Bostonian on verge of rare triple crown
THE Bostonian has etched his name alongside some star winter campaigners of the past and made the handicapper's task of finding a Stradbroke topweight a straight forward one after his latest performance.
The Bostonian joins Barrosa Boy (1992), Accomplice (1997), Apache Cat (2008) and Sea Siren (2012) as the only horses to take out the first two legs of Queensland's sprint triple crown since this race turned weight-for-age in 1991.
The Kiwi son of former top middle-distance horse Jimmy Choux has now extended his unbeaten Queensland run to five, which he will aim to make six in the Stradbroke Handicap in a fortnight.
Off the back of Saturday's win The Bostonian is certain to receive 57kg in the big sprint, if not a touch higher, ensuring he carries the No. 1 saddlecloth.
Trainer Tony Pike said he hopes "the handicapper is kind", noting runner-up Princess Posh started at $151.
"He's obviously going to be near the top of the handicaps off a 109 rating, we will just see what he gives us, - 57kg is the least he can give a horse, so I think that's probably fair," Pike said
It continued a superb run of form for jockey Michael Cahill, who had been successful earlier in the day on Fun Fact (Grand Prix) and The Candy Man (Premier's Cup).
Cahill convinced Pike to run The Bostonian in the Doomben 10,000 earlier in the month and after working the horse last Tuesday, the pair made the call to go ahead with a start in Saturday's Group 1 feature, after the original plan was to bypass it.
"This horse is absolutely flying, hence we ran him this weekend," Pike said.
"We galloped him on the course proper and the horse was flying.
"It was a hard race to turn down and we've come up trumps today.
"It's a super result, he loves it here in Queensland.
"It was a fantastic ride by Michael.
"He pinged the gates and didn't have to do a lot to get across, the speed didn't really kick up inside him and coming to the corner, it looked like a repeat of last week."
Delirious connections of triple-figure roughie Princess Posh celebrated like they had won after she ran into second place.
Jockey Larry Cassidy said with a touch more luck, Princess Posh could have tested the winner.
"I got a really good run from where I was, I found the fence and was travelling really well too," Cassidy said.
"I could see The Bostonian up in front of me and I thought I could get home and beat it.
"I had the third horse always hard against me and I reckon it half intimidated it. If it wasn't there, I may have run them down."
CAHILL SAVIOURS HIS SPECIAL DAY
Reflecting on perhaps the finest day of his career, Michael Cahill remained as humble as ever on Saturday night, but the satisfaction of riding a feature treble was hard to mask.
The 54-year-old completed his second Group 1 for the month on The Bostonian, having earlier won the Grand Prix on Fun Fact and an emotional Premier's Cup on The Candy Man.
Before The Bostonian, it had been a decade back to his previous Group 1 success, which was on Russeting in the 2009 Tiara.
"It would be one of the best days I've had. They are few and far between and this day is hard to top," he said of Saturday.
"You put plenty of work in behind the scenes and to be able to get an opportunity for good trainers, it's nice when things come together.
"It's a funny game.
"The last two winters I have done OK and won a few feature races. They weren't Group 1 races, but it's a competitive time of year and sometimes it's hard for the Brisbane jockeys to get opportunities in the big races.
"It's been sensational to get on a horse that's come out and won two Group 1s.
"I'm very fortunate to get good rides at this stage of my career."
STRADDIE WEIGHTS BACK IN SPOTLIGHT
The case for Stradbroke weights being brought out earlier is starting to gather momentum again, with many wanting the order of entry to be made clearer to the public earlier than 12 days out from the big sprint.
It is testament to the Stradbroke's allure that there is so much interest in the weights.
The early release was canned after the strange clause was brought in to penalise the 10,000 winner (then run a fortnight before the Stradbroke) - making it the only WFA race in the country to attract a penalty for a handicap.
The case against early release of weights is that the later timing allows for horses to get their ratings up in the few weeks prior.
But there's something magical about a big handicap and the challenge for trainers to "beat the handicapper."
If they were released after the 10,000 (now four weeks before) and a rule brought in not to penalise the Kingsford Smith Cup winner, it would incentivise connections to run in that race, knowing they won't be penalised.
Add in another exempt race or two (ones that have more relevance than an NZ Telegraph or VRC Newmarket - where the winners would qualify in any case) and it would add more intrigue to the build-up of Queensland's great race.
TRAINER HAPPY WHATEVER OUTCOME WITH NOBLE BOY
Queanbeyan trainer Todd Blowes would take up the option to run in the Stradbroke if Noble Boy snuck into the field, but he will be just as happy to tackle a Listed race on the same day if he misses out.
Noble Boy took his record to seven wins in eight starts with a dominant Benchmark 90 (1200m) win.
It was his first start since taking out the rich Country Championship at Randwick in April.
"The plan was to always come up here and have just the two starts," Blowes said.
"If he makes the Stradbroke field we would run but if not he can run in the Hinkler Handicap.
"I want to give him a good break after that because the long term goal is the Kosciusko (in October)."
TREKKING GETS CUMMINGS' TICK OF APPROVAL
James Cummings feels Trekking is still in good shape for this month's Stradbroke, despite being the beaten favourite in the Kingsford Smith Cup.
"Trekking ran well at weight-for-age, his first attempt at weight-for-age. A third placing in a Group 1 will read well when he drops back to a handicap next time,'' he said.
The trainer reported Home Of The Brave had recovered from the temperature spike that kept him out of the Kingsford Smith Cup and is still hopeful of getting his winter carnival back on track.
Home Of The Brave will be nominated for the Gold Coast trials on Tuesday and also for Saturday's Moreton Cup.
Tony McEvoy's Group 1 winning pair Manuel and Despatch are also down to trial on Tuesday.