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Alchin hopeful of big TAB Queensland Constellations carnival

20210615-constellations-4.jpgBy Jordan Gerrans

Multiple Group 1 winning trainer Rickie Alchin has become a regular in the Sunshine State over the years and in 2021 presents with a duo of impressive three-year-olds and potentially a champion trotter.

The Menangle Park-based trainer-driver has got a head start on much of the interstate contingent coming to Queensland for the TAB Queensland Constellations, starting horses last Saturday evening and across the last two Tuesday afternoons at Albion Park.

The renowned breaker of young horses has Redcliffe and Queensland Derby plans with youngsters Captain Crusader and Watts Up Sunshine, who both went around last Saturday at Albion Park.

They had to settle for minor placings behind Shannon Price’s Sporty Dancer on Saturday but that has not slowed Alchin’s hopes with the pair.

“Although they were beaten here on Saturday night, they both raced well,” Alchin said on Tuesday morning as the TAB Queensland Constellations carnival was launched at Albion Park.

“They are happy and have settled in well.

“Captain Crusader only arrived on Friday morning and then raced on Saturday night; he has come through the run really well.

“They should go to Redcliffe and be competitive.”

 

The Redcliffe Derby headlines racing at The Triangle on June 26 before the Group 1 Queensland Derby on Saturday July 24 at Albion Park.

Watts Up Sunshine finished third in the Group 1 NSW Derby earlier this year before a second-placed effort in the Breeders Crown series at Melton late in 2020.

Captain Crusader is also experienced against the best of the best, placing third two starts back at Melton.

“They are both proven at the top level, they have shown they can be competitive at that level,” Alchin said.

“Barrier draws is everything in races like this but they have the talent to be there.

“We will just be relying on a bit of luck.”

Albion Park Harness Racing club Executive Manager Scott Steele is over the moon with the calibre of pacers in Queensland for the carnival.

“It is unbelievable, this is an opportunity see the best harness racing in Australia by far,” Steele said.

“We have got the best of the best from New South Wales, Victoria, New Zealand and Western Australia.

“What a carnival it is going to be.

“We have got about 10 visiting trainers here at the moment and that will grow as the carnival goes on.

“The buzz is enormous.”

Races

5
5

Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 6:42 PM

ULTIMATE TOOLS 3YO PACE

1
SPORTY DANCER T: Shannon Price D: Adam Sanderson
2
CAPTAIN CRUSADER T: Rickie Alchin D: Brendan Barnes
3
WATTS UP SUNSHINE T: Rickie Alchin D: Nathan Dawson

Z7SEHtF0.jpegWatts Up Sunshine led on Saturday evening at Albion Park over 1660 metres for much of the trip before being run down late.

Alchin believes his gelding has a few more tricks than just leading.

“He is a very fast horse, he raced twice last week and was first-up on Tuesday after a 10-week let up from the races,” he said.

“He ran 26.8 first quarter and then there was not alot in it in the end.

“I felt he needed one more run.”

With Watts Up Sunshine and Captain Crusader already in the Sunshine State, Alchin says an experienced star stable-mate could also join them later in the carnival.

Champion trotter Tough Monarch, now nine years of age and with 25 career wins under his belt, may also look to Queensland to add to his already multiple Group 1 victories.

“He will have his first trial at Menangle this week, he is still quite big and he has been such a good horse for me and he will be very hard to replace,” he said.

“I will not bring him unless he is right but if he is right, he will be here.”

The Alchin team collected a winner at Albion Park on Tuesday afternoon just hours after the carnival was launched, with Puma Road bolting in by over seven metres.

The TAB Queensland Constellations commences on Friday evening at Redcliffe and culminates in late July with the final night of the carnival featuring an incredible six Group 1s, with the Queensland Derby and Oaks, the Triad Finals and the Queensland Trotters Cup supporting the TAB Blacks A Fake.

Races

8
8

Albion Park | Albion Park Harness Racing Club | 8:41 PM

LUNCHBOX LODGE SPELLING FARM 3YO PACE

1
WATTS UP SUNSHINE T: Rickie Alchin D: Rickie Alchin
2
BIG WHEELS T: Chantal Turpin D: Pete McMullen
3
ITZ MAJOR RICH NZ T: Cristina Monte D: Shane Graham