By Glenn Davis
Clifton trainer Steve Thomas is confident former NSW sprinter Viceman can enhance his claims for next month’s Cannonball Series Final when the gelding runs in the final heat at Ipswich on Wednesday.
Viceman is already assured of a start in the $30,000 Cannonball Series Final(800m) at Kilcoy on December 1 after being runner-up in the first two heats at Gatton and Toowoomba.
Viceman’s earned 16 points for his two seconds in the opening heat behind Teeroy’s Tribute at Gatton last month and behind Captain Leo in the next leg at Toowoomba on November 20.
Popular Toowoomba jockey Gary Geran rode Viceman on both occasions and has retained the ride at Ipswich.
Viceman started his career in Sydney winning two of his eight starts for Joe Pride before heading to Matt Dunn’s stable at Murwillumbah in the Northern Rivers.
The five-year-old son of Denman won a Benchmark 70 race at Murwillumbah in seven starts for Dunn before he was again moved on to Thomas’ stable at Clifton on Queensland’s Darling Downs.
Thomas has managed to get the best out of Viceman who has missed a place only once in five starts.
He was successful in a Class Three in his debut for Thomas at Ipswich in mid-August and won at his third start at Toowoomba in a Benchmark 70 race at Toowoomba in late September prior to his two Cannonball Series placings.
“His only unplaced run for me was when he ran sixth at Toowoomba,” Thomas said.
“I was going to run him at the Gold Coast two weeks after his first win for me at Ipswich but the meeting was washed out.
“He got away from me a little after that and he needed that run when he ran sixth at Toowoomba.
“He’s already assured of a start in the Cannonball Final but after two placings I want to win a heat if possible before the final.”
Thomas was a former jockey and rode successfully around Gympie and Bundaberg before weight forced him to quit the saddle.
He now works fulltime at the Warwick abattoir and has a small team of four horses in work.
Thomas rates the Michael Nolan-trained Redex, a last start winner in Class Four grade at the Sunshine Coast last month, as the main threat to Viceman.
Racing Queensland webnews November 20