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Grey Lion has stamped himself as a key contender in the Group Two Brisbane Cup

Warwick Farm trainer Matt Smith has put the disappointment of Fierce Impact’s Doomben Cup behind him and is looking ahead with Grey Lion and Tonsor.

Fierce Impact, who finished 11th in Saturday’s Group One feature will have a spell in Queensland while Grey Lion, winner of the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill on the same day, will head north for the Brisbane Cup.

Tonsor can also earn his way to Brisbane if he performs well in the At Sea Handicap at Randwick on Saturday.

The 1100m-sprint has attracted 18 entries headed by Badajoz, I Thought So and Pinch River who are the equal topweights with 60kg while Tonsor has 55.5kg with Tim Clark to ride.

The winner of five of his nine starts, Tonsor has already experienced Brisbane, winning a 1350m-benchmark race by four lengths on March 30 at Doomben.

He was unplaced at Eagle Farm over 1400m on April 13 with Smith saying he probably should have given him more time between races.

“We can blame trainer error for that,” Smith said.

‘I probably should have raced him in Sydney instead of taking him back up there.

“He has done very well and won a barrier trial since.

“Saturday will decide if he goes to Brisbane for a sprint at the back end of the carnival or maybe the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton.

“There are a couple of nice races for him.”

Tonsor’s sprinting ability belies his breeding with the gelding by Redoute’s Choice out of 2010 VRC Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse.

Smith said Grey Lion had come through his second stakes win well and was on target for the Group Two Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.

Owned by OTI Racing, the imported Grey Lion has found a new lease of life in Sydney after doing his early Australian racing for Ballarat trainer Matt Cumani.

“He is a happy horse at the moment and seems to like the Warwick Farm environment,” Smith said.

Before the Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m), Grey Lion won the Group Three JRA Plate over the same distance at Randwick.

Smith will also run Koonunga at Randwick with the mare to contest the 1000m-benchmark 78 event with leading apprentice Robbie Dolan aboard.

 
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