Queensland Guineas Day
Eagle Farm, Ascot / Sat 1 May
Gold Coast Cup Day
Aquis Park, Gold Coast / Sat 8 May
Heartfelt first winner of the Darryl Gollan Memorial
Moffat looking forward to second edition of TAB Trot Rods
Photo credit: Mike Mills
By Jordan Gerrans
Multiple north Queensland Cup-winning rider Graham Kliese is not sure just yet if unbeaten filly Keys Please has the wow factor.
The smart two-year-old is yet to taste defeat from a pair of impressive starts at Townsville’s Cluden Park for astute Gordonvale trainer Ralph Baker.
While experienced hoop Kliese is undecided on if the Statue of Liberty youngster, she might be able to prove it to the respected NQ jockey come Thursday afternoon.
The feature Pallarenda Stakes winner from 2020 is back from a four-month spell and puts her unbeaten record on the line in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap (1000m).
The Townsville-based Kliese travelled north to Mareeba to trial the emerging two-year-old on Saturday after the non-TAB program and was encouraged by her performance.
He believes she has improved following the freshen up and with a few race starts under belt.
“Obviously as it was a Saturday trial and then into a Thursday race, I was very kind to her,” Kliese said.
“It was ok, I never dug her out of the gates and asked for too much.
“Because it was so close to the race, Ralph did not have many options about trialling her.
“She went good without giving me the 'wow factor', but Ralph is a very good trainer and I am sure he will have her spot on.”
Veteran trainer Baker only has a small team of horses at his Gordonvale stable but Kliese described him as a great trainer of two-year-olds as well as fillies and mares.
Baker raced mare Jacsaid up until 2016 for two wins from 27 starts, and her daughter is likely to surpass her victories total by Thursday afternoon.
Keys Please was able to lead and hold off the chasing pack in both of her career wins, both being by a half-length over 1000 metres.
“She was just a bit sharper than those two-year-olds, which was to her favour,” Kliese said.
“It is hard to tell with these two-year-olds about how good they might be, but she was quick out of the gates and has heaps of speed and always uses that to her advantage.
“That is where she has been beating them, she gets away quickly.
“That is her advantage, she gets out of the gates quickly and has that quick turn of foot early in the race.
“She just has the start on them.”
Keys Please is owned by Weipa-based businessman Rob Roy, who works in earthmoving and bitumen sealing, and also had Jacsaid.
Keys Please is one of six rides for Kliese on his home track on Thursday.
He is on the way back from a short injury lay-off with a sore back, not riding for a month over the Christmas and New Year period following a fall at Cluden.
The Cairns Cup-winning jockey was told by doctors he would never ride again following a badly broken leg about three years ago, but has worked his way back to being one of the leading riders in the north once again.
Townsville | Townsville Turf Club | 10:53 AM