Day At The Track

Eastman confirms Brisbane campaign

12:37 AM 07 Jul 2015 NZST
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Chris Alford and Larry Eastman
Chris Alford and Larry Eastman

Victorian raiders are heading north in force. Last weekend, Burnaholeinmypocket scorched the harness racing Albion Park oval winning the $100,000 Nursery Flying Stakes and now fellow state mates are following suite and heading up chasing the lucrative prizemoney and warm winter sunshine.

Shelbourne trainer Larry Eastman, fresh from his triple Group 1 glory on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton with Menin Gate, Morton Plains and Milly Perez are headed to Queensland this week.

Both Menin Gate and Morton Plains will fly to Brisbane on Wednesday.

Targets for the star pair include this weekend’s Gr.1 $100,000 Greg & Sharon Mitchell Queensland Oaks with Morton Plains while the main focus for Menin Gate will be the Gr.1 $150,000 Queensland Derby on July 18.

“All the horses have come through the weekend in great shape and we’re keen to head up there again and take in some of the winter carnival features. Lynette (wife) and I have some great friends in Queensland and we love the racing and in particular, the weather.” Eastman said.

The Queensland Oaks will boast an outstanding field with a bunch of outstanding fillies already in town and the presence of Morton Plains only adds further intrigue.

The Bettor's Delight – Don’t Answer That filly scored a decisive victory in the Vicbred Super Series Final last weekend defeating Niki No No and Vapar Grin in the 2240m feature.

“She’s a lovely filly that is honest and continues to improve; the Queensland Oaks comes at the right time because she’s fit and in-form so it’s worth taking a shot,

“Obviously the Purdon/Rasmussen fillies (Fight For Glory & Linda Lovegrace) will be tough to beat but I’m more than happy with my filly and an Oaks victory would be a nice bonus.”

The victory of Menin Gate in his Vicbred Super Series Final provided his connections with his second major this season after winning the Victoria Derby back in February.

The Somebeachsomewhere – Dreams Of Heaven gelding led throughout to win the 2240m feature defeating Mister Wickham and Follow The Stars.

“I was really happy with him leading into that race because he trialed well at Maryborough the week before and Chris (Alford – driver) said he felt great in that trial. We added the block blinkers to his gear and it worked a treat,

“The Queensland Derby has always been a target for him this season but I wanted to get through this series first before committing; now it’s full steam ahead.”

Champion reinsman Chris Alford will take the drives in Brisbane.

Chris Barsby

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