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GRAFTON CUP PLAN IF LEES’ PAIR DODGE CALOUNDRA CUP





CALOUNDRA Cup absentee Point King and stablemate Luncies are both likely on a Grafton Cup path.

Point King was withdrawn on Friday morning from Saturday’s $300,000 Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday, and Luncies is in the doubtful stage about lining up there as well.

The Sunshine Coast track remained in the ‘Heavy 9’ range following some further rain on Thursday night.

“Point King will be nominated for the Grafton Cup, and also Luncies (pictured)



if he doesn’t run at Caloundra,” Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ spokesman Danny Greer said on Friday morning.

“At this stage unless there is a real improvement in the track condition, he probably won’t start in the Caloundra Cup either.”

The $200,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) will be run on Thursday week (July 18).

Lees won the feature event in 2020 with Sixties Groove, ridden by Jason Collett.

Lees had planned to remove a cross-over nose band from Point King’s gear had he raced on Saturday.

Whilst there is doubt on Luncies (Michael Rodd) taking his place in the Cup field at the Sunshine Coast, such is not the case with Willinga Beast (Ron Stewart), who is ready to end her racing career in the $300,000 Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m).




Purchased recently by Arrowfield Pastoral Py Ltd for a breeding career, she was withdrawn from an Eagle Farm assignment last Saturday on the premise that rain was forecast this week – and that has been the case.

“The conditions will definitely suit Willinga Beast, and she comes in with the minimum weight (53kg),” Greer said.

Prolific winner Brudenell was sent north by float on Thursday evening to resume in the Open Plate (1000m), and Michael Rodd has the mount.

“Brudenell has drawn the outside of nine runners (already reduced from 12 with scratchings), but he is accustomed to awkward draws and has shown in the past that he has the capacity to overcome them,” Greer said.

“He is ready to kick off again and, in any case, the outside draw might not be any disadvantage by the time his race comes around.”

First Person is also a withdrawal from the 3YO Handicap (1000m) at the Sunshine Coast.

. Ucalledit (Listed Winter Stakes, 1400m) and Lord Of Biscay (Benchmark 78 Handicap, 1400m) are both under a query for Saturday’s Royal Randwick meeting because of the track downgrade on Friday morning to a ‘HJeavy 9’ rating.

“Kris will make a decision about later on Friday,” Greer said.

If both horses run, Ucalledit (Jason Collett) will race minus blinkers, and a cross-over nose band comes off import Lord Of Biscay (Tim Clark), who is yet to make his Australian debut.

Ucalledit beat stablemate Acquitted in last year’s Winter Stakes, but it was on a ‘Good 4’ surface, and he is averse to heavy ground.

Power Of The Brave (Benchmark 72 Handicap, 1300m) and Age Of Sail (Benchmark 78 Handicap, 2000m) both will line up at Randwick, with Nash Rawiller aboard the pair.

“Power Of The Brave peaked on his run under 60kg when third at Newcastle on a ‘Heavy 10’ last time out,” Greer said.




“He is fitter now and drops 2.5kg (Rawiller is riding 0.5kg over at 57.5kg).

“Age Of Sail is a nice horse who resumed with a strong-finishing third in a Benchmark 90 Handicap (1810m) at Eagle Farm on June 8,” Greer said.

“Kris has given him time to get over that first-up performance, and it’s an advantage to have Nash back on.

“He rode him at his first two Australian runs for us when successful at his local debut over 1600m midweek at Warwick Farm in January and then when narrowly beaten a few weeks later in a Saturday 2000m race at Rosehill Gardens.

“Age Of Sail has never raced on soft or heavy ground. All his 13 starts overseas were on good or synthetic tracks, and his three runs here were also on good ground.”

Story John Curtis, July 5, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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