Canberra trainer Nick Olive shoots for his third success in the Queanbeyan Cup (2000m) on Sunday and a drop in grade can help Pecuniary Interest deliver it for him.
Olive’s four-year-old has been racing in town of late and prior to that won the Bathurst Cup and a race at his home track.
Sunday’s feature race isn’t a strong one for a country cup and Pecuniary Interest doesn’t mind racing at Queanbeyan.
“I think coming back in grade is a massive thing for him,” Olive said.
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“His last two runs haven’t been great but he’s back in class now and being ridden a little be quieter is really going to help him too.”
Ellen Hennessy rode Pecuniary Interest to victory in the Bathurst Cup and her 1.5kg claim gets him in with 57.5kg which is now a winnable weight over the trip.
“It will be a difference and he gets in super at the weights. I think his class takes him a long way and he’s won at the track as well,” Olive said.
“I’m wary that he’s coming towards the end of his preparation but I’m still very happy with the horse. He’s in good nick.”
Rival Canberra trainer Luke Pepper is also trying to win the Queanbeyan Cup with Fox Beat and he’s experimented with gear changes to get him winning again.
“I’m very happy with him and have been tinkering around with a bit of gear with him at his last couple of starts,” Pepper said.
“He was over racing and we took the blinkers and noise roll off him and put ear muffs on him and they probably did the job too well for him and he switched right off.
“The ear muffs will stay on but we’ve also put the blinkers back on hoping we’ve found a happy medium with him.”
Fox Beat comes into the main race off a ninth placing in the strong form race, the Country Classic so he too will be finding this event much easier.
“His run in the Country Classic was good but he lacked the killer punch at the end. If he brings his best form he’ll be bloody hard to beat, Pepper said.
Olive also has Polar Star running in the feature sprint race to finish off the card and he’s having his first look at Queanbeyan today which is always a gamble for connections and punters.
“His last run was disappointing but he was very consistent before that against some good fields so he’s definitely got the ability to win it,” Olive said.
“It will come down to luck in running at a track they either handle or they don’t. It can be tricky coming down the hill around the turn.”
Pepper’s other confirmed runner on the day is Your Hand In Mind in the second race and he’s looking for his first career win after running third when produced fresh last start.
“She ran well first-up when 1300m was too short,” Pepper said.
“It’s not the greatest 1400m you’ll see and it’s always good to draw well at this track.”
BLINKERS TO DO TRICK FOR MARE
Look Only’s best finish at her past five runs has been third but that form is still good enough to be winning the last at Queanbeyan.
The Fabian Azzopardi mare runs in the Thunderbolt Handicap (1000m) after running sixth last start at Gundagai when coming from 11th to run less than 1½ lengths off the winner.
“She had a bit of a setback then she raced last week and Gundagai and now I’m backing her up and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing,” Azzopardi said.
“She’s had an easy week though so she should be right.
“She came from way back last start and she came through it well.”
Look Only comes out of barrier one with Shaun Guymer on board and the most important gear change can help her take advantage of the inside draw.
“I’ve put the blinkers on because she was hesitant when she started and she didn’t want to go between horses,” Azzopardi said.
“If she can jump and be there she’ll take a bit of running down. She just needs to be with them early and hold a position.
“The key is the first 50m. She needs to keep them outside her and that will be good.
“Kiss My Swiss will go quick and so will one or two others so she needs to muster speed to be right there and she’s got a strong rider on her on her home track which is an advantage for her.”
Prior to her last start effort in the bush, Look Only ran in town on four occasions and three of them were in Saturday events where she wasn’t disgraced.
Prior to that she won a Highway as she strung four-straight wins together and now it’s time to win again.
“Those Sydney races were hard when she was a little bit unsure in some heavy going in town,” Azzopardi said.
“She deserves another win after a good previous preparation.”