STAWELL-TRAINED Magnapal will look to continue his good form in Tasmania’s premier thoroughbred race, the Group 3 Hobart Cup.
Terry O’Sullivan – who trains the four-year-old gelding with daughter Karina – is confident his charge has what it takes to claim Sunday’s $225,000 race over 2400 metres.
Magnapal is coming off a strong second at Caulfield over the same distance on January 25.
“He ran really, really well,” O’Sullivan said.
“He was a bit unlucky, he got held up a bit on the turn and if he’d had a clear run I think he could have probably won it.”
The son of Magnus and Luxapel has drawn barrier one in the 12-horse field.
“I’m very happy with the barrier draw,” O’Sullivan said.
“He’s been racing very well and I think this race will suit him.
“I think he’s in with a really good chance.”
Despite his confidence in the gelding, O’Sullivan is aware the task will not be an easy one.
“The best horse in Tasmania is in it, Geegees Blackflash, and another Tassie horse – The Cleaner – is also a good horse. He goes pretty quickly,” O’Sullivan said.
He is also wary of Mick Kent-trained Epingle – who has been installed as favourite on the TAB at fixed odds of $4 – and Darren Weir’s First Bloom, which is also highly fancied at $4.40.
2012 Hobart Cup winner Geegees Blackflash was offered at $4.60 yesterday, with The Cleaner at $6 and Magnapal at $8.50.
“It will be a tough enough race, but I think it’s a pretty even field,” O’Sullivan said.
Weir is looking to go back-to-back after taking out the 2013 edition of the Hobart Cup with Hurdy Gurdy Man.
Horsham-owned Rainbow Storm – also trained by Weir – was nominated for the cup, but has gone for a spell after a tough race in Launceston on Sunday.
The three-year-old gelding finished second in the $100,000 Listed Tasmanian Derby over 2200 metres after being run down by Liberty Leader in the home straight.
Rainbow Storm is owned by the family of the late Worrall Dunn, who also bred 2003 Melbourne Cup runner-up She’s Archie and her daughter, Thousand Guineas’ runner -up May’s Dream.
Mr Dunn’s daughter Celeste Patterson said Rainbow Storm was gallant in defeat.
“He was pushed pretty hard in the race and got a few bumps early,” she said.
“He did very well considering how the race was run.
“He’s having a well-deserved rest now after a great first preparation.”
Mrs Patterson said May’s Dream resumed work last month.
The O’Sullivans’ exciting six-year-old mare Koe resumes at Caulfield tomorrow, in the $150,000 Group 3 Routleys Bakery Bellmaine Stakes.
“She had a really good campaign, winning four out of her last six races,” O’Sullivan said.
“I’m looking forward to her running a good race.”
Stablemate Tykook will also contest the 1200-metre event.
“I think they’ve both got some chance, but it’s going to be a really tough race,” O’Sullivan said.