By Glenn Davis
Trainer Graeme Green has declared star Central Queensland sprinter Master Jamie only 80% fit ahead of his return to city racing at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Master Jamie is topweight with a massive 63.5kgs and will be partnered by regular rider Les Tilley in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap over 1200 metres.
If the three-year-old salutes, it will have carried the most weight to win in a Brisbane race since Chief De Beers successfully carried 64.5kgs in April 1997.
Green never gave any thought to claiming on the son of Poet’s Choice, who carried the same weight when run down near the line by Raiden in his comeback at Rockhampton on June 23.
It was the gelding's first run since recovering from a minor bout of Ross River fever, which ruled him out of the rich QTIS Jewel at the Gold Coast in March.
“I’m still trying to get him fit and he’s only about 80% right at the moment,” Green said.
“I was rapt in his last run at Rockhampton when he was first up with 63.5kgs.
“It was an enormous effort and he was always going to be vulnerable in the last 50 metres and that’s where they got him.”
Green’s decision not to claim stems partly from loyalty to Tilley and the need for an experienced rider for Master Jamie.
“I prefer to stick with a senior rider as he can be risky at the start,” Green said.
“He had problems getting away early in his career until we got his tail held in the barrier.
“It’s a lot of weight he's carrying but Les has ridden him a lot and knows him backwards.”
Green plans to head back home with Master Jamie after his second-up assignment but could change his mind.
“I want to take him back home for the Newmarket Handicaps at Rockhampton and Mackay and then Townsville,” he said.
“If he has a gut buster on Saturday then I might stay on and miss Rockhampton and go straight to Mackay.
“If that happens, I’ll probably look for an open sprint race in Brisbane or a set weights race to give him some weight relief.”
Master Jamie has won 11 of his 15 starts and is unbeaten at his only two Eagle Farm starts.
Racing Queensland webnews - July 2