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Trial Return Close For Nova

Triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova is close to a return.


The highly decorated pacer will trial within a week for trainer Ian Gurney as he prepares for another campaign.


With career earnings close to a million dollars, the Art Major gelding has been freshened following his unplaced effort in the Remembering ‘Good Lookin Girl’ Open Pace at Albion Park on January 20.


The 11-year-old has won 4 of his 11 starts this season.


“There’s no deliberate plan in place for him apart from passing the million dollar mark, that’s the only aim I have with him and I think it would be a remarkable achievement to join that exclusive list of pacers.” Gurney said.


With the rich Queensland winter carnival features staged in July, Gurney is reluctant to be drawn into aiming at such features like the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake.


Avonnova won the Sunshine Sprint back in 2015 defeating subsequent Inter Dominion winner Smolda when staged as a Gr.1 event.


The Blacks A Fake is the richest event staged in Queensland, the Gr.1 $200,540 is the final Grand Circuit event on the 2017/18 season.


But Gurney is hopeful of reaching the mark before the carnival features roll around mid-year.


“I’d be great if he could get there before the winter carnival, I’m not sure if he’s up to that level anymore so we’ll focus on the weekly open events.


“He’s been an absolute star for me and it would give me great satisfaction and personal pride if he could achieve this because when I got him, I certainly didn’t think he would take me on this wonderful journey.


“But like me, he’s getting older and he’s starting to slow down a little. The big races look beyond him nowadays but he’s still very competitive in the free-for-all races, he seems good at the moment and the trial will tell us a little more.”


The trial will take place at Albion Park.


As it stands, Avonnova has banked $958,024.


Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | March 6 | Photo by Dan Costello