Trackwork Confidential: 6 things you need to know from around the tracks in Brisbane

Blueberry Hill, right, is likely to run second-up in the Golden Rose. Picture: Jono Searle

THE Gold Coast Bulletin’s Brad Davidson pinpoints the things you need to know from around the tracks.

1.Liam Birchley will have runners in the Golden Rose, Thousand Guineas, Coolmore Stud Stakes and Moonee Valley Cup providing everything goes to plan with his spring hopefuls over the next few months.

The Brisbane trainer confirmed Group 2 winner Blueberry Hill will run second-up in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on September 12 providing she performs well first-up in a 1200m three-year-old handicap at Doomben on August 29.

She only had three weeks off after the winter which is a concern and that’s why I want to have a look at her before we take her anywhere to make sure she has made the required improvement,” Birchley said. “Zac Purton will probably ride her in the Golden Rose if we go that way.”

Blueberry Hill is also nominated for the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 10 along with stablemate Saga Of The Storm, who will resume in an 1110m three-year-old handicap at Doomben on Saturday.

Saga Of The Storm hasn’t raced since finishing 10th in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January and Birchley is hopeful she can develop into a spring player this campaign.

“If she does what she is supposed to here then there are a lot of nice fillies races down there for her as well,” he said. “She is forward enough for the race this Saturday and 1110m is probably not her go but while she is on the fresh side I think she can race well at least.”

Fellow three-year-old Hardline, who hasn’t been sighted since winning the $1 million Karaka Million (1200m) in New Zealand in January, was set to have a second jumpout in Brisbane this week.

Karaka Million winner Hardline is warming up for the spring.

Birchley is hoping to set the Showcasing gelding for the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) down the Flemington straight on October 31.

“I missed the winter carnival purposely with him because his racing pattern is no good for Doomben,” he said. “I will more than likely start him off somewhere soft if I can because he has had a bit of time on the sidelines.”

Ramornie Stakes winner Rock Royalty may also target “Listed and Group 3 races” during the Melbourne spring, while Pop ‘N’ Scotch is set to head towards the Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on October 24.

Birchley stressed that each horse needs to prove themselves in Queensland first before any spring carnival plans are confirmed.

2. Experienced Queensland jockey Larry Cassidy has suffered a setback on his comeback trail from knee surgery. The 45-year-old has been out of action since June and posted this comment on Facebook on Monday night.

“Following ten days of escalating pain in my left knee, I went back to the surgeon today who has given me a further two months off with complete rest and crutches. Apparently I have bruising to the bottom of the femur due to multiple tiny stress fractures caused by extra strain from the removal of the medial meniscus which usually cushions this area. I will keep you updated on my progress.”

We wish Larry all the best in his recovery.

Larry Cassidy will be sidelined for another two months. Picture: Tara Croser


3. Trainer Helen Page has warned punters Rudy may be vulnerable when the Gold Coast star kicks off his spring campaign in the open handicap (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.

Rudy, who will be ridden by apprentice Luke Dittman this weekend, won a trial by two lengths at the Gold Coast last Tuesday but has only won once first-up from five attempts and Page also revealed the five-year-old is about 30kg heavier this preparation.

“He can’t win every race but he is well in himself and he is on a path towards the Epsom (in Sydney on October 3),” Page said. “His grand final is not for another seven weeks or so but he puts in well fresh.’’

4. Fellow Gold Coast star Teronado will also make his long-awaited return to the track in the Class 6 Plate (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday. The Group 1 placegetter hasn’t raced since he had a tendon stripped when galloped on in the George Main Stakes (1600m) in Sydney last September and trainer Bruce Hill is reserved about his chances.

“He is going pretty good but he will probably be a bit rusty first-up,” he said.

5. Trainers Glen Baker and Jamie McConachy are likely to have their cobalt charges dropped and disqualifications quashed within the next fortnight.

The Gold Coast Bulletin understands Racing Queensland has already conceded defeat in the case against Baker and has agreed to set aside the Atherton trainer’s two-year disqualification and award him costs due to an embarrassing legal loophole.

All that is left is for a figure for the costs to be agreed upon and for the Racing Disciplinary Board to accept the agreement between the two parties.

RQ would not comment on Monday “because the matters remain before the RDB” but Baker’s solicitor Matt Tutt confirmed the two parties had come to an agreement. There has been no agreement formed in the case against McConachy just yet but RQ is likely to have to drop the cobalt charges and the 18-month ban laid against the Rockhampton trainer as well.

6. Honesta is having 10 days in the paddock. May run in Flight Stakes in Oct and VRC Oaks not ruled out. Ultimate goal is Qld Oaks

Story courtesy Brad Davidson Gold Coast Bulletin


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