By Glenn Davis
Trainer Nigel Tiley is tipping the Kiwi’s can end the Brisbane winter carnival on a high in the Listed Caloundra Cup at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Tiley will saddle up New Zealand raider Megablast in the 2400-metre feature and has an extra spring in his step following a week of rain.
New Zealand had a low representation this winter due mainly to Eagle Farm being out of action and hope to salvage a feature win on the final day of the carnival.
Megablast, a Damian Browne mount, is a noted wet tracker with a 50 per cent winning strike rate with five wins and two placings from 10 starts on heavy tracks.
Browne is riding on stay of proceedings pending an appeal against a two-month suspension on a handling charge involving Fighting Teo at the Sunshine Coast three weeks ago.
Megablast booked a Queensland trip after winning on a heavy 10 in the Group 2 Easter Cup at Pukohoe in April.
His main mission was the Group 2 Brisbane Cup at Doomben earlier this month but he missed the race and the Group 2 Tatt’s Cup with a minor leg injury.
However, his two local runs have been very competitive finishing sixth in the G3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) and third in the G3 P J O’Shea Stakes (2200m) at Doomben.
“He missed the Brisbane Cup but I’m very happy with him going into the Caloundra Cup after a few days of rain,” Tiley said.
“Every bit of rain will help.”
Tiley is using the Caloundra Cup as a possible springboard to the G3 Queen’s Cup (3200m) at the Sunshine Coast in two weeks.
“His O’Shea Stakes run was very good as I always thought he might have been a bit vulnerable in it,” Tiley said.
“The big roomier track at Caloundra will suit him and so will the moisture in the track.
“He worked very well on the cushion track on Tuesday.”
Meanwhile a wet track will delay Toowoomba trainer Steve Tregea’s decision whether to run talented sprinter Niccanova in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m).
Niccanova has not started since winning at Doomben in March.
“It (the track) is not going to get much better than a heavy 8 or 9 so I won’t decide if he runs until Saturday morning,” Tregea said.
“He had a bit of an issue when he banged his splint bone before the George Moore in the summer and need time to get over it and then he bumped a shin after his win in March when we were thinking of taking him to Sydney.
“He’s not a very robust horse and I’m a little worried about running first-up on a heavy track.
Tregea has knocked back several big offers for Niccanova who has won five of his seven starts.
Racing Queensland webnews June 29