By Glenn Davis
Caloundra trainer Darryl Hansen remains hopeful Doctor Zous can overcome a horror barrier to give him his first Cleveland Bay Handicap winner at Townsville’s Cluden Park on Saturday.
Doctor Zous – Nathan Day mount – drew barrier 18 for the $100,000 North Queensland feature, which is regarded as the Stradbroke of the North.
Hansen has been a regular visitor to the TAB Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival over the past 20 years.
He has won has four Rockhampton Newmarket's, a Mackay Cup and a Townsville Cup, while Day won last year’s Cleveland Bay Handicap aboard Deadly Choices.
“We have to cop the barrier on the chin but he does come in a few spots without the emergencies,” Hansen said.
“It’ll need a peach of a ride from Nathan to win from out there but the horse is going well.”
Doctor Zous, who was originally trained in Sydney by Bjorn Baker, is coming off a last start fifth to Last Chance in the Rockhampton Newmarket on July 9.
“He didn’t let down in the Rocky Newmarket last start and was getting over a virus,” Hansen said.
“I’ve done a blood count on him since and he’s fine now.”
Doctor Zous finished tenth in last year’s Cleveland Bay after winning the Rockhampton Newmarket and failing in the Mackay Newmarket over 1300 metres.