Day At The Track

Blast set for Brisbane

03:00 PM 30 Mar 2017 NZDT
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Classy pacer Shannonsablast is headed north. Louth Park trainer/driver Darren Elder has begun the trek north bound for Brisbane today (Thursday) with his harness racing ‘stable star’ who starts this Saturday night at Albion Park.

Given the current weather warnings in place for much of south-east Queensland, hopefully it will be a trouble free trip.

Shannonsablast has drawn the inside gate in the Egmont Park Stud Sprint Lane Open Pace over the sprint distance of 1660m.

But whatever the result – win, lose or draw – he will remain in Queensland in preparation for the upcoming Brisbane winter carnival.

Elder will have his good friend Mark Dux take over the preparation of the Four Starzzz Shark gelding.

“It’s something we’ve been thinking about for some time and I believe it’s the right move to make for a couple of reasons. He’s getting a little older and a change in scenery and training may reignite his form while the Brisbane carnival is looming and having him based there rather making long road trips make sense also.” Elder said.

The main targets for Shannonsablast during the winter carnival will be the Gr.2 $50,000 Sunshine Sprint on July 8 followed by the Gr.1 $200,000 Blacks A Fake a week later.

Shannonsablast scored a narrow victory on Tuesday night at his home track of Newcastle in a time of 1:55.0.

While the winning margin wasn’t great, Elder was pleased with the effort.

“He’s probably entitled to win easier than what he did the other night but he won and that will prove a good confidence boost for him. He’s come through the race well and I think we’ve got a good chance again this weekend.

“I’ve always stated he doesn’t go his best races when he leads, he’s much better chasing so I wouldn’t read too much into his victory the other night. Having him based in Brisbane will hopefully prove beneficial as we aim towards the better races in July.”

With 22 victories to his credit and earnings close to $300,000, the seven-year-old will be a welcome addition to the local open class ranks.

His biggest victory came via the Gr.3 $31,800 Nick Robin FFA at TABCORP Park, Menangle last year while he competed during the 2015 Inter Dominion Series at Gloucester Park in Perth.

He has a ‘PB’ time of 1:51.6 at Menangle in 2015 when handled by champion North American reinsman Tim Tetrick.

Shannonsablast is yet to win in six starts to date at Albion Park.

The Dux stable are no strangers to genuine open class stars having prepared the likes of Benefactor, Hes The Loner, Maximillion, Sunset Candios, Saucy Legend and many others.

Chris Barsby

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