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Munce looking for divine intervention with Aureus Angel

Wed 5 June 2024

By Andrew Smith

Trainer Chris Munce said a tilt at the $3 million Stradbroke Handicap was not out of the question for Aureus Angel, despite a disappointing finish at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The six-year-old finished 13th in the Listed Helen Coughlan Stakes.

It came after the mare’s thrilling first-up win two weeks earlier in the Listed Bright Shadow at Doomben.

Munce said he was confident Aureus Angel would rebound in time for the business end of the Queensland Racing Carnival.

"Aureus Angel had no luck...she got back in the race and was dominated by on-speed horses and really had a hard job to run them down but she still ran well after a dynamic first-up run," he said.

“She was probably just a little bit flat second up, I’ve got no doubt she’ll bounce off that really well into her next start.

“I’m still determining whether I run her in the Stradbroke or Dane Ripper Stakes or if I give her a month in between runs and just go straight to the Tatt’s Tiara.”

The Tatt’s Tiara would be an enticing prospect for the jockey-turned-trainer who claimed the Group 1 event with Palaisipan last year.

Before then, Munce will turn his attention to this weekend’s Queensland Oaks Day at Eagle Farm.

Brookhaven will line up in the Benchmark 90 Handicap, with Munce keen to test the four-year-old’s credentials ahead of the Ipswich Cup.

“I really want to give him a test out over the 1800 to see how he’s going to measure up, basically if he’s going to run the trip out strong” Munce said.

"We’ll get a good guide with where we go after Saturday with him.

“But he’s in good form and he’ll have no weight on his back and he should race well.”

The same race will feature stable mate Military Gambler who is also treading a similar path to Ipswich Cup day on June 22.

The gelding finished sixth in the Listed Members Handicap on Doomben 10,000 day but missed out on a start in Saturday’s Lord Mayors Cup.

“He was nominated but didn’t get a run, he was an emergency – he’ll go this weekend in the Benchmark 1800 and then he’ll be en route to the Ipswich Cup two weeks later after that.

“He’s just starting to race himself into form - very happy with him and I think going forward he’s a nice staying horse.”

Munce is hoping to also turn around the fortunes of six-year-old Jetty, who has been nominated for the Listed Spear Chief Handicap.

A 13th-placed finish in the BRC Sprint capped off a disappointing return to the track.

“First up, Jetty had a pretty hard run, on a wet track he got back and made a long-sustained run and it just flattened him a little bit,” Munce said.

“We just want to have a look at him through the week to really make sure I’m 100% happy to run him or not.”

Cryptoshare and Payline are nominated for the Listed Queensland Day Stakes, but Munce is also considering running the pair at Doomben tomorrow.