An eye-catching run at Mowbray a fortnight ago has Brighton trainer John Luttrell confident that there is still plenty of life in ageing stayer Up Cups.
The eight-year-old flashed home for a close second to Secrets She Has over 1620m and will be suited by the step up to 2100m in Wednesday night’s Open Handicap.
“He hadn’t trialled going into the race but he hit the line really good and pulled up beautifully,” Luttrell said.
“I thought he’d improve on whatever he did – and he has.”
Up Cups, winner of the Hobart and Launceston Cups in 2016 when trained by David Brunton, is in his first preparation for Luttrell.
“I’ve had him a couple of months and he’d already done a fair bit of pre-training,” Luttrell said.
“I told the owner when I got him that, if I didn’t think the horse could still do it, he could take him home and retire him.
“But I’m really happy with the way he’s going. He’s a lovely, old horse.”
Up Cups will be ridden by former New Zealand jockey Ryan Bishop who has come to Tasmania via a stint in Queensland.
For the third week in a row, there will be no coverage of the meeting on Sky Thoroughbred Central.
Sky Channel delayed the start of this year’s coverage until October 17 due to other programming commitments, mainly related to The Everest.
Longford trainer Troy Blacker has had a 12-month positive swab disqualification reduced on appeal.
Blacker was disqualified by stewards after his horse Isere returned a cobalt reading above the 100mg threshold at Mowbray in February.
Confirmatory testing of the swab showed a cobalt level of 161mg.
While unable to determine the cause of the elevated reading, the Appeal Board found that the appropriate penalty was a nine-month disqualification.
The penalty was reduced by a further three months on condition Blacker does not reoffend for two years.
PECO ON TARGET
Brilliant greyhound Peco Can continued her march towards the Hobart Thousand with a game win over Buckle Up Axon at Devonport on Tuesday.
The Puppy Championship final was billed as a match-race between two rising stars and it didn’t disappoint.
Peco Can pushed through between runners to find the early lead and control the race but Buckle Up Axon finished strongly to get within ¾ of a length on the line.
Winning trainer Robin Grubb expects the battle to be the first of many.
“The second dog is very good and I expect these two are going to clash a fair bit,” Grubb said.