By Duane Ranger
Greenbank trainer Graham Dwyer believes he can finally secure his first QBRED final at Albion Park on Saturday after a string of previous placings.
Dwyer says his Auckland Reactor gelding Hipstar, which has drawn barrier four in Race 5 on Saturday – The G2 $50,000 QBRED 3YO Triad Final for colts and geldings may be up to the task.
“He’s fit and racing well and is better drawn this time around. He can go close, especially now that the two who beat him last year have drawn worse than him,” Dwyer said.
Last July Hipstar and John Cremin finished a 3.9m and 3.7m third behind the Craig Cross trained First String (Luke McCarthy) and the Rickie Alchin trained and driven Regulus, who was a hot $1.40 favourite that night.
They drew four and three respectively last year. Hipstar drew one and got crossed by them both early. On Saturday Regulus and First String have drawn six and nine (two on the second row) respectively.
“Getting crossed from the ace draw cost us last year. We should be in the running line early this time because I would like John (Cremin) to push forward with him,” the in-form trainer said.
“Not that I’m going to tell John how to drive him. He’s a very good judge of a race and knows the horse well. He also has a share in him.”
Last year's Group One $100,000 2YO Triad Final was a 1660m mobile and Regulus led First String early in the race with Hipstar situated third along the markers.
Then in the lane First String had too much sprint for the favourite. Hipstar also ran home well along the markers for third. They stopped the clock in 2:00.1 with a 1:56.4 mile-rate.
One of Hipstar's four wins has been over Saturday’s 2,138m mobile. That being on March 8 when he recorded a 2:01.1 mile rate.
“He’s Going really well at the moment. He has finished first or second in his last six starts. I don’t think the two visitors that beat him will be able to control the race like they did last year. He is very capable of winning it,” Dwyer said.
“If he does, I’ll be over the moon because I’ve finished third and second in QBRED Finals before.”
Dwyer trained and drove Famous Forever mare, Forever Perfect to run second in the QBRED 4YO Mares Triad Final back in 2013.
“I’ve got four in on Saturday night and Hipstar is my best winning chance. John has done a super job with this pacer. He knows him inside and out,” Dwyer said.
“Potentially this horse is one of the best I’ve ever had, but he’s still quite a bit under-done. He dropped the bit three times last start (April 2 – Albion Park) and still won.”
Hipstar's breeder, Wayne Comerford, bought him back at the 2017 Redcliffe Yearling Sales for $3,500. He is the first foal (of two) out of the one-win Life Sign mare, Oh So Hippe. He also has a yearling full brother.
“Hopefully he will measure up on Saturday, and then we will prepare him towards our Winter Carnival. He's only had 21 starts and won four of them and placed in nine others ($34,854). Hopefully he has the potential to go on with it," Dwyer said.
The Group Two $50,000 QBRED Triad Final for 3-year-old colts and geldings is one of two Group Two events on Saturday. There are also four other Listed races.
A preview of the other Group two event – race six – can be viewed here: