Special reward with shifting in Moreton Cup

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Coach Kris Lees says Special Reward is capable of a quick form reversal at Eagle Farm.

The special out of form sprinter award will receive a final throw on the stumps to win a Stradbroke Handicap start in the Group 2 Moreton Cup at Eagle Farm.

Last year’s Newcastle winner Newmarket did not shoot in two innings this campaign, finishing without a place in the Hawkesbury Gold Rush and again in the BRC sprint at Doomben.

He was caught off guard with tough draws in both races, but coach Kris Lees was leaving nothing to chance, removing the five-year-old’s blinders and adding turn signals for the first time.

“Hopefully putting some turn signals on him will keep him more focused,” Lees said.

“We will be positive on him and he could easily change form if he manages to take the lead.

“But he has to be ultra-impressive to convince us to support him in the Stradbroke.”

Hugh Bowman partners Special Reward in the 1,200m sprint while Andrew Mallyon will ride teammate Zaniah.

The mare was an eye-catching fourth start behind Saturday’s rival Varda in Chief De Beers and although she has yet to make five long distance starts, Lees says she deserves a shot.

“The 1200 yards is a bit of a question, but she has a real fondness for Eagle Farm,” he said.

Splintex remains a favorite at $ 2.60 for the Moreton Cup, ahead of Varda at $ 4.60.

Zaniah is $ 14 with a special $ 21 reward.

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