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Country Cups test for Highmaster

By Glenn Davis

Rockhampton trainer Jared Wehlow will use Highmaster’s Brisbane stopover as a litmus test for a possible Country Cups campaign when the former Sydney sprinter starts at Eagle Farm on Wednesday.

The former John Thompson-trained gelding was recently sold for an undisclosed amount to clients of Wehlow and will make his Queensland debut in the BRC TV Benchmark 68 Handicap over 1600 metres.

The four-year-old is a son of Poet’s Voice, and has started 12 times for two wins and six placings including a last start second in a 1600-metre Benchmark race at Warwick Farm on March 31.

“He’s been racing well at the midweeks in Sydney and we’re all hoping he’ll measure up to this level in Brisbane,” Wehlow said.

“His form is quite good and he passed all the vet checks. he’s a big horse who stands 17 hands.

“I’m hopeful he’ll measure up to the Cup races back home in the winter but it may not be until next year.

“He’s been placed over 1900 metres and has won up to 1600 metres so he looks a nice type for our winter races back home.”


However, Wehlow hasn’t ruled out a shot at the Country Cup races during this year’s central and north Queensland winter carnivals.

“He’ll need to win a couple of races to get his rating up to have a go this year,” Wehlow said.

“He’s still only a Class 2 horse and has a way to go yet but he’s a nice type.

“After we bought him, he went straight to the Gold Coast where John Smerdon is looking after him for this run and we’ll see how he goes before deciding where he’ll run next.”

Wehlow believes Highmaster could prove an ideal horse for the Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville Cups, whether it’s this year or next.

“I’d like to think he’ll measure up to the Townsville Cup or maybe the Cleveland Bay,” he said.

“I’ve never won either race but I did go close a few years ago.

“This race tomorrow will be a nice test for him but it’s tricky with several chances.”