Increases in weight and distance are expected to rule Coolgardie Cup winner Pushin’ Shapes out of the $100,000 Listed Blue Spec Drilling Boulder Cup (2100m) on Sunday week.
Pushin’ Shapes overcame the 59kg top weight to score a tough win in Sunday’s $100,000 Hahn Electrical Coolgardie Cup (1760m) at the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club.
Ridden by Joseph Azzopardi, the Dan and Ben Pearce-trained Pushin’ Shapes ran on from fourth on the turn to beat Gloryland by a neck.
Ben Pearce said connections were likely to resist the temptation to set the Viscount gelding for the Boulder Cup, which Pearce won with Don’tgetcaught in 2016.
Pushin’ Shapes was one of the fancies in last year’s Boulder Cup, but could only manage seventh behind Already Famous.
“Neville Duncan (breeder and owner) always said he was a better horse around 1600 and 1800,” Ben Pearce said.
“That seemed to pay off. It’s always tempting when you come out and win the first one, but I’m not sure what weight he would get now.
“The distance is always a query. The original plan was just to go to the Coolgardie Cup and then concentrate on the Northam Cup.
“He was pretty tough. Gloryland was hard to run down but he got it at the right time.”
Master Magician has been ruled out of the Boulder Cup and Kalgoorlie Cup after running last of 14 in the Coolgardie Cup.
A post race vet examination revealed nothing amiss.
Trainer Darren McAuliffe said before the race, he was concerned about the firmness of the Kalgoorlie track.
Deputy chief steward Harold Taylor said several visiting horses struggled to handle the firm track.
The track was rated a good 3 but Taylor said it was close to a firm 2.
Meanwhile, trainer Sharon Miller will be hoping to go one better than last year in the Boulder Cup with in-form stayer Prying Tom.
Miller’s classy mare Shinta Mani ran a close second to Already Famous in last year’s Boulder Cup before winning the Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m) at her following start. Prying Tom will be set for same cups double after scoring his fourth straight win at Belmont Park last Saturday.
The Black Tom gelding won the Magic Millions Handicap (2200m) by half a length.
“He’s going really nice, so we’ll keep planning,” Miller said.
“We’ll maybe think about Kalgoorlie in a fortnight.” Miller will be chasing her first Boulder Cup win and fourth in the $130,000 XXXX Gold Kalgoorlie Cup on October 6.
Powerful Prince (1996) and Proconteur (1999) were her other Kalgoorlie Cup winners.