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Image: Darren Winningham

Scone trainer Brett Cavanough is confident The Monstar will have no trouble backing up within a week for his biggest test in the Stradbroke Handicap.

Cavanough also hopes the infamous curse on winners of the Moreton Cup in the Stradbroke will be irrelevant as Saturday will be only the third time the Group One race has been run at Doomben.

The Monstar will be the 24th horse to attempt the Moreton Cup (QTC Cup)- Stradbroke double and if successful he would be the first to win both.

Since the QTC Cup was introduced in 1979 as a lead-up to the Stradbroke it has been run on three different dates and at two different distances.

But the Cup winners have produced just five third placings in the Stradbroke, with the latest Ortensia in 2009.

Even superstars such as Schillachi and Hareeba have failed to fire in the Stradbroke after winning the QTC Cup.

The Monstar showed plenty of fight to win the Moreton Cup over 1200m at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday.

The win gave him ballot-free entry into the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap but he was not an original nomination.

Aquis Farm stepped in and offered to pay the $45,000 late acceptance fee for The Monstar which Cavanough quickly accepted.

The Monstar hasn’t backed up in a week since winning at Albury twice in 2013.

“There should be no problems with him backing up,” Cavanough said.

“He is a good doing horse and I will have a good look at him before the race. But I can’t see why he can’t back up.

“If he didn’t run Saturday I would have had to come back in distance to races like the Concorde Stakes in Sydney and he would run into those good three-year-olds resuming for the spring.

“It would be different if it was Eagle Farm and 1400 metres. But he is going from a tough 1200 at Caloundra to 1350 at Doomben which has been suiting horses with his on-pace racing style.”

Skye Bogenhuber, who won her first Group Two race at her first attempt in the Moreton Cup on The Monstar, will be having her first Group One ride in the race.

“It is very exciting and there has been rain about, so who knows. He should get the right conditions,” she said.

 
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