By Duane Ranger
Albion Park's feature pace will be contested at 6.37pm on Saturday night, but for Doug Brewin, it's more than just a 2138m horse-race.
Brewin, who has blood cancer, and hasn't been well of late, owns the 27-win pacer, Sir Julian - who will start from two on the second row (9) in the $21,160 Remembering 'Son Of Pearl' M0 Open.
Brewin never misses watching the 8-year-old Four Starzzz Shark gelding race, and just after 6.30pm he will again be glued to the TV set.
Doug's son, South Australian horseman Justin Brewin, said watching Sir Julian race was the highlight of his father's week.
"And believe me, he needs as many pick-me-ups as he can get right now," he said.
"He has had liver problems and it’s all very sad. It would also be a great tonic for my step-mum (Lucy) who broke her arm recently,
“We all love Sir Julian. He’s always been a lovely gentle horse. He will come back to Adelaide to retire with us one day."
Brewin, his wife Yvette, and parents Doug and Lucy, paid $4,000 for Sir Julian when he was a four-year-old in 2015.
They won 20 races with him and then when he ‘reached his mark’ in South Australia (June last year) Brewin passed the talented pacer onto Greenbank (Logan City) trainer, Graham Dwyer.
“There wasn’t much left for him down here so we moved him on the Queensland where there would be better races for him," Brewin said.
"Graham, who we met through a friend, has won another six with him. He’s done a good job. We wish him luck on Saturday night. I can guarantee my parents will be watching. They never miss.
“Dad’s had lots of horses going back many decades, but this fella is his best. He really perks when Sir Julian is on the telly."
Dwyer said it wouldn’t surprise him if he went one better than when he finished a 4.1 second behind Argyle Beach in a C4 and Better Pace at Albion Park last Saturday night.
“He’s an opportunist and just when you forget him he can be very dangerous. Sometimes in the stables I think he can’t win this, and then when he steps out on the track and I look at him, I think he can," the trainer said.
“But you have to be realistic and realise this is a very strong field and he will have to be driven for luck. Perhaps being on the rails might be a good thing."
The South Brisbane trainer believed the Kylie Rasmussen trained duo of Invincible Loxton (6) and Lilac Flash (11) would be toughest to beat.
"I have a lot of respect for a few horses in the field, especially those two. I think Invincible Loxton will take control of the race and then perhaps Lilac Flash could take over," he said.
"I think John (Cremin- driver) is better to play a waiting game and hopefully luck goes his way."
Lilac Flash and Rasmussen were too good in last week's open pace after settling back and then coming into the race, via the three-wide train, down the back the last time. Invincible Loxton, who sat parked faded out of it.
Dwyer said Sir Julian was the best of his 14 horses in work. He was also lining up Redriverdebba (10) in the ninth event at 9.40pm.
"She will need this one because she hasn't raced since Christmas Eve. She's also drawn the second row, so probably not this time. Place at best," said Dwyer.
As for Sir Julian, he has now won 27 of his 122 starts and placed in 37 others for $118,543 in stakes. He was bred by D.J. and J.M. Howe.