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Shenzhou Steeds ready for Caloundra Cup

BRISBANE, June 24 AAP, by Stephen Rodgers - Jockey Eddie Wilkinson believes emerging stayer Shenzhou Steeds will cope with another distance test when he steps up to the 2400 metres of the Caloundra Cup.

Wilkinson rode the four-year-old to success in the Ipswich Cup on June 16 and is confident the extra journey at Caloundra on Saturday is not beyond him.

"I'm confident he'll handle it considering how well he finished off the 2150 metres at Ipswich," Wilkinson said.

"That was his first go at a middle distance and he came through the race with flying colours.

"Even though you can never really be sure how a horse will handle 2400 metres until they attempt it, he's given me no indication that he won't."

Wilkinson told Melbourne trainer Mike Moroney after the Ipswich Cup the run would further improve Shenzhou Steeds.

"He has thrived since the time he stepped off the float up here," he said.

"He's won all four starts in Queensland so it obviously agrees with him."

Shenzhou Steeds won three races during last year's winter carnival including the Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) on the Caloundra Cup program.

Moroney echoed Wilkinson's sentiments and signalled a slight variation of riding tactics at the Sunshine Coast.

"We rode him a bit differently by having him a bit closer in running at Ipswich and as things panned out it was the right move," Moroney said.

"But going to the 2400 metres we'll probably look to ride him a touch quieter which I think will suit him even better going to the bigger track up there.

"It's certainly all systems go for Caloundra."



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