Glyn Schofield took the initiative and took home the trophy piloting Ball Of Muscle to an all-the-way win in the Group II QTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Utilising the inside barrier aboard a mount blessed with natural speed, Schofield had the $3.30 favourite Ball Of Muscle in front from the outset and although appearing vulnerable down the running, pulled out plenty.
In what promised to be an intriguing contest with noted speedster That’s A Good Idea drawing the outside gate, jockey Hugh Bowman took his time sliding across to sit outside Ball Of Muscle, then applied the pressure from the 600-metres.
Kuro had enjoyed the box-seat trail and poked through a split on straightening to make it an entertaining run home, with the top three in betting settling down to fight it out.
But it was Joe Pride’s consistent half-brother to Group I winner Terravista proving too tough, holding on for a long neck victory. Peter and Paul Snowden had to settle for second place with That’s A Good Idea ($3.70) while Joe Pride’s other runner Kuro ($3.70) was a further nose away in third.
“He’s well named,” Schofield told Sky Thoroughbred Central. “He looks the part. He’s not the little brother any more.
“He sprang the lids cleanly and was effortless in the lead. I never felt in any danger.
“It was a comfortable win. He seems to do things on autopilot. He was toying with himself down the straight, he wasn’t really concentrating, his ears were up.”
The winner earned an exemption from ballot into the $2 million Group I Strabroke Handicap (1350m) on June 6, but no horse has ever completed the QTC Cup/Stradbroke double.
“My early thought is no,” Pride said when asked if he would send Ball Of Muscle into the Stradbroke.
“There is a discussion to be had with the owners. They are both 1200-metre horses, their records indicate that.”
Ball Of Muscle clocked a sizzling time of 1:08.46.