By Glenn Davis
Promising sprinter Usmanov will take another step in his “re-education” for Team Edmonds when he attempts back-to-back wins at the Sunshine Coast on Friday night.
Usmanov, a $350,000 buy at the Magic Millions sales, lines up against a strong field of restricted class sprinters in the Class Four Handicap (1000m).
The field includes Steve O’Dea’s promising pair Jami Lady and The Wild One as well as Tony’s Gollan Pizonie but has been robbed of the return of Stu Kendrick’s smart mare Winter Passage who was scratched after drawing badly.
Usmanov, a son of Choisir from the broodmare Mining Tycoon, has started eight times for three wins and a third and was an easy four length winner in his return from a spell in a 900-metre Class Two at the Gold Coast last month.
On that occasion, Usmanov appeared to be tardy at the start before recovering to take up a prominent position.
However, co-trainer Trent Edmonds said Usmanov had struck his head in the barriers.
“He got away okay but he did strike his head in the barriers,” Edmonds said.
Usmanov’s win at the Gold Coast was his first appearance since a gelding operation.
“He was a bit aggressive in his trackwork when he was a colt so we had him gelded at the end of his last preparation,” Edmonds said.
“He’s racing a lot better now but we’ve had to re-educate him.”
Edmonds, who trains in partnership with his father Toby Edmonds, has no major plans in mind for Usmanov.
“He’s won a race in town but we’ll take things one race at a time with him,” he said.
“He’ll be hard to beat again but it’s a very hard race even without Winter Passage.
“There’s a lot of chances including Pizonie and Jami Lady.”
Usmanov is an older half brother to Edmonds’ smart colt Rucca who is by Rubick.
Rucca won against his own age at Moonee Valley in October before failing in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington last month.
Racing Queensland webnews December 5