Local chances bolstered for the highly anticipated Rocky Cup.

Published 24 June 2024

Local chances bolstered for the highly anticipated Rocky Cup.

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The prospects of another Rockhampton Cup staying local has been enhanced by today’s (Monday) confirmation that Cocobrew Express has been set for the prestige race on Saturday, July 13.

That announcement from the four-year-old’s Gold Coast Hinterland based trainer Ryan Tyrell brought joy to the ears of his mainly Central Queensland and Rockhampton based owners syndicate members who would aspire for a cherished Rockhampton Cup win.

“Yes, I am going to go that way as I am extremely happy as to how he has pulled-up so good after last Saturday’s impressive win. They had their chance to run him down, but they couldn’t,” Tyrell told me this morning.

Naturally, he was referring to Cocobrew Express’ all-the-way win under 58.5kg in the $85K BM 78 Handicap (1666m) at the metropolitan rated Ipswich Cup race meeting.

Cocobrew Express (b g 4 Spill The Beans-Hello I Love You x Lonhro) has been a grand money spinner for his registered ownership group named as 11 entities while including two syndicates among it.

The CQ owners lucky enough to call Cocobrew Express theirs include John and Bev Gibbs, Barry and Carol Ryan, John Kele as well as Robin Adams and members of his Findyabooke Syndicate.

“Wouldn’t that be something to win a Rocky Cup”, Adams the proprietor of the Rockhampton hospitality businesses CocoBrew and CocoBrew Express said.

Purchased by Tom Button for $25K from the winners’ factory of the Magic Millions March Yearling Sales in 2021, Cocobrew Express is the winner of eight races while being placed in the first four on seven other occasions returning $385,145K in stakes.

Four of those eight wins have been from 1500 metres to 1666 metres, which has swayed Tyrell’s thinking that the mile (1600m) of the Rockhampton Cup looks ideal for “Coco.”

“My only real concern is that his handicapping rating may not get him into the final field. Anyhow we are going that way towards the Rocky Cup. While it may not be ideal, I don’t want him to go into that race not having started since last Saturday which would mean three weeks between runs. He is a tough horse and I intend to back him up in this coming Saturday’s Tattersall Mile (1600m) at Eagle Farm. That way he would go into the Cup with just two weeks between runs,’’ Ryan explained.

Cocobrew Express was among a star-studded list of 21 horses entered for the Tattersall’s Mile when nominations were disclosed this morning.

He said while Cocobrew Express led throughout in his Ipswich win he did not necessarily have to race that way.

“At his previous start (June 12 – first-up for 109 days) he came from midfield to just be beaten for third (half-length off winner Magic Conqueror) in a Handicap over 1350 metres at Doomben,” the trainer said.

Should he start in the $150K Rocky Cup as is planned, Cocobrew Express will bolster the ranks of locals behind the high-profile Rockhampton owned Master Jamie and Namazu.

Seven Rockhampton horses have won their home city Cup since 2011.

These are 2011 Canny Climb (trainer Lyle Rowe); 2012 Writer (David Stafford); 2014 Vandalised (Jamie McConachy); 2018 Mamselle Corday (Tony McMahon); 2020 Absolut Artie (Ricky Vale); 2022 and 2023 Master Jamie (Graeme Green).

Tyrell also said that he would more than likely bring a support team of horses up to Rockhampton for the feature two days of the Winter Carnival on July 12 and 13.

Leading Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan as usual will have widespread representation at the Carnival with another Ipswich winner from last Saturday in Rockribbed likely to spearhead his team.

After winning the $85K BM 78 Handicap (1200m) Gollan said “I am thinking about taking him up to Rockhampton and sneaking him into the Newmarket.”

It is more than likely that glamour jockey Vlad Duric who rode a winning treble at Ipswich on Saturday inclusive of a Gollan double (Rockribbed & Wollombi) will be part of that premier trainers Rockhampton armory.

The $100K Rockhampton Newmarket (1300m) is the highlight of the days racing at Callaghan Park on Friday, July 12 when $352K plus associated bonus prizemoney and trophies is up for grabs.

Entries closed this morning for Saturday’s Tatts Sprint meeting at Callaghan Park this coming Friday with pleasingly 113 horses entered for the eight race TAB program.

Nominations for Sunday’s eight race TAB card at Callaghan Park highlighted by the Tattersall’s Cup (1600m) close tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11am.

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