By Jordan Gerrans
Godolphin have declared Trekking is ready to fire first-up in the Group 2 Victory Stakes on Saturday afternoon, which signals an exciting start of the TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
The 2019 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap champion (pictured) arrived in Queensland earlier this week and is rated a $2.10 chance with the TAB to take out his first assignment of the winter, the WFA feature over 1200m.
Nacim Dilmi, travelling foreman for the Godolphin stable, knows the Sunshine State well, bringing the twice Group 1 winner north before, as well as other quality horses that don the famous blue colours.
Trekking has not been seen at the races since the Perth carnival last year but the French horseman, Dilmi, thinks the six-year-old bay gelding is ready to produce this Saturday.
“First-up after a lengthy spell, after having a big prep last time,” Dilmi said.
“He has arrived on Thursday morning and he is ready to fire first-up, hopefully.
“We are not coming into the race too confident; he is a highly rated horse obviously against the older runners.
“But, we are not here to say he is definitely going to win; he is going to run a good race and obviously it is not his grand final.
“This will be a nice steppingstone for his next couple of runs.”
Dilmi is in charge of the Godolphin team at Eagle Farm across the TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival, noting he has great memories from his previous trips to the Sunshine State, including the Stradbroke two years ago.
“It would be great if we could do it again next year,” he said.
“I am always well looked after when I come to Queensland.”
Following Saturday’s Victory Stakes, Trekking is likely to press towards the Group 1 TAB Doomben 10,000, which will enjoy a prize money increase to $1 million in 2021.
He is likely to be joined by a few of his Godolphin mates in the coming weeks, as well.
Dilmi says Kementari is on the way north, as is Savatiano, who he believes will be well suited to a race like the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup in just under a months’ time.
Avilius will also be in Queensland by next week, looking towards the Group 2 A.D Hollindale Stakes on the Gold Coast before the Doomben Cup.