The 2017 Racing Queensland summer carnival starts this weekend at Albion Park.
Features include the $20,540 AQWA Constructions Lord Mayors Cup and the $15,540 APHRC Members Cup while the $15,540 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final is also part of the Saturday night program.
And Team Raboki is well represented.
Classy mare Bettorthanspecial starts in the open feature while Three Of The Best and Statement Made represent the stables of Shannon Price and Scott Miller in the intermediate grade event.
But the ace in their pack is a notable absentee.
Giant open class performer Ultimate Art is the omission from the free-for-all owing to a minor hoof issue but connections are hopeful of having him right for the remainder of the features.
“It’s nothing major but we certainly weren’t willing to chance him this weekend given what’s coming up over the next month. In fact, he’s definitely a lot better now compared to the start of the week so we’ll look at the remaining three features with him starting with next week.” Co-trainer Scott Miller said.
Ultimate Art has not raced since winning the Speed King Open Pace at Albion Park on November 4; the Modern Art gelding crushed his rivals in a scorching time of 1:51.9.
Next week, the Gr.3 $30,540 AQWA Constructions Be Good Johnny Sprint is the feature followed by the $20,540 Christmas Cup (2680m) while the Gr.2 $60,540 Egmont Park Stud Queensland Cup (2138m) brings the carnival to a close.
“The main target is the last race and hopefully he’ll be spot on for that event but at this stage, he’s a chance of tackling all three given his improvement this week but nothing is confirmed.
“We’re happy with Bettorthanspecial although the barrier draw has really dampened our enthusiasm, given that Glenferrie Hood and Avonnova have drawn ideally now makes our task quite difficult so we’ll be driving for luck.
“Both Three Of The Best and Statement Made are in great shape and should race well; Three Of The Best is resuming but his trials have been pleasing while Statement Made has returned in super form winning all four starts. We expect both to go very close.”
Steven Doherty will partner both Bettorthanspecial and Three Of The Best for the first time while Chris Petroff takes his first drive behind Statement Made.
Three Of The Best is resuming since his unplaced effort behind The More The Better in the Queensland Derby back on July 15, the Mach Three gelding has drawn nicely in gate three in the 2138m event while Statement Made will start from gate five.
The 10 race program starts at 5.12pm.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | November 23