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Ahrens banks on home track advantage

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Ben Ahrens is hoping a gear change and the home track advantage will be enough for lightly raced mare Brilliantly to register successive wins at Beaudesert on Tuesday.

Brilliantly starts in the Benchmark 60 Handicap for fillies and mares over 1200 metres and will be one of four starters Ahrens will saddle up on his home track.

The five-year-old had a late start to her career and has made only three appearances including an impressive last start win in a 1200-metre maiden at the Sunshine Coast on August 22.

“On form she is the best of my four runners but she’s a mare who is having her first preparation,” Ahrens said.

“I had to scratch her from the Gold Coast 10 days ago because of a blood issue.

“She’s right now and her last win at Caloundra was very good but she did a lot wrong.

“She was very green and ran about a bit so I’m putting blinkers on her for the first time to keep her straight.”

Ahrens’s biggest concern with the daughter of Shamus Award is the tight turning Beaudesert track.

“She races well on big tracks like the Sunshine Coast so the big question for me is how she’ll go around Beaudesert,” he said.

“The penny hasn’t dropped with her yet but the blinkers should make her focus more and hopefully the home track will be an advantage.”

Major Nic

Ahrens expects another strong showing from Major Nic in the males’ division of the Benchmark 60 Handicap.

Major Nic has drawn badly in barrier 17 but will come in several places with two early scratchings and the likelihood some of the emergencies don’t obtain starts.

Major Nic is a son of Nicconi who has started six times for a win and two placings, coming off a last start seventh to the Chris Munce-trained Shooting Roses in an 1100-metre Class 1 at the Gold Coast on September 11.

“He’s drawn badly but he’s got very good gate speed to get across,” Ahrens said.

“He’s backing up after 10 days off and steps up to 1200 metres, so there’s a few things against him.

“But he’s another I’m hoping the home track will be an advantage.”