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Kendrick not putting a cap on Rockhampton chances

10 July 2024

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By Andrew Smith

Stuart Kendrick will kick off his Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival campaign with a multi-pronged attack on consecutive race days this week in Rockhampton.

The Sunshine Coast trainer will have several runners across the two days, starting with the Rockhampton Newmarket Handicap on Friday.

He’ll then back it up on Saturday for the Rockhampton Cup and Magic Millions Capricorn Guineas at Callaghan Park.

Kendrick’s best chance in the $150,000 Cup will come in the form of Under The Cap.

The exciting four-year-old will enter the feature race off the back of a strong win in the Gold Cup Open on June 30.

“That was probably the main race that we wanted to target to get into the Rocky Cup because his rating was probably a little bit low,” Kendrick said.

“We weren’t 100 per cent sure he was actually going to get into the race so he probably had to win that so he was fairly impressive that day.

“He actually got in light with the weights but what I really liked about him, he trucked around the turn and when Cody (Collis) asked him to sprint, he put them away fairly well.

“It was a good solid field, showed that he’s up to that class and if he can improve a touch off that he should be very competitive.”

Under The Cap Next Racing
Early Thoughts
Bonaparte
Stuart Kendrick Next Racing

The Central Queensland track has been a happy hunting ground for Under The Cap.

The gelding has posted four wins and three placings from nine starts at the venue, a record that Kendrick hopes will benefit his runner on Saturday afternoon.

“I think a big advantage of his is he showed that he loved Rockhampton from the first time he went up there,” Kendrick said.

“He’s a pretty foolproof little horse actually, he pretty well knows the routine now, he’s pretty much like clockwork.

“He raced well and his win even in the $100,000 Capricornia Yearling Sale race up there a few months ago, he was impressive in that as well.

“Each time he’s been up there he’s just got better and better and hopefully that really plays in our advantage on Saturday.”

Under The Cap and Cody Collis taking out the Gold Cup Open (Photo: Caught in the Act Photography CQ).

Kendrick has also nominated five-year-old Early Thoughts for the 1600m trip.

Both of his Cup runners will have to contend with local hero Master Jamie who is looking to make it a three-peat in the Cup after taking out the 2022 and 2023 editions.

The horseman will also have Itza Motza run around in the $75,000 Capricorn Guineas on Saturday’s race day.

Formerly trained by Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman, the three-year-old is coming off the back of last month’s breakthrough win in a Sunshine Coast Maiden Plate.

“He’s had some nice form down there in Melbourne, his first couple of runs up here were a little bit disappointing,” Kendrick said.

“We sort of just changed a few things around with him and I thought his win the other day was very, very impressive.

“He probably wasn’t entitled to win that race, the leader skipped on him and really knuckled down and weaved a passage to get out so I thought he was impressive.

“I think up to the 1600 will suit him and the big track as well, so looking forward to seeing how he goes and good prize money again so I think he’ll run well.”

Cody Collis celebrates with Under The Cap after the win in Rockhampton (Photo: Caught in the Act Photography CQ).

Before Saturday, the Northern Carnival commences with a nine-race card on Friday headlined by the Newmarket Handicap.

Kendrick’s stable veteran Bonaparte will contest the 1300m trip first-up from a spell.

The eight-year-old will carry 60kg into the race with Cody Collis on board.

“We’ve targeted this race for him - he’s been a great old horse for us and he goes very, very well fresh, and I think the 1300 will suit him,” Kendrick said.

“We’ve probably won about three or four first up with him and this race is obviously always strong so we thought the best chance of him doing his best was first up.

“He won in Brisbane first up last time in and I think he should be very competitive…weight’s probably the big thing with him.

“He’s not getting any younger like the rest of us, always a few aches and pains but the one thing with him this time he’s been as sound as he has ever been and his work’s been very sharp so I think he’s on track.”

Bonaparte after a win at Doomben.

Vetta Velocita will also feature for the stable on Friday, with the gelding to start in a 1200m Class 6 Handicap.

More than $3.6 million in prize money and bonuses will be up for grabs over two months of racing for the Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

Five cup races will be staged across Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns over the course of the carnival.