The 2020 Queensland Summer Racing Carnival officially kicks off on Saturday with the Listed Mooloolaba Cup headlining the nine-race card on the Sunshine Coast.
Sunny weather should see the track rated somewhere in the Good 4 range with the rail remaining in the true position throughout.
With a huge day ahead, we’ve cast our eyes over each and every race in our 2020 Mooloolaba Cup Day Preview below.
Race 1 - 12:43pm AEDT
Innovative Planning Solutions QTIS 2YO Handicap (1000m)
Another interesting race to open the program with most of these fillies facing the starter for the first time.
Happy to go with Avolonte on top after winning her Deagon trial last week over the 650m.
I thought she let down beautifully over the final 100m to win right on the line and I trust apprentice Stephanie Thornton can get her in a lovely spot just off the speed from barrier 7.
She cost trainer Stuart Kendrick $60k at the sales and might just surprise a few of these on debut.
1 Unit Avolonte
Race 2 - 1:18pm AEDT
Riceboi Mooloolaba BM72 Handicap (1600m)
This looks a nice race for Nic Nat Nui after after finding now real luck in his last two starts at Doomben over the mile.
The Tony Gollan gelding surprisingly settled towards the back of the field a fortnight ago in Brisbane, but I expect him to land much closer to the speed this time around where he’s obviously better suited.
The four-year-old has won two of his three starts on the Sunshine Coast and likely won’t know himself dropping 3kg under Jim Byrne.
2 Units Nic Nat Nui
Race 3 - 1:53pm AEDT
Archer Park Racing Handicap (1400m)
Hard to fault the form of Palladas since his first-up fourth at Eagle Farm back in September.
The son of I Am Invincible won two starts back at Ipswich over the 1350m before putting in an eye-catching run for third out wide at Doomben a fortnight ago.
The form lines around Starosa and Glitter Strip coming out of that last race read extremely well for this contest and I fully expect him to be unleashing with another big run in the late stages under Ryan Maloney.
He’s carrying only 0.5kg extra and should see the 1400m out no problem.
2 Units Palladas
Race 4 - 2:33pm AEDT
Kendrick Racing One Metro Win Handicap (1200m)
You could make a strong case for a handful of these, but I’m happy to stick with All Important to break his string of runner-up placings.
The son of I Am Invincible has finished second on three straight occasions now over the 1300m at the Gold Coast and Doomben, so I think the step back to the 1200m should suit on Saturday.
He’s won four times over this trip previously and placed twice on the Sunshine Coast, while jockey Baylee Nothdurft knows this horse inside and out after riding him to a win and a placing at Doomben last year.
Valario’s outstanding record at the Sunshine Coast makes him the main danger, while Molly’s Rocking could sneak a place.
1 Unit All Important
Race 5 - 3:13pm AEDT
Landmark Resort & Spa Class 3 Plate (1200m)
This should be an interesting race up front with Gee Tee Tee, Scathing and Gin ’N’ Bitters all set to roll forward.
Probably would have gone with Gin ’N’ Bitters on top if he’d drawn a gate, but more than happy to settle on Scathing following a pretty impressive return to the races a fortnight ago when third over the same distance at Doomben.
Chris Munce’s four-year-old won quite comfortably over this track and distance in his only start on the Sunshine Coast back in April, and if he can run the race on his own terms up front, he might just go all the way.
1 Unit Scathing
Race 6 - 3:53pm AEDT
Travis Schultz & Partners QTIS 3YO Handicap (1000m)
Tough race here between the sprinters, but I wouldn’t be surprised if One Shy Ruby runs a big race at odds.
She strips fitter for her first-up run when fourth over a touch further at Doomben two weeks back and gets in light at the weights again carrying just 54kg.
The filly by Rubick won comfortably second-up by two lengths over this track and distance back in May, so there’s a chance history repeats itself.
1 Unit E/W One Shy Ruby
Race 7 - 4:33pm AEDT
The Wharf Mooloolaba Swiss Ace Plate (1000m)
Happy to trust the experienced hands of Ryan Maloney to do the talking aboard Just Orm.
The seven-year-old has admittedly struggled for form in his last two runs at Toowoomba and Doomben over further, but with four wins to his name over the 1000m at the Sunshine Coast, it’s hard to see him running a bad race here from the soft draw.
Stablemate Sugar Boom is the rightful favourite following her two length win at Doomben last month, while I wouldn’t be surprised to watch Baccarat Baby run a race based her on strong record when fresh.
2 Units Just Orm
Race 8 - 5:10pm AEDT
Sky Racing Mooloolaba Cup (1600m)
Ballistic Boy returned to the races in outstanding order a fortnight ago running on for second a length behind Red Chase over the 1350m at Doomben.
Matthew McGillivray had to make up a stack of ground from the wide draw that day, but he should have a lot less work to do on Saturday after drawing barrier 5.
The four-year-old son of Smart Missile has won previously racing second-up, while he also won over the track and distance back beating home Wapiti on narrowly back in April.
He should be doing his best work late, and with only 54kg on his back, he might have an edge over the likes of Niccanova.
2 Units Ballistic Boy
Race 9 - 5:45pm AEDT
Krew Racing Class 6 Handicap (1400m)
Starvirgo hasn’t really put a foot wrong at all this prep running no worse than fourth in his five starts.
The son of Zoustar was unlucky not to score a fortnight ago when second to Desert Lord over the 1350m at Doomben, but he should take great improvement away from that run with a much better gate working in his favour this time around.
Ben Thompson has really got a great feel for this horse now after winning on him four runs back at this venue.
He’s got a big turn of foot and the 1400m should see him out nicely.
2 Units Starvirgo