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Talented Queensland mares Demeter and Laughing Emoji are the latest recruits bound for the ever increasing North American market. Buoyed by the deeds of world champion pacing mare Shartin, the appetite for ‘downunder’ pacing mares has hit fever pitch. And the performance across the weekend of former Victorian mare Soho Burning Love at the Meadowlands winning the Mares Open in 1:48.1 has further underlined the quality heading north in recent seasons. Connections of both Demeter and Laughing Emoji accepted offers they couldn’t refuse. Demeter, trained by former Leeton horseman Reece Maguire has proven to be an outstanding money-spinner since coming to the Sunshine State where she has won four of her nine starts. All four victories took place at Albion Park. Overall, Demeter has won 10 of her 40 starts to date. In her first start at the famed Breakfast Creek oval, the Art Major – Weka Lass mare took a personal best time of 1:54.2. At her most recent start, Demeter finished second behind boom pacer Speech Is Silver at Albion Park on June 6 in a time of 1:56.9 for 2138m. Demeter is a half-sister to talented Victorian based mare Reciprocity (16 wins - $158k). Meanwhile, Laughing Emoji also created a tidy record in Brisbane following her purchase from New Zealand as a three-year-old. The big striding Mach Three mare was prepared by Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen and all of her 11 (from 53 starts) were recorded on Australian soil. Laughing Emoji was purchased from the south island of New Zealand following her second start. Nine of her victories took place at Albion Park while she also registered a victory on the half mile Redcliffe circuit. Her best winning mile rate of 1:52.9 took place at Menangle during a Sydney campaign back in 2018. This season, Laughing Emoji has won seven races. At her final Australian start, Laughing Emoji finished fifth at Albion Park behind Corsini in a time of 1:57.1 after being caught without cover.   Chris Barsby

Boom pacer Speech Is Silver has continued with his terrific form. Fresh from registering his seventh successive victory in the Badcock Group of Companies Pace at Albion Park on Saturday night, the Darren Weeks trainee recorded brilliant closing sectionals yet again. In fact, his closing half of 55.2 seconds (leader to winner) was the fastest of the night. His splits were even quicker than reigning Horse of the Year Colt Thirty One who scored an all the way victory in the Westburn Grant Open Pace two races later. And with the revised Brisbane winter carnival commencing this week, there’s an obvious question that most, if not all, are asking. Will Speech Is Silver take on the Open class performers? Obvious targets include the $21,160 Wondais Mate Open Pace (1660m) this Saturday night followed by the $25,660 Mr Feelgood Open Pace (2138m) the following week while the $25,660 Lucky Creed Open Pace (2680m) is another option for the gifted pacer. “He’s come through Saturday night in great shape; he’s actually jumping out of his skin and very well within himself so we’ll assess our options. I thought that victory was one of his best because he was exposed three wide for the final 800m and the splits were fast, that’s not easy to do.” Weeks said. His winning mile rate of 1:54.5 was also the quickest of the night for races staged over the distance of 2138m. The former member of the All Stars operation (Mark Purdon & Nat Rasmussen) in Christchurch has been a revelation since arriving in the Sunshine State winning 13 of his 15 starts. This season, the gelding has won 11 of his 13 starts to date. His only local defeats came when he fired up in front and struck the sulky footrests in the Rising Stars Final last October when sixth behind Tin Roof Raider while he finished as the runner-up behind Arthur Lowe after breaking at the start back on April 28. A majority of his victories have come via his frightening and powerful finishing bursts, time and time again he has sailed down the straight at Albion Park while his rivals have been left to deal with the remnants of his speed burn. It will be fascinating to see if he tackles the open class features during the carnival. Whether he does or doesn’t, the stable will have representation through the likes of Major Cam and Lilac Flash who both performed admirably across the weekend. Meanwhile, stablemate and classy mare Smart As Camm Be will miss the carnival features owing to a recent setback following her most recent trial at Albion Park on June 16 when unplaced behind star three-year-old filly Pelosi. “It’s nothing major and more the effect of jarring up so we backed off for a while there but she’s now back in work so we’ll build her up again.” Weeks said. In her first trial back, Smart As Camm Be finished a pleasing third behind Redcliffe Cup runner-up Northview Hustler in a time of 1:53.2. The Listed $25,660 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes on Saturday week loomed as a key target for the multiple feature race winner. Smart As Camm Be has won 12 of her 15 starts to date while banking more than $162,000. The Cammibest mare hasn’t raced since winning the Redcliffe Oaks last June.     Chris Barsby

One of Queensland’s most exciting two-year-olds, Uncle Shank, is to go up for sale at the Mixed Standardbred Online Auction, to be conducted by Darren Ebert & Co from July 17 to 19. Uncle Shank, who was successful on debut in 1:57.6 at Albion Park and finished a close fourth in the QBred Breeders Classic, is eligible for the QBred race series with a $100,000 Final on July 27. The Warrawee Needy colt and his dam, Presidential Night, and Gotta Go Cullect yearling half-sister are also among the entries. Other racehorses include the QBred Breeders Classic 2YO Final winner Amaya Becomes, recent Albion Park winner Feel The Reign and Doolittle Di, a younger sister to Queensland’s leading three-year-old Governor Jujon. There’s four weanlings in the sale including two colts by the world champion trotter Sebastian K and a filly by the fastest two-year-old trotter ever to stand ‘down under’, Centurion ATM.  The sale has attracted several untried stock including yearlings, two-year-olds and three-year-olds. Bidding will open on Friday, July 17 at 10am and close on Sunday, July 19 at 4pm. Bids can be registered by logging onto the website www.darrenebertauctioneer.com.au and following the link to Elite Auctions. Further information from Darren Ebert on phone 0410 688 176 or email ebertancoauctioneer@bigpond.com   by Peter Wharton

Australia’s top pacer King Of Swing is nearing a racetrack return and the rescheduled Blacks A Fake is a major target. Driver Luke McCarthy said he was thrilled Racing Queensland has opted to run the Blacks A Fake on December 12. “It’s great timing for us and an ideal target for King Of Swing,” he said. “He’s almost ready to go. He’ll trial in mid-July, then we’ll get him back to the races.” King Of Swing took harness racing by storm when he won the elite Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile double in February/March. He was spelled straight after the sparkling Miracle Mile triumph. “Gee he’s blossomed during the break. He’s bigger and a stronger, a real brute. He’s just furnished into a magnificent horse,” McCarthy said. “He’s still got upside. He’s only five and what he did in a short period of time was quite amazing. “He’ll have a couple of runs at Menangle in August and September, go to the Victoria Cup in October and then come home and head to Queensland for the Blacks A Fake. That’s how the rest of his year looks.” McCarthy, who grew-up in Bathurst but spent much of his life in Queensland, can’t wait to get back to the Sunshine State. “I love getting back up there and we usually take a team up for the Carnivals,” he said. More immediately, top NSW trainer Anthony Butt desperately wants to head north with his star three-year-old Perfect Stride. The Victoria and NSW Derby placegetter returns from a spell at Menangle on Saturday night. “We want to run in the South-East Derby (July 18), we just need the restrictions to be eased so we go up with the horse,” he said.   Racing Queensland

Goulburn horseman Brad Hewitt is just another eyeing off the warm Queensland winter carnival. The outstanding horseman is keen to head north and take part in the much revised Albion Park features which officially kicks off next week. The metropolitan club will conduct three quality meetings on July 11, 18 and 25 with a raft of features spread across the three nights. And following the news from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday who outlined the reopening of the state border on July 10, Hewitt is now planning and confirming his team. It’s likely it will be a team of 8 to 10. “I’m keen to get up there but I’ve been waiting on news regarding the border and when it will reopen, now that we’ve got a date, it will be all systems go and I’m looking forward to the challenge.” Hewitt said. A likely contender for the Queensland campaign is stable newcomer Nostra Villa, a former Australian Two-Year-Old Filly of the Year when prepared by Emma Stewart in Victoria. Recently purchased by Phil and Denise Thurston, the Art Major five-year-old was placed in the care of Hewitt and makes her debut for the stable this weekend at TABCORP Park, Menangle in the Success Stud Spelling Farm Pace. A winner of 18 of her 37 starts to date and earning in excess of $444,000, the quality performer looked sharp in a recent trial at Goulburn last weekend. Nostra Villa defeated talented type Game Set Major in a time of 1:54.2 for the 1710m event. The Listed $25,660 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes on July 18 is an obvious for the mare. “We’ll know more after the weekend but I was happy with her trial but under race conditions is a bigger test, she’s a great addition to the stable and if she performs at the required level then we’ll look at the Fleur De Lil. “I’m going to take Spare Me Days up, he always goes well in Queensland and there are some nice options for him while The Texas Ranger will also head up. “I’ll confirm the rest of my team across the weekend. I’m booked in with Wayne Graham again so everything is in readiness.” Hewitt has enjoyed considerable success in Queensland in recent times.   Chris Barsby

Star local fillies Pelosi and Fond Memories are in perfect shape ahead of their next assignment. The classy pair fought out the finish of the AQWA Constructions Pace yesterday (Tuesday) at Albion Park with only a head separating the two rivals in the 1660m event. Pelosi rated 1:55.0 winning the 1660m event while the final quarter was timed in 26.8 seconds after sitting parked. Prepared by Anna Woodmansey and handled by regular reinsman John Cremin, the American Ideal filly is unbeaten this preparation winning both starts to date and will now head to the Gr.2 $50,660 Changeover South East Oaks at Albion Park on Saturday week (July 11), the opening night of the revised 2020 Queensland winter carnival. Pelosi is owned by her breeder, Wayne Honan. The dual Gr.1 winning filly looks to have returned in sparkling form and will command plenty of respect for her home state feature. But key rivals will include Fond Memories, a winner of the Gr.2 QBRED Triad feature two starts ago while her stablemate True Stepper will also be strongly considered. Both fillies are prepared by Grant and Trista Dixon. Another local filly chasing the South East Oaks next week is proven Gr.1 performer Jiggle And Jive, an easy last start winner at Albion Park in 1:53.8. Prepared by Aileen Smith at Redcliffe, the Bettors Delight filly will have her final lead-up run this Friday night at Albion Park when she tackles the Changeover @ Burwood Stud Pace over the Oaks distance of 2138m. Back in May, Jiggle And Jive finished third behind Fond Memories and True Stepper in the QBRED Triad 3yo Fillies Final. Last season, Jiggle And Jive won the Gr.1 $100,830 QBRED Triad Final at Albion Park. Interestingly, Bathurst filly Jenden Strike makes her local debut this weekend in preparation for next week’s South East Oaks. The Chris Frisby trained filly will tackle Jiggle And Jive on Friday night. A last start winner of the Young Oaks back on March 13, the Betterthancheddar filly has had two recent trials at her home track in readiness for her return. Jenden Strike qualified for both the Victoria and New South Wales Oaks this season. Meanwhile, the Chantal Turpin trained duo Miss Ruby Sunshine and A Rainbow Delight have been kept up to the mark with a recent trial at Albion Park. Miss Ruby Sunshine defeated open class mare Justalittle Torque and A Rainbow Delight when leading throughout in the 1660m trial in a time of 1:56.7. The final split was timed in 26.5 seconds.   Chris Barsby

The Queensland winter campaign couldn’t have started much better for Rickie Alchin. Fresh out of the mandatory quarantine/isolation period, Alchin ventured straight to Albion Park yesterday (Tuesday) and struck pay dirt immediately. The astute Menangle based horseman won the opening race, the Rio Cobra Sulky 2yo Trotters Handicap with the talented Aldebaran Selena. The Majestic Son filly led throughout while key rivals made early errors and proved too strong rating 2:03.9 which shattered the track record for two-year-old trotters. Her winning time took 2.9 seconds off the previous mark. The overall track record time for a 1628m stand start event is held by Ivanov at 1:59.7. Aldebaran Selena is on loan to local trainer Graham Dwyer while Alchin completed his COVID-19 protocol. “She’s a nice little filly with good speed and it was very pleasing to see her put it all together, hopefully that’s the first of many victories.” Alchin said. Aldebaran Selena is being aimed at the Springboard Trotting Series, the $15,000 Final is scheduled for July 31 at Albion Park. Meanwhile, Alchin was thrilled with the effort of his richly talented three-year-old Crunch Time who scored an easy trial victory between races. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding defeated older rivals while rating 1:56.9 – he covered his final half in splits of 27.9 and 27.2 seconds. “I was pleased with that trial, he did it comfortably and his final half was sharp so we’ll look for a race next week with him now.” Crunch Time is being readied for the Gr.2 $50,660 Garrards South East Derby at Albion Park on July 18. A winner of 5 of his 24 starts to date, he has banked more than $72,000. Crunch Time is raced by Brisbane based breeder, Alf La Spina. Alchin had three other starters yesterday with Blackwhiteandblue (2nd), Jamaican Resort (5th) and Phil Bromac (5th) all expected to improve off the run. The stable have two runners at Friday night’s Albion Park meeting, Mount Hercules (Race 5) and Black Hawk Joe (Race 7).   Chris Barsby

Last start Breeders Classic winners are back in work. And being readied for their big assignment. Vanish Hanover and Big Wheels both scored decisive victories in the Listed $25,550 QBRED Breeders Classic Finals at Albion Park on May 23 and both were given a chance to freshen-up in preparation for the Gr.1 $100,550 QBRED Triad Final next month. The two-year-old features are scheduled for July 25. Vanish Hanover, sent north by original trainer David Thorn to Charlie Cini, produced a well-timed finish to take the Fillies feature when downing Talent To Spare and Jasper in a time of 1:56.8 when handled by Brendan Barnes. Raced by her breeders Murray Cole and Beau Watson, the Hurrikane Kingcole – Vogue Hanover filly has won two of her five starts to date. Rather than returning to Sydney, connections decided to keep her in the Sunshine State. “We gave her two weeks off after the Breeders and the focus is clearly the Triad now, she’s back in work and progressing nicely so I’m happy with the ways things are going right now.” Cini said. Big Wheels led throughout to claim the Colts and Geldings feature when holding off stablemate Justa Little Bit and Glitter Strip in a time of 1:56.8. Subsequent winners from that race include last start Redcliffe feature race conqueror Manila Playboy plus Dynamic Dan, Glitter Strip and Frontliner. Raced by his breeder John Polson, Big Wheels is a gelded son of A Rocknroll Dance from the former talented mare Washington Lass. Big Wheels is a younger full-brother to handy type Blacksadance (5 wins - $37k) Prepared by Chantal Turpin, the talented youngster has won two of his six starts to date. “We gave him a couple of easy weeks immediately after the Breeders Classic and now he’s back fast working in readiness for the Triad, I’m happy with where he’s at.” Turpin said. With owners and members allowed back on track this weekend at Albion Park, the much revised winter carnival features commence on Saturday week, July 11.   Chris Barsby

It’s official, brilliant pacer Hectorjayjay has hit a hurdle…again. Hectorjayjay was unplaced at his most recent start back on June 6 when a lacklustre fifth behind Glenferrie Hood in a time of 1:51.9 at Albion Park which then forced QRIC Stewards to stand him down acting on veterinary advice. At his previous start at the same track, he scored an explosive victory in a time of 1:52.8. And the much revised Queensland winter carnival features next month at Albion Park are now off the table. Obvious targets included the $21,160 Wondais Mate Open Pace (1660m) on July 11 followed by the $25,660 Mr Feelgood Open Pace (2138m) the following week while the $25,660 Lucky Creed Open Pace (2680m) was another option. “He’s just got a little issue with a joint and we’re not going to take any chances so we’ll back off now and aim at the bigger money events later in the year,” Butler said. “It’s not a suspensory issue so this setback is a much better problem to deal with so I’m confident he can return during the summer.” He added. But the state’s biggest race, the Group 1 TAB Blacks A Fake, will headline the new-look Summer Carnivalthis year alongside the Gr. 2 Queensland Cup and the Gr. 3 Be Good Johnny Sprint and Butler is hoping his star performer can claim the race again. The millionaire gelding won the event back in 2017. Another event that Butler is keen to attack with Hectorjayjay is the Shirley Turnbull Memorial on Boxing Day night at his former home track of Bathurst. The nine-year-old gelding has raced only three times since being transferred to Butler last year. Overall, Hectorjayjay has won 44 of his 83 career starts with earnings in excess of $1.1 million.   Chris Barsby

Queensland harness racing participants are set to be boosted next month with the state’s base driving fee set to rise to $60 per drive. Since 2017, Racing Queensland has lifted the base driving fee from $45 for all races worth $3000 or more, an initiative that was included in a plan to support and sustain industry participation A further increase will be delivered in 2021 as part of the third and final year of an agreement with the Breeders Owners Trainers and Reins-persons Association of Queensland. The increased driving fee will now be applicable at Albion Park, Redcliffe and Marburg, with drivers previously receiving $25 per drive at the latter. While COVID-19 recently forced the abandonment of the TAB Queensland Constellations, a number of feature races will still proceed this year including the Group 1 Garrards Yearling Sale Graduate 2YO Final and Redcliffe Gold Cup this Saturday. RQ recently announced in conjunction with the Albion Park Harness Racing Club that the Changeover South East Oaks and Garrards South East Derby would be elevated to Group 2 status this year, with prize money rising to $50,000 apiece. While the state’s biggest race, the Group 1 TAB Blacks A Fake, will headline the new-look Summer Carnival this year alongside the Group 2 Queensland Cup and the Group 3 The Be Good Johnny Sprint. “There is no doubt it has been a challenging period for the Queensland racing industry and we’re grateful for the manner in which our participants have taken this in their stride,” RQ COO Adam Wallish said. “But there’s a lot to look forward to. We have a number of feature races on the horizon and we expect to announce more in the near future. “Our wagering performance has been solid, with turnover set to eclipse $500 million for the first time and innovations including the inaugural Trot Rods series have been warmly received.” Meanwhile, RQ has today published its race dates for the next 12 months with 295 meetings scheduled including four dual code meetings. Following its recent success and positive industry feedback, Kilcoy will stage two standalone grass meetings during the summer holiday period, while Redcliffe will stage an additional Saturday night meeting in January to capitalise on the tourist numbers visiting the Peninsula during school holidays. Click here to see the latest RQ harness racing calendar.   Racing Queensland

Talented trotter Il Pirata is now a Queenslander. And the $25,660 Queensland Trotters Cup next month at Albion Park is an immediate target. The Love You – Cipollini gelding will join forces with Team Graham Racing, the stables of Stephanie and Brittany Graham at Fernvale, west of Brisbane. Il Pirata boasts 12 victories and 38 minor placings from 102 starts with earnings in excess of $157,000 and looks like being an intriguing addition to the local ranks. The bulk of his deeds were achieved in his homeland under the care of Cambridge trainer Ross Paynter before a short stint in the south with Colin and Julie DeFilippi. In his final start in New Zealand, Il Pirata was a runner-up behind boom trotter Sundees Son at Addington under the Cheviot Harness Racing Club banner. In total in New Zealand, Il Pirata won 7 of his 71 starts while being placed in another 31 starts before being sold to Australia. Il Pirata joined the stables of leading Victorian based horseman Andy Gath and the success continued with another five victories from 27 starts. The veteran performer won two races at TABCORP Park, Melton including a personal best effort in 1:57.6. In his most recent start on May 9, he finished sixth behind his stablemate Scallywag Sam at Melton. Il Pirata leaves Melbourne today (Wednesday) bound for his new home.   Chris Barsby

The list keeps growing. A number of New South Wales horsemen are currently undertaking the mandatory two week quarantine in preparation for participating in racing action for the much revised Queensland winter carnival. And now the biggest Sydney stable wants in on the action. Enter Craig Cross. Fresh from another terrific night at Menangle last weekend where the stable snared half the program, winning four of the eight races, they’re setting the sights on Albion Park next month. “We’ve sent up one of our foreman Matt Coffee to undertake the isolation period for the fortnight before we send up our team. We were always keen to be part of the carnival and then COVID-19 tossed all our plans up in the air but we’re committed now and looking forward to the challenge next month.” Cross said. The Queensland State Government has announced the border will reopen on July 10. Back in April, Racing Queensland advised the 2020 TAB Queensland Constellations Carnival will not proceed this year due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. However, with strict biosecurity measures currently in place, certain features will be staged over the winter months. Features that will be staged include; Date Race Division Track Distance Prize money 27/06/2020 Redcliffe Gold Cup Open Disc Hcp Redcliffe 2613m $25,630 11/07/2020 Wondais Mate (Open) Open Disc Hcp Albion Park 1660m $21,160 11/07/2020 South East Oaks 3YO Fillies Albion Park 2138m $50,660 11/07/2020 Queen Of Hearts Pace Open Mares Albion Park 1660m $21,660 18/07/2020 Mr Feelgood (Open) Open Albion Park 2138m $25,660 18/07/2020 South East Derby Open 3YO Albion Park 2138m $50,660 18/07/2020 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Open (F & M) Albion Park 1660m $25,660 18/07/2020 Trotters Cup Disc Hcp Albion Park 2647m $21,270 25/07/2020 Lucky Creed (Open) Open Albion Park 2680m $25,660 25/07/2020 QLD Trotters Cup Open (MS) Trot Albion Park 2138m $25,660 The Cross stable boast plenty of strike power currently with a number of talented types spread throughout the stable and several are likely to head north in the coming weeks. “Some of the horses we’ve earmarked include Culture King, Delightful Tara, Love My Sister, Moraeu Drive, First String and Roll One Over. “It’s a nice mix with several nice mares included so we’re hoping to make the most of the opportunities with them and the system up there.” Cross is the leading trainer in New South Wales this season with 153 winners to date while he dominates the metropolitan premiership race with 88 winners, some 72 winners clear of his nearest rival Tim Butt.   Chris Barsby

Did Charlie Cini unearth a potential gem across the weekend at Albion Park? On a night where star performers Colt Thirty One and Speech Is Silver delivered in spades with their customary brilliance to win their respective events at Albion Park, it was the newcomer that had plenty talking. Cini is no stranger to working with quality stock and the astute Jacobs Well horseman produced former Newcastle pacer Roll With Lachlan to an audacious victory in the Mr Feelgood @ Egmont Park Stud Pace when he scorched the famous Breakfast Creek oval in a time of 1:53.0. He covered the 1660m in splits of 27.4, 29.4, 28.6 and 27.7 seconds when leading throughout and providing reinsman Shane Graham with an armchair drive. Across the mammoth 11 race program, it was the fastest time of the night. It was a stunning victory in what was his local debut. “This is a very smart horse; he’s got the looks, lovely manners and a big motor so he’s destined for bigger and better things during his time up here. I’ve only had him for a fortnight and I had no hesitation bringing him straight to Albion Park for his debut.” Cini said. With a drastically altered Queensland winter carnival starting to take shape owing to COVID-19, Cini is starting to weigh up his options with his latest recruit. Roll With Lachlan will bypass racing this weekend with the Redcliffe Club hosting the Saturday metropolitan program with several features planned. “He’ll have this week off from racing and we’ll go again the following week at Albion Park, he’s come through the race in great shape and was carrying on in a good way on Sunday afternoon so he’s feeling very well and Shane (Graham – driver) said he had gears left. “His record is impressive and he’s been carefully managed throughout his career and he’s ready to step it up a gear now that he’s up here but mind you, the racing up here is very hard and competitive so it won’t be easy but I like this horse. “I’m not sure what’s available for him next month with the carnival but I’ll sit down and check the programs and see if something suits, he’s destined to reach open class.” Cini was sent Roll With Lachlan from owner/breeders Geoff and Matt Harding after establishing a connection with the father/son partnership last year after buying Ima Birubi Boy from their stable. Roll With Lachlan has won 8 of his 29 starts with 10 minor placings while his earnings have now surpassed $63,000. Meanwhile, Tulhurst Santanna created a strong impression in his local debut when he scored in the $15,000 Open at Hoosier Park, Indiana in a time of 1:49.4 across the weekend. The Santanna Blue Chip enjoyed considerable success in Brisbane under the guidance of Cini and his wife Cristina Monte after coming from Bathurst horseman Nathan Hurst. Tulhurst Santanna is now prepared by Jamie Macomber.   Chris Barsby

Champion horseman Anthony Butt packs a mighty one/two punch combination. Butt, in partnership with Sonya Smith, prepare dual Derby winner Line Up, the country’s best three-year-old plus the richly talented Perfect Stride, placed in both the Victoria and New South Wales Derby classics behind his outstanding stablemate. Perfect Stride was placed in the Gr.1 $300,000 Breeders Crown last season as a rookie and was a runner-up in the Gr.1 $100,000 Bathurst Gold Chalice at his most recent start on March 28. Naturally, keeping both colts separated and not clashing in feature events takes some careful planning. So, with the revised Queensland winter carnival taking shape, Butt is monitoring the situation closely. With the Queensland border currently closed by State Government officials, Butt is hoping the July 10 reopening is on target. The Gr.2 $50,660 Garrards South East Derby on July 18 at Albion Park looms as a distinct possibility for Perfect Stride. The Bettors Delight – Chicago Blues colt ventured back to the Menangle trials this week (Wednesday) and enjoyed stretching his legs for the first time in months. “It was just a good wee trial to get him out and getting ready for competition again, there was no expectation and he just strolled through the trial and did what was required. We’ll trial him again next week and get more serious.” Butt said. The younger full-brother to champion pacer Chicago Bull (47 wins - $1.8 million) finished seventh in the Open trial won by Bettor Enforce over Alta Orlando in a slick time of 1:52.2. “I’m happy with the way he’s come through the trial and given that there’s not much around given the changes to the feature race calendar, the Brisbane race looks a possibility. “He’s not eligible for any Sires Stakes races so this race presents as a perfect opportunity to earn some good prizemoney, nothing set in stone but I’ll keep an eye on things. “Originally, I was going to attack the Brisbane carnival with both colts but obviously plans have changed so we’ve made some adjustments to their schedules.” The star local colt is Governor Jujon, prepared by Grant Dixon, and Butt is fully aware of his capabilities after clashing with him during both the Victoria and New South Wales Derby classics earlier this season. Governor Jujon beat Perfect Stride in a heat of the Victoria Derby at Ballarat before Line Up defeated both of them in the Gr.1 $200,000 Final the following week at Melton. In the NSW Derby, Line Up beat Perfect Stride while Governor Jujon failed to qualify for the Final. Meanwhile, Zeuss Bromac is very unlikely to head north for the Brisbane feature after disappointing on Tuesday at Menangle. Prepared by Paul and Gavin Fitzpatrick, the Bettors Delight led and weakened to fifth as favourite in a time of 1:52.6. Zeuss Bromac is being readied for the Breeders Crown in Victoria later this year. The talented colt was placed in the NSW Derby behind Line Up and Perfect Stride. Back in April, Racing Queensland advised the 2020 TAB Queensland Constellations Carnival will not proceed this year due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. However, with strict biosecurity measures currently in place, certain features will be staged over the winter months. Features that will be staged include; Date Race Division Track Distance Prize money 27/06/2020 Redcliffe Gold Cup Open Disc Hcp Redcliffe 2613m $25,630 11/07/2020 Wondais Mate (Open) Open Disc Hcp Albion Park 1660m $21,160 11/07/2020 South East Oaks 3YO Fillies Albion Park 2138m $50,660 11/07/2020 Queen Of Hearts Pace Open Mares Albion Park 1660m $21,660 18/07/2020 Mr Feelgood (Open) Open Albion Park 2138m $25,660 18/07/2020 South East Derby Open 3YO Albion Park 2138m $50,660 18/07/2020 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Open (F & M) Albion Park 1660m $25,660 18/07/2020 Trotters Cup Disc Hcp Albion Park 2647m $21,270 25/07/2020 Lucky Creed (Open) Open Albion Park 2680m $25,660 25/07/2020 QLD Trotters Cup Open (MS) Trot Albion Park 2138m $25,660   Chris Barsby

Chris Frisby is counting down the days. The Perthville (near Bathurst) horseman is waiting for the border to reopen so he can make his annual pilgrimage to the Sunshine State to campaign a number of his talented team. At this stage, the state border between New South Wales and Queensland is expected to reopen on July 10. And as soon as it does, Frisby will head north. “I’m ready to go, like many, I’m just waiting for the good news to filter through and I’m heading straight up.” Frisby said. Over many years, Frisby has enjoyed considerable success with his northern campaigns and is bringing a handy team with him once again. Stable star Our Uncle Sam is expected to make another trip north. The Sportswriter gelding hasn’t raced since finishing third behind Atomic Red and Conviction in the Gr.3 $30,600 Young Cup back on March 13. Two starts ago, Our Uncle Sam won the Gr.1 $100,000 Platinum Projex FFA (formerly Bohemia Crystal) on Miracle Mile night at TABCORP Park, Menangle. It was consecutive victories in the feature after scoring the previous year. “I’m thinking about giving him a light trial at Bathurst on Monday night, both Anthony and I are happy with the way he’s coming to hand and the trial will be a good opportunity for him. “The Blacks A Fake was going to be a major target for him but obviously that’s gone so we’ll just reassess his big race targets, there’s plenty of racing between now and the end of the year. “I’ve got some handy types coming up with me that should do a nice job; Jenden Strike will be set for the South East Oaks while I’ve got plenty of two-year-old’s on the truck. The warmer weather is always a major attraction too.” The Gr.2 $50,660 ‘Changeover’ South-East Oaks is scheduled for July 11. Jenden Strike, a filly by Betterthancheddar, has won 5 of her 10 starts to date and is a last start winner of the $20,400 Young Oaks back on March 13. The gifted filly will clash with star local fillies Pelosi and Jiggle And Jive. Back in April, Racing Queensland advised the 2020 TAB Queensland Constellations Carnival will not proceed this year due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. However, with strict biosecurity measures currently in place, certain features will be staged over the winter months. Features that will be staged include; Date Race Division Track Distance Prize money 27/06/2020 Redcliffe Gold Cup Open Disc Hcp Redcliffe 2613m $25,630 11/07/2020 Wondais Mate (Open) Open Disc Hcp Albion Park 1660m $21,160 11/07/2020 South East Oaks 3YO Fillies Albion Park 2138m $50,660 11/07/2020 Queen Of Hearts Pace Open Mares Albion Park 1660m $21,660 18/07/2020 Mr Feelgood (Open) Open Albion Park 2138m $25,660 18/07/2020 South East Derby Open 3YO Albion Park 2138m $50,660 18/07/2020 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Open (F & M) Albion Park 1660m $25,660 18/07/2020 Trotters Cup Disc Hcp Albion Park 2647m $21,270 25/07/2020 Lucky Creed (Open) Open Albion Park 2680m $25,660 25/07/2020 QLD Trotters Cup Open (MS) Trot Albion Park 2138m $25,660   by Chris Barsby

Astute Sydney horseman Rickie Alchin has made his way north. And he’s arrived in time for the much revised Queensland winter carnival. But first, he’s undertaking his mandatory two week quarantine period before he can participate in any official racing action. In recent years, the Menangle based conditioner has enjoyed solid success in the Sunshine State highlighted by his victory in the 2018 Gr.1 $100,450 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series Final with Regulus. “I look forward to campaigning in Queensland every year, obviously we have a few obstacles to deal with this time around owing to Covid-19 but I decided to get in now and do the quarantine so I can get to work. Most were hopeful the border would reopen sooner rather later but there were no guarantees so I decided it’s now or never.” Alchin said. A large number of New South Wales stables are eager to head north but are waiting for the border restrictions to ease. In preparation for his annual northern campaign, Alchin sent a pair of his talented performers north to local trainer Graham Dwyer. Talented two-year-old trotter Aldebaran Selena commenced his campaign with an eye-catching effort yesterday (Tuesday) when fourth behind the unbeaten Okanagan. Aldebaran Selena lost valuable early ground before running on strongly at the finish. The Majestic Son filly will target the Springboard Trotting Series, the $15,000 Final is scheduled for July 31 at Albion Park. Two-year-old pacing filly Regina Elena starts this Friday night at Redcliffe in a heat of the Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sales Series. The Roll With Joe filly has drawn gate four in the second heat (Race 8). If the filly qualifies for the $100,000 Final which is scheduled for Saturday week, Alchin will take the drive. “It looks a strong heat and this filly is still learning but she’s eligible and ready so we’re giving her a shot, if she qualifies that will be a good result. “I like the trotter, obviously she’s done a bit wrong to date but the ability is there so hopefully the trip away will bring her on and she’ll improve. “Once I’m up and going, I’ll rotate numbers around nine to twelve depending on results. I’d like to bring up Crunch Time for the South East Derby feature. I enjoy campaigning up here and hopefully we can have some luck again.” Alchin will be based at Redcliffe during his stay. Back in April, Racing Queensland advised the 2020 TAB Queensland Constellations Carnival will not proceed this year due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. However, with strict biosecurity measures currently in place, certain features will be staged over the winter months. Features that will be staged include; Date Race Division Track Distance Prize money 27/06/2020 Redcliffe Gold Cup Open Disc Hcp Redcliffe 2613m $25,630 11/07/2020 Wondais Mate (Open) Open Disc Hcp Albion Park 1660m $21,160 11/07/2020 South East Oaks 3YO Fillies Albion Park 2138m $50,660 11/07/2020 Queen Of Hearts Pace Open Mares Albion Park 1660m $21,660 18/07/2020 Mr Feelgood (Open) Open Albion Park 2138m $25,660 18/07/2020 South East Derby Open 3YO Albion Park 2138m $50,660 18/07/2020 Fleur De Lil Ladyship Open (F & M) Albion Park 1660m $25,660 18/07/2020 Trotters Cup Disc Hcp Albion Park 2647m $21,270 25/07/2020 Lucky Creed (Open) Open Albion Park 2680m $25,660 25/07/2020 QLD Trotters Cup Open (MS) Trot Albion Park 2138m $25,660   Chris Barsby

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