Group racing action returns to Albion Park for the first time since the Winter Racing Carnival with four heats of the Group 3 Clint’s Caravan Warehouse Gold Coast Cup (520m).
The heats comprise the four quaddie legs, races five to eight, on Thursday’s program with the first two home in each of the four events progressing to next week’s $25,000-to-the-winner final. The field contains several Group class performers who are gearing up for assignments both at home and interstate.
The opening heat is highlighted by Townsville Cup winner Zabdon Ferrari (box two, Tony Brett). He will be looking to bounce back from a last start third to Tripum in the final of the Racing Queensland Young Guns a fortnight ago. The Tony Apap-trained Swap Ya (box one) has also been in excellent form and looks the main danger to the favourite, having won three in a row in best eight company earlier this month.
Group 1 placegetter Outside Pass makes her return in the second heat following a short spell after a fifth placing in the Group 1 National Sprint Championship at Angle Park in late August. Tony Apap’s charge will need to be at her brilliant best from box six, against a field which includes Tony Brett’s well performed pair Split Image (box two) and Whata Nice Size (box seven). Casino Cup runner-up Tobias Rumble is also racing in excellent form, and is not without a chance from box eight.
The third heat is perhaps the most open of the four, with Thirty Talks (box six) and the aforementioned Tripum (box seven) likely to fight out favouritism. There is a host of other chances in the event however, with Elusive Desire (box one), Abby’s Magic (box two), Lucky Sally (box four) and Nooree Dessa (box five) all capable of producing a winning performance.
Local star Cyndie’s Magic will attempt to make yet another Group final in the last heat, in what is likely to be billed as a match race between her and Peter Ruetschi’s Sheza Keen Size (box eight). The pair have polar opposite racing patterns, with Ruetschi’s chaser likely to be up on the speed and Cyndie’s Magic looking to drop out and run home over the top of the field. The Christina Harman-trained Ardvark (box four) has been racing well of late, and a repeat of his best could see him troubling the favourites.
The quality program Thursday kicks off at 6:42pm, with the first heat of the $38,000 Group 3 Clint’s Caravan Warehouse Gold Coast Cup at 8:10pm.