By Glenn Davis
Trainer Les Ross has put retirement plans on the backburner and will now focus on trying to win next month’s $500,000 QTIS Jewel at the Gold Coast.
Ross, 56, was hoping to sell his stable complex which includes two houses and 16 boxes on three blocks of land at Hendra but offers did not meet his reserve when tenders closed yesterday.
“I was only going to retire if I could, but the tenders closed yesterday and I was only offered $1.7m when I was looking for more than $2m,” Ross said.
“I don’t have to retire but I’d like to.
“I always said I wouldn’t retire this year but if I sold the stables, I would give it all away after next year’s Magic Millions carnival.
“I’ve got 20 yearlings and out of them I’m hoping about eight will be aiming for the Magic Millions Classic and a few for the Guineas.”
Ross has three runners engaged in the two divisions of the QTIS Jewel Preludes (1110m) at Doomben on Saturday.
He rates Hancora Field as his best QTIS Jewel hope and expects her to be hard to beat in the Jewel Prelude for fillies in which he also saddles up Mishani Miss while Mishani Fraudster tackles the males’ division of the Jewel Prelude.
Hancora Field has won two of her three starts including an easy all-the-way win at Eagle Farm on February 8 before a runaway win over 1200 metres at the Sunshine Coast on February 16.
Mishani Miss had a win and placing at Eagle Farm before a last start fifth to boom youngster Rothfire over 1000 metres at Eagle Farm on February 15.
“Rothfire is the one to beat in the QTIS Jewel and Ancora Field is my best hope of beating him in the final,” Ross said.
“Hancora Field had three days out in the paddock following her Caloundra win and she’s ready to rumble.
“I’m just hoping the drop back in distance from 1200 metres to 1110 metres won’t be a problem.
“Mishani Miss also had a couple of days out and she’ll be up to her ears in the finish against Hancora Field.”
The barrier draw wasn't kind for Ross when Hancora Field drew gate 12 while Mishani Miss jumps from barrier 14.
Ross believes the hype around Rothfire is well deserved but isn’t flying the white flag when Mishani Fraudster clashes with the youngster.
Mishani Fraudster was placed three times before a last start flop when the gelding beat one runner home behind Rothfire over 1000 metres at Eagle Farm two weeks ago.
“It’ll be hard for Mishani Fraudster to beat Rothfire but racing can be a funny game,” he said.
“They all said Alligator Blood would win the Caulfield Guineas and up jumped Super Seth.”
Racing Queensland webnews February 26