Queensland, here we come!
That’s the message from connections of hulking pacer Soho Tribeca as they prepare for the 2018 Racing Queensland winter carnival features at Albion Park next month.
The Michael Stanley trained and driven star returned from a 10 week break with a scintillating victory in the $20,000 Del-Re National Italian Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton last night (Saturday).
Starting from the outside of the second-line in the 2240m feature, the American Ideal entire was sent forward quickly after the start and found a comfortable lead before racing clear over the concluding stages.
He rated 1:54.5 and never looked out of second gear.
Surprisingly, that’s the first time that Stanley has handled him under race conditions.
“That was a special thrill, I don’t think I have ever encountered that kind of feeling before and he’s nowhere near his absolute best given what’s in front of him this campaign.” Stanley beamed.
The next stop for Soho Tribeca is the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on July 1 before heading further north for the Brisbane features on July 14 and 21.
The Albion Park features include the Gr.2 $50,540 Garrards Sunshine Sprint followed by the jewel in the crown, the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship – the final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit.
And that’s the key focus.
As it stands, the current leader is the recently exported superstar Lazarus with 304 points while Soho Tribeca sits in second with 205 points.
A winning effort in a Grand Circuit event is worth 100 points and therefore, victory in the Sunshine State feature will see him usurp the former New Zealand ace.
“That’s the aim, winning the Blacks A Fake carries a lot of significance for many reasons. Obviously, the prizemoney is great but the added bonus for us is the title of Grand Circuit champion is very important given he has a stud career in front of him.
“He’s a great horse with a great record and his pedigree is the best in the country right now with all of his siblings also performing at a very high level. If he can be crowned Grand Circuit champion and over a horse like Lazarus, well, that’s something very special indeed.
“This whole winter campaign has been geared around Brisbane and he’ll be absolutely spot on for that event, he was probably around 80% or a tick over and will improve significantly with the run. The next couple of runs will be tough but he’s ready for the challenge.”
Soho Tribeca has won 21 of his 56 starts while banking in excess of $1.1 million.
He is raced by his breeder, Perth based Rob Watson.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | June 17 | Photo by Stuart McCormick