By Tony McMahon
Saturday’s $150,000 Woollam Constructions Rockhampton Cup (1600m) has really come “alive” following the release of weights yesterday TUESDAY for the 21 strong feature race.
Not surprisingly, Toowoomba trainer Steve Tregea’s pair of top class geldings Bergerac and Niccanova head the handicaps.
Should he start, Niccanova is set to carry the number one saddlecloth after he was awarded 61kg.
The versatile Niccanova is also entered for Saturday’s Rocky Newmarket (1300m) with 61kg and Tregea was to make a decision last night TUESDAY as to which way to go with him.
Bergerac will follow Niccanova out of the enclosure if Saturday’s Cup is chosen, and he will be sporting the two saddlecloth in conjunction with him being awarded second top weight on 60.50kg.
Anderson Heathcote Racing’s Cool Chap comes in next on 59kg.
Considerable interest centres around the entry of Tasmanian trained Brilliant Jet.
A winner in four states including Tasmania, Brilliant Jet has also acheived success in Victoria; New South Wales and Queensland.
All told Brilliant Jet has won 10 times but he has not started since last September when unplaced in Brisbane.
Brilliant Jet has travelled north from his Longford, Tasmanian base with trainer Aiden Nunn and a large contingent of polo cross horses.
He did the same last year winning races at Grafton and in Brisbane.
Nunn is regarded as one of the best polo riders in Australia and for nine months of the year he competes on the circuit of that equestrian sport along the Eastern starboard.
Rest assured Nunn will have Brilliant Jet fit for his first up tilt at the Rocky Cup.
Earlier this week at Beaudesert on Monday, Brilliant Jet looked focused when winning a 1050 metres trial for Brooke Ainsworth.
With just 55kg on his back, Brilliant Jet is very well placed in the Rocky Cup and his presence in the field will provide the race and Rockhampton itself with invaluable exposure.
Big race winning jockey Les Tilley who won the Cup last year on Mamselle Corday will ride last year’s Rocky Cup runner-up, the Darryl Hansen trained Balboa Rocks.
Incidentally no jockey has been secured yet for Mamselle Corday with connections noting the mare’s recent form is much better than misleadingly reads on paper.
Darryl Hansen will supply the top weight for Friday’s $100,000 XXXX Gold Rockhampton Newmarket (1300m).
In that hot sprinting contest, the Hansen trained Monsieur Gustavo heads the list with 61kg.
Monsieur Gustavo is equal top weight with Steve Tregea’s Niccanova.
Both Hansen and Tregea have experienced Rockhampton Newmarket wins previously.
Tregea won it in 2010 when Baqaba who beat the Garland family trained Gobou.
Hansen has the best Newmarket record experiencing the thrill of winning the Trophy race on three occasions.
This he did with 0nalar (2008); Perugin Thought (2011) and Le Cap (2015).
At his best, Monsieur Gustave is a horse of far superior talent to any of Hansen’s three previous Newmarket winners.
Friday’s eight race TAB Newmarket program should generate massive betting turnover.
Considerable interest will centre around Saturday’s $42,000 2YO Plate (1300m) in which the Graeme Green trained Master Jamie is chasing five consecutive wins.
Under the set handicap weight conditions his allocated weight of 57kg is many kilograms under what he would receive in handicap conditions.
Fields for the Newmarket days racing will be declared at 10am this morning.