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By Glenn Davis
Trainer Les Ross has an extra spring in his step as he bids for successive wins with River Racer in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
River Racer hasn’t raced on a heavy track since claiming last year’s 1400-metre feature and is likely to have similar conditions again this year following steady rain.
River Racer, a Robbie Fradd mount, finished second to Love You Lucy in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes on June 13 before a last start ninth to Jami Lady in the Listed Bright Shadow at Eagle Farm on July 4.
“This is her third time she’s run in the Glasshouse,” Ross said.
“She ran third the first time before she won last year and hopefully, she can do it again.
“If it stays wet, she’ll be hard to beat.”
Ross admitted he was surprised with River Racer’s performance when runner-up in the Dane Ripper.
“Eagle Farm is normally too hard for her so it surprised me she ran so well in the Dane Ripper,” he said.
“But that day she went on the inside where it was a bit softer.”
Ross believes the Glasshouse is an open affair and rates the Trevor Miller-trained Victory Eight as the main threat.
“It’s a track that suits the locals and I’ve got a lot of respect for Victory Eight which is a very under-rated horse,” he said.
OAKS HOTELS, RESORTS & SUITES GLASSHOUSE HANDICAP 1400m
The last horse to win successive Glasshouse Handicaps was the Rob Heathcote-trained Woorim who claimed the double in 2009-10.
Heathcote has topweight Deep Image entered this year but has declared the six-year-old an unlikely starter on a rain-affected track.
Heathcote was in line for his fourth Glasshouse Handicap after winning it for a third time with Riva De Lago in 2014.
Deep Image is a winner of eight of his 25 starts and was coming off a last start failure in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm in June.
However, the rising seven-year-old’s previous form was strong with two placings in Group company in May.
The son of Testa Rossa was beaten less than two lengths when third to Victorem at his previous start in the Group 2 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm which followed a nose defeat by Tambo’s Mate in the Group 3 BRC Sprint at Doomben.
“It’s disappointing the rain has come and it’s unlikely he’ll start but I won’t make a final decision until as late as possible," Heathcote said.
Sunshine Coast | Sunshine Coast Turf Club | 4:48 PM