400 metres.

London Banker was ridden by former Perth-based hoop William Pike in the Tatt's Cup but his commitments in Sydney have opened the door for Jim Orman to take over.

Schweida has never won the Caloundra Cup but finished second with Cellarmaid in last year's feature, which was won by the Joe Pride-trained Stockman.

A seven-day back-up is of no concern for Schweida but he is a little worried about the weather forecast for rain this week.

"We picked out the Tatt's Cup and Caloundra Cup for him after he won four in a row last campaign" Schweida said.

"He did the job winning the Tatt's Cup so hopefully he can tick off the Caloundra Cup now.

"It's been the plan to back him up all along as he's backed-up before and won."

Schweida was impressed with London Banker's victory in the Tattersall's Cup.

"It wasn't a big field but he let down really well," he said.

"My biggest worry at this stage is the weather.

"He has won in the wet in New Zealand but we'd prefer a dry track.

"There's a forecast for rain so the track may be a concern if it deteriorates."

London Banker did his early racing across the ditch for Roger James and Robert Wellwood before owners Ron and Judy Wanless decided to bring him to Queensland to be trained by Schweida.

London Banker is a son of noted staying sire Tavistock and cost $100,000 at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.

He's a half-brother to El Segundo, who won four Group 1's including the Cox Plate in 2007.

Schweida also is optimistic of a strong showing from Majestic Colour in the Group 3 Winx Stakes over 1600 metres.

Majestic Colour is also owned by the Wanless' and like most of their horses is only lightly raced with three wins and a second from five starts.

"He's a tall horse and a progressive type and has won three in a row but this is a lot harder race," Schweida said.

"We haven't rushed him and if we get a wet track, it won't worry him."


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