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Couldn't Refuse set to step up

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Desleigh Forster is hoping her decision to bypass the big dance at the Magic Millions with Couldn’t Refuse may reap rewards this winter.

Couldn’t Refuse’s winter carnival prospects will be tested when the four-year-old steps up to 1805 metres in the Class 6 Plate at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The gelding was eligible to run on Magic Millions day but the astute Forster didn’t want to rush his preparation.

“There wasn’t a suitable race for him at the Magic Millions and he wasn’t quite ready at the time,” Forster said.

“He’s going well but he’s stepping up to 1800 metres tomorrow and it’s a strong race.”

Jim Byrne has ridden Couldn’t Refuse at his past five starts for two wins and three placings, including his latest second to the talented David Vandyke-trained Dissolution over 1600 metres at Doomben last month.

However, Byrne has parted company with Couldn’t Refuse, preferring to ride the Kelly Schweida-trained Joymaker who finished second to Wyong visitor Oakfield Missile over 1830 metres at Eagle Farm on February 20.

Mark Du Plessis, who has won twice on the four-year-old, will be reunited with Couldn’t Refuse.

“He’s been a victim of circumstances at his past few runs when he had to lead,” Forster said.

“I’m hoping for a lot more speed.”

Couldn't Refuse
Georgie's Pride

Couldn’t Refuse is a full brother to Forster’s former top performer Too Good To Refuse, who won five of his 36 starts and more than $500,000 in prizemoney.

His best win was in the Listed Keith Noud Stakes over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm in 2016.

Couldn’t Refuse was given his chance in last year’s Group 3 Gunsynd Classic over 1800 metres at Eagle Farm but could only manage ninth to the Michael Costa-trained Supergiant.

“The track was too hard for him that day,” Forster said.

Forster will see how Couldn’t Refuse performs before deciding on a winter carnival campaign along with stablemate Georgie’s Pride, who will be ridden by Byrne in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1400m).

Georgie’s Pride won twice at Eagle Farm in January before going down by more than three lengths when second to the highly rated Miami Fleiss in a 1200-metre three-year-old race at Doomben last month.

“Georgie’s Pride makes her own luck but she’s got a big weight with 59kgs,” she said.

“Her last run was very good and she’s looking for 1400 metres.”