Star Queensland mare Forever Gold is ready for a racetrack return. And the classy harness racing mare warmed up nicely for the Gr.3 $30,000 Southern Queensland Plumbing Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes with a stunning trial earlier this week.
On Monday afternoon, Forever Gold was allowed to stretch out in the 1660m trial at Albion Park with a powerful front-running display in a mile rate of 1;53.7 scoring by close to 40m from Queensland Oaks bound filly Milly Perez.
The Famous Forever mare has not started since disappointing in the Gr.1 $100,000 Queen of the Pacific at TABCORP Park, Melton on May 23 when ninth behind pocket-rocket mare Gumdrops.
“I think she’s happy to be home and her trials (3 in total) since returning have been very pleasing, she’s ready to go on Saturday night and the race looks perfect to restart her campaign again. I think she got away on us a little and that probably best explains the uncharacteristic effort last start.” Trainer Darren Weeks said.
Connections deliberately bypassed last week’s Sunshine Sprint preferring to concentrate on the mare’s only feature before graduating to the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake next week.
The Gr.3 $40,000 Redcliffe Gold Cup on August 2 is also distinct possibility before another short let-up.
“I’m sure we pulled the right rein skipping the Sunshine Sprint last week; she wasn’t ready to chase Im Themightyquinn in a track record time and her trial earlier this week just topped her off nicely. It was always our plan to go into the mare’s feature first-up followed by the Blacks A Fake.
“This race looks ideal for her and the barrier draw looks very kind on paper so we should be able to control the race pretty quickly. Obviously she’s the class runner and looks very well graded against her own sex so she’ll prove tough to beat.
“We’ll step her up against Im Themightyquinn and company next week because the staying distance will give her good opportunity to race well. Quinny is a champion horse and he proved that last week but we’ll give it our best shot.”
Forever Gold is looking to repeat in the Fleur De Lil after staging a terrific battle with Torque In Motion last season in a time of 1;52.8 for the 1660m..
This year, the race will be staged over 2138m.
Connections intend on campaigning again next season with the rising seven-year-old and the spring features in October loom as logical targets.
“The big races later this year certainly make strong appeal and we intend on heading in that direction all going to plan, she thrives on racing.”
Forever Gold is the winner of 35 races from 65 career starts while amassing more than $550,000 in prizemoney.
by Chris Barsby
Queensland Harness Racing