The big boppers are in town!
Grand Circuit stars My Field Marshal and Soho Tribeca have settled into their new Brisbane surroundings in preparation for the open class features at Albion Park over the next fortnight.
The Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint takes place this Saturday night at Albion Park followed by the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship the following week.
The Blacks A Fake, is the jewel in the crown on the Queensland harness racing calendar, it also doubles as the final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season.
And Soho Tribeca has a chance to be crowned Grand Circuit champion if successful.
But the focus this week is the Sunshine Sprint, the signature speed test in the Sunshine State.
“We’re here and we’re ready to go, we’re looking forward to the challenge that is in front of us.” Trainer/driver Michael Stanley said.
Soho Tribeca took no competitive part in his most recent start when finishing a distant last in the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on July 1.
It was established he got his head under the arm of the starting gate which caused an unexpected gate break.
The striking American Ideal entire is yet to race at Albion Park.
But bookmakers are taking no chances and have listed him as the horse to beat in both Queensland features with their fixed odds markets.
“It was just one of those freak things that happened last start, fortunately, he’s taken no harm from the incident and he remains in great shape.
“Obviously both races will be difficult because the opposition will be strong, Tim (Butt – Trainer) has a great record in big races and deserves plenty of respect and I won’t be selling him short in either event.
“The sprint race this weekend will be hard and fast and then the challenge the following week will be equally tough because Kevin (Pizzuto – trainer) has both Cruz Bromac and Tiger Tara heading up. But the mission is to win both races and I believe he can achieve it.”
Tim Butt, now based in Sydney, arrived last week with both My Field Marshal and Let It Ride and is happy with the way both horses are coming along.
Let It Ride is a last start winner of the Gr.1 NSW Breeders Challenge 4yo Final in 1:49.4 – the fastest time of the day on the Len Smith Mile program.
But he won’t start in the Sunshine Sprint.
“The trip north is all about the experience, he will start in a support event while My Field Marshal starts in the Sunshine Sprint,” Butt explained.
“The main target for Let It Ride is the 4yo Championship the following week, while he’s good enough to start in both open features I don’t think he needs that right now, he’ll get his chance in time to come.
“My Field Marshal will start in both open races just like he did last year, he had a setback before the Len Smith Mile but he’s loving it here in Brisbane. He’s ready to show his best.”
The Gr.3 $30,540 Ted & Edna Badcock Memorial 4yo Championship takes place on July 21, the same night as the Blacks A Fake.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | July 9 | Photo by Stuart McCormick