By Glenn Davis
Megablast gave the Kiwi raiders a fairytale finish to the Brisbane winter carnival with a dominant victory in the Listed Caloundra Cup at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Ridden by Damian Browne who claimed the feature for a third time, Megablast proved too strong with a three-length win over local hope First Crush.
Ipswich Cup winner Tradesman was third, a further three-quarters of a length away.
Browne, who was riding on a stay of proceedings after being suspended for two months on a handling charge, previously won the Caloundra Cup on Zennista in 2014 and Index Linked in 2015.
Megablast’s victory followed the victory of compatriot, The Bostonian, in the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas in the previous race.
Trainer Nigel Tiley had never won a Stakes race in Australia before Megablast’s Caloundra Cup win but has won several Group 1’s in his homeland.
He brought Megablast across the Tasman with the Group 2 Brisbane Cup in mind but a mishap forced him to miss the race after finishing third in the Group 2 O’Shea Stakes at Doomben on June 2.
Tiley rarely brings horses across the Tasman but believed Megablast was worthy of the trip.
Tiley is unsure of Megablast’s immediate future but the Group 2 Queen’s Cup (3200m) at the Sunshine Coast in two weeks is an option.
Earlier trainer Matt Dunn landed a two-State double and picked up travelling expenses for a two-week Hong Kong holiday when The Fire Trap claimed the Bruce McLachlan Classic (1200m).
The Fire Trap, ridden by Michael Cahill, wore down his rivals in the straight to down Unconditional by a half length with Winter Passage third, a further 1-1/2 lengths away.
Earlier Dunn claimed his 18th Highway Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill in Sydney with Realing.
The Fire Trap, an $80,000 but at the Magic Millions March sales, reveled in the heavy conditions for his second win in three starts.
The son of Sizzling turned the tables on Unconditional after finishing fourth to him over 1100 metres at Ipswich on June 11.
Dunn is now likely to spell The Fire Trap and aim for the Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast in January.
“I think he’s good enough for the Magic Millions Guineas,” Dunn said.
“I want to look after him so I’ll probably spell him now.
“His run at Ipswich was good as he had to go back from a bad barrier and he had no luck.”
Racing Queensland webnews June 30