Queensland warrior Destreos is hoping for a change of luck.
The Ken Rattray trained veteran gelding lines up in his fifth Redcliffe Cup this Saturday night at the bayside club and victory is proving to be quite elusive.
But this could be the year.
The Gr.3 $40,000 Moreton Bay Regional Council Redcliffe Gold Cup has drawn together a very strong field highlighted by a huge representation from the leading stables of Grant Dixon who has five entrants including last year’s winner Only The Brave.
While club officials were hopeful of attracting champion pacer Im Themightyquinn who swept all before him recently at Albion Park, a competitive field has been assembled.
Destreos returns from a successful three start Sydney campaign and heads to Redcliffe in great form leaving connections hopeful of forward showing.
The best result for Destreos so far was back in 2010 when a runner-up behind Nickys Falcon.
“He’s returned from his Sydney trip in very good order and knowing that Im Themightyquinn and Avonnova are not starting gives me plenty of confidence. We’ll still need plenty of luck but you can’t knock his recent form, I thought he performed really well in all of his starts in Sydney including his latest effort behind Freyberg and Smoken Up in 1;51.7.” Rattray said.
Destreos starts from a 10m handicap and will follow out last start winner and in-form pacer Majestic Major.
Regular pilot Kelli Dawson will reunite with the Astreos gelding.
“In recent times I’ve tried to restrict his racing to mile events but he’s performing really well currently and I thought he deserved his chance in this race again. We’ve been close on a few occasions in the past including his narrow second to Nickys Falcon so hopefully we can win it this time around.
“He’s got a good record at Redcliffe and he’s never had any issues with the track despite boasting a great record at Albion Park. If we get a good trip from the draw, I think he’ll be right in this finish.
“His last start sixth in Sydney was very good because we got left without cover and he was still in the mix until the final 75m and the time was very good on a cool night. We went to Sydney to avoid the winter carnival stars but still ran into the likes of Smoken Up and a few others.”
Rattray was quick to highlight star mare Forever Gold as one of the hardest to beat despite the fact she must overcome a 20m back mark handicap.
The Darren Weeks/Kylie Rasmussen prepared mare caught the eye last start when running on strongly behind Im Themightyquinn in the Gr.1 $100,000 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 19.
“That mare went super last start at Albion Park and I’m sure she will prove very hard to beat, she’s such a professional and she always rises to the challenge.
“It’s a very even field and most could win it with even luck, this is a race that can throw up a roughie.”
The $20,000 Redcliffe Oaks is the other feature on the program and a strong field has also been gathered.
Last start Queensland Oaks placegetters Charming Allie and Beef City Safari must overcome second-line draws while speedy fillies Heavenly Cullen and Morethanmeetstheye have drawn ideally.
The first of nine races is scheduled to start at 5.35pm.
By Chris Barsby (Harness Racing Australia)