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Kirkwood's two shots to break drought

By Glenn Davis

Toowoomba trainer Steve Kirkwood thinks he’s due for a winner and will have two throws at the stumps to break the drought at Warwick on Tuesday.

Kirkwood believes the barrier draw is his biggest obstacle in claiming his first win since November last year when he saddles up Elka Eleven in the Maiden Handicap over 1100 metres and Misslleers in the Class 3 Handicap over the same trip.

Misslleers was Kirkwood’s last winner when the four-year-old won an 1100-metre Class 1 at the Gold Coast on November 20.

Since then, the daughter of Smart Missile has started only twice; just missing a place over 1200 metres at Toowoomba on December 5 and a last start third to the Mark Currie-trained Ready Babe in a 1200-metre Class 3 at Toowoomba on January 30.

“She had a lot of trouble with her feet before I took over her training but she’s fine now,” Kirkwood said.

“Her last effort was very good but it was a tough race against Ready Babe who was in two races that night but they decided to run against us.

“Beach Club ran second to Ready Babe and he’s come out to frank the form by winning at Toowoomba on Saturday night.

“I think Misslleers should be very competitive again as will Elka Elven but we never got any favours in the barrier draw."

Elka Eleven
Misslleers Next Racing

Kirkwood said Elka Eleven was overdue for a win following her placing in a maiden over 800 metres at Ipswich on January 9 and a last start second in an 1100-metre maiden at Gatton on January 30.

“She’s been very honest and was a bit unlucky last start when she just got pipped,” he said.

Elka Eleven is a half sister to the Chris Anderson-trained Gemelon Bolt who ran second to Glorious Ruby in a QTIS two-year-old race at Doomben on Saturday.

Kirkwood is a "brickie" by trade and is the son-in-law of former top Toowoomba trainer Ron Macrae who prepared many top sprinters before his retirement a few years ago.

Kirkwood has a small string of seven horses in work and spends most of his time juggling work commitments and attending to his horses.

“My week day starts at 2.30 each morning to go to the stable where I stay until about 5.30 most mornings,” Kirkwood.

“At 6am I’m off to work and I stay there until around 3pm when I go back to the stables to feed the horses and I don’t get home until around 6pm.”

Kirkwood has booked apprentice Jaden Lloyd - son of former champion jockey Jeff - to ride Elka Eleven while vetern Ron Goltz partners Misslleers.