Les Tilley will partner Mr Tickets at Gatton.
Les Tilley will partner Mr Tickets at Gatton.

Kropp hoping Mr Tickets can find form in Laidley Cup

RACING: Gatton is preparing for its moment in the racing spotlight.

The $15,000 Laidley Cup (1600m) headlines the nine-race program out of the Lockyer Valley on Easter Saturday, with a small but select field taking part in the feature.

Mr Tickets will have his second run for trainer Matt Kropp after previously racing under the care of Donald Baker, Mark Newnham and Michael Costa.

Kropp said there was merit in his first run for the stable, running fifth behind Maddiara at Clifford Park a fortnight ago.

“I thought his first-up run for the stable wasn’t a bad kick-off for him,” he said.

“He finished the race off nicely and is better suited to a mile. He’s done well since that race and although he has a bit of weight to contend with, he should acquit himself quite okay.”

Mr Tickets ran a career best in the Country Cups Challenge Final at Doomben in December, running second behind the in-form Paniagua, and Kropp said he hopes to reclaim that form at Gatton.

“You don’t know if he can get back to that form, but he looks to have settled into the stable quite well,” he said.

“He’s usually a get-back sort of horse, so we’ll let Bubba Tilley sum that up on the day.”

Kropp is taking a team of five to the Lockyer Valley, with Cold Hard Fact resuming from a spell in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Maiden Handicap (1100m).

Last preparation saw the filly finish with minor placings at Clifford Park and Roma, and Kropp is hoping she can get the right breaks in a tough race.

“She’s probably a filly that may end up wanting a little bit further,” he said.

“1100 might be alright first-up. She’s got a rough gate, and gates are pretty important at Gatton.

“She’ll need a bit of luck. She’s not really a horse that makes her own luck, but she should have enough ability to go close, and will have no weight on her back with Zac (Lloyd) on her.”

BEST BET – Octavian (Race 5, No 2)

Did the job for us last week, and there’s no reason he can’t salute again. Suited by a small field and looks the in-form runner.

VALUE BET – Peta Calada (Race 2, No 7)

There’ll be support for other runners, but I think he could fly under the radar here. Steps back up to 1100m. When last seen at that trip he finished ahead of Winter Rain who is absolutely flying.

Originally published as Kropp hoping Mr Tickets can find form in Laidley Cup