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Winter Bride out to become second Queensland mare to win Group 2 Moreton Cup

By Glenn Davis

The Group 2 Moreton Cup has undergone several name and distance changes since it was first run 40 years ago but only one Queensland trained mare, Nova Star, has been successful.

The Kelly Schweida-trained Nova Star holds the honour of being Queensland’s sole winning mare following her success in 2007 while the State’s only successful three-year-old filly was the Steele Ryan-trained Chinchilla Rose in 2008.

New Zealander My Gold Hope became the first mare to win the race when it was a Group 3 race and known as the Katie’s Cup in 1982.

Nova Star won the feature when it was the Group 2 QTC Cup over 1300 metres at Eagle Farm and joined Kiwi galloper My Gold Hope as the only successful mares before Victorian Varenna Miss added her name with her victory in 2011.

This year will see talented Gold Coast sprinter Winter Bride attempt to add her name to the honour roll for mares.

Winter Bride has not started since late April when she finished a game fourth to her Moreton Cup rival, I Am Excited in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Doomben.

Winter Bride was a dual Group 3 winner in the How Now Stakes and Northwood Plume at Caulfield last spring before completing her third win at that level in the Wenona Girl at Randwick in March.

Her only other run at Group 2 level was when she finished third to White Moss in the Sapphire Stakes at Randwick in April.

Trainer Toby Edmonds is not concerned with Winter Bride’s awkward barrier seven in the field of 10 and a five-week break between runs.

“The alley is not a real problem as she gets back anyway,” Edmonds said.

“I was disappointed with her last run when she ran fourth in the Victory Stakes as I expected her to run a lot better.

“She’s back at Doomben where she runs well and likes it better than Eagle Farm.”

Winter Bride has started four times at Doomben for three wins and a second and will be looking to confirm plans to head to the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 22.

Meanwhile Edmonds also is hopeful of big performances from stablemates From Within in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1050m) and Warranty in the Listed Helen Coughlan Stakes (1200m).

From Within won at Eagle Farm before failing in the Listed Ortensia Stakes at Scone on May 11 while Warrant resumed with a handy sixth to Quilista in the Listed Bright Shadow Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on May 18.

Racing Queensland webnews   May 30