Speedy three-year-old Key Largo is chasing feature race glory during the upcoming Queensland winter carnival.
Connections of the talented pacer are eyeing the $20,000 Redcliffe Derby on June 2 as their first target before progressing to features events at Albion Park including the Queensland Derby on July 15.
The Redcliffe Derby will be staged over 2040m.
A winner of 4 races from 5 starts, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding has been freshened following his victory on January 31 in a time of 1:57.0.
But a sharp trial yesterday (Tuesday) at Albion Park indicated the rangy pacer is on target for the upcoming features.
Key Largo rated 1:57.1 when leading throughout in the trial.
"It was a nice trial for him, he led and rolled along at a nice even speed and rated a neat time. He had a good blow after the trial and will take good benefit from the hit-out, he's on target for the Redcliffe Derby at this point." Trainer/driver Mark Dux said.
The Australian Pacing Gold graduate will face stern opposition from a number of talented types including Saturday night's QBRED Triad winner Clintal Do.
Promising Singleton filly Takara Truffle is also likely to be tested against the boys in the Redcliffe feature.
Earlier this season, Dux contemplated taking Key Largo and his stablemate Newport Dreamz to Melbourne to chase the Victoria Derby before electing to remain home and be freshened before being set for local winter carnival riches.
"Let's face it, all upcoming races are going to be difficult, everyone is aiming to have their horses for these features so we're under no illusion about the task at hand.
I'm happy with the way he's come up this campaign and hopefully he can make a play in some of these races.
His gate speed is his best asset and that will give him some sort of advantage in any race he contests, we just need some luck with front-line draws."
The $75,0000 Queensland Derby is scheduled for July 15 at Albion Park.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | May 17 | Photo by Dan Costello