Tough stayer Pop `N’ Scotch is back in Brisbane for his third attempt to win the Queensland Cup in which he has been second for the past two years.
Trained by Liam Birchley, Pop `N’ Scotch will have his final lead-up to the 3200m-Queensland Cup on July 16 in Saturday’s Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m).
The gelding was originally trained by John Thompson and ran second to Iggi Pop in the 2014 Queensland Cup as a three-year-old.
He was sold to clients of Birchley and won the Provincial Cup at Ipswich last year as well as again finishing second in the Queensland Cup.
“He was home everywhere but the line in the Cup last year. Mr Impatience got up and beat him a nose in the last stride,” Birchley said.
“He is down in the weights in the Caloundra Cup and he does usually race well there.”
Pop `N’ Scotch was unplaced in five starts for Darren Weir in Victoria, most recently when 12th in the Listed Andrew Ramsden (3200m) in May after which connections decided to send him back north.
“He is here for another crack at the Queensland Cup and it might be third time lucky. He is only five and he should be on the up,” Birchley said.
“But whether he stays here after the Cup will probably be up to whether Eagle Farm stands up to some longer races. The Cup is the only 3200-metre race in Queensland and there aren’t many 2400-metre races either.”
Maurus is the $1.70 favourite to add the Caloundra Cup to his last-start win in the Ipswich Cup (2150m).