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Mark Purdon will return to the sulky aboard the sport’s most exciting pacer Self Assured for Saturday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby. Sidelined for two weeks with an eye infection, the champion horseman said he would return from his Canterbury stables to Brisbane on Wednesday and would be fine to drive this week. “The eye is about 85 per cent right, so I’ll definitely be OK for this week,” he said. “It’s been good to come back home and rest it as much as possible. That’s helped a lot.” Purdon confirmed he would three runners in the Derby with superstar filly Our Princess Tiffany joining Self Assured and Jesse Duke. “I’ll drive Self Assured. Kylie (Rasmussen) will stick with Tiffany and I want Luke (McCarthy) on Jesse Duke if he’s available,” he said. “It’s not often we run our fillies against the boys, but this filly is up to it. If she didn’t have a setback, we’d have run her against the boys in the NZ Derby and I think he’d at least run second in that. “She’s so strong and keeps reeling-off those quick times when she’s on the speed. “She did that (Queensland Oaks) really easily the other night and I think she’s back to that terrific NSW Oaks form.” Self Assured was so stunningly impressive winning last Saturday night’s Group 3 South-East Derby he will be favourite from any draw this week, but Purdon believes Our Princess Tiffany is good enough to test and maybe even beat him. “If she draws to make the lead like she did the other, she would take a heck of as lot of running down, even by Self Assured,” he said. “It was quite freakish what he (Self Assured) did the other night, running home in those times, a 26.1sec last quarter, when he outside the leader.” The barrier draw for the Queensland Derby and Saturday night’s other feature, the Group 1 Blacks A Fake, will be done at 11.30am (NZ time) tomorrow (Tuesday).   Adam Hamilton

Former Queensland Derby winner Catcha Lefty has run his final race in Australia. His future now rests in North America after a deal was struck this week between Cristina Monte and her husband Charlie Cini and respected Perth based agent Frank Ranaldi. The popular couple sold former solid performer Firebby earlier this year and the speedy Courage Under Fire mare has raced with great distinction in both North America and Canada. Catcha Lefty, a winner of the 2016 Queensland Derby raced with great purpose in Sydney at TABCORP Park, Menangle earlier this year before returning to Brisbane. He took a personal best time of 1:52.0 when successful at Menangle on April 21. At his most recent start on May 11, Catcha Lefty was unplaced at Albion Park. Overall, the Village Jasper - Lefty gelding won 22 of his 53 starts while banking in excess of $250,000. The Monte/Cini partnership is now focused on prepping rookie pacer Left A Terror for the Gr.1 $100,540 QBRED Triad for 2yo Colts and Geldings at Albion Park on July 21. Left A Terror, a Western Terror gelding is closely related to Catcha Lefty.   Chris Barsby

Former New Zealand pacer Thatswhatisaid is being considered as a Queensland Derby contender. The Well Said three-year-old has impressed greatly in both starts since being purchased by clients of the astute Brad Hewitt stable. A runaway first-up victory at Canberra on May 21 was followed by a dominant front-running victory at TABCORP Park, Menangle today (Tuesday). He rated a brilliant 1:52.5 on a rain affected track. Splits of 26.6, 30.1, 29.4 and 26.4 seconds. “Yeah, he went good and looks like he has plenty of natural talent. Both victories have been impressive and we’re still learning about him, hopefully he keeps stepping up and can make it for the Queensland Derby.” Hewitt said. The Gr.2 $75,540 Queensland Derby is scheduled for July 21, the final night of the Albion Park carnival. Other attractions for connections of Thatswhatisaid include the Gr.3 $30,630 Premiers Cup on July 7 plus the Gr.3 $30,540 South East Derby the following week. Goulburn based Hewitt has enjoyed strong success in previous Queensland campaigns with the likes of Spare Me Days and Sweet Molly Oshea. In-form mare My Casino Belle could be a travel companion for Thatswhatisaid; the Bettors Delight has won 4 of her 6 starts this campaign. Local star Colt Thirty One, already a winner of the Gr.1 Victoria Derby earlier this season is being primed for his home state feature and continued with his excellent form with his routine victory in the Redcliffe Derby last Friday night.   Chris Barsby

Harness racing trainer Dean Braun is eyeing another Queensland winter campaign. The experienced and highly regarded horseman has enjoyed tremendous success in previous Brisbane raids and is looking to extend on that record with another richly talented pacer. Just last year, Braun sent the gifted Shartin north and claimed the Queensland Oaks before selling her to North American interests where she has established herself as the best pacing mare in the world following multiple feature race victories. Itz Nosurprisesthere (2013) and Nike Franco (2014) were other Queensland Oaks winners for Braun. While his success with the fairer sex is well documented, he’s also prepared many top flight male pacers and looks to have another special prospect in the shape of former New Zealand three-year-old Duplicated. Purchased recently from the All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding is unbeaten in two starts on Australian soil following victories at Bendigo and Ballarat. And now the Queensland Derby is on the radar. “I think he’s a very exciting talent with a lot of scope, he’s very quick but he’s equally strong so the Queensland Derby makes natural appeal. Going to Queensland in the winter is good fun and great for my skin tone.” Braun said. But the Queensland Derby is the hoodoo event for Braun, both Night Of The Stars and Chancellor Cullen was unplaced while Shartin finished a narrow second last year behind The More The Better. Can Duplicated right the wrong? A routine victory at Bendigo in 1:58.6 two weeks ago was followed by a clinical victory in the Colin and Heather Holloway Classic at Ballarat in 1:58.4 on Friday night. In both victories, he finished off in a sub 27 final section. Duplicated boasts six victories and six minor placings from 15 starts to date. “He’s done well in both starts to date and shown he’s got some zip, he led in both races and then just blasted up the lane so they haven’t been hard races by any stretch. I’ve had some early interest from North America with this guy but Queensland is the focus. “He’s headed in the right direction and I’m still sorting him out but the Queensland Derby was in the back of my mind when we purchased him. I know Colt Thirty One is a top colt but I’m prepared to take him on. “I think he’s a very versatile type and he can run over all distances, his form in New Zealand was very consistent and competed against some high quality rivals. The Queensland campaign offers plenty and I’m sorting out a suitable path to take.” Duplicated is raced by Braun’s partner, Pauline McColgan. The Queensland Derby is scheduled for July 21. Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | 

Queensland Derby hopeful Master Moonlite flexed his muscles for the first time for his new harness racing connections. Stepping out at the Terang trials yesterday (Sunday), the highly regarded for New Zealand three-year-old scored an effortless victory in his 2180m public trial. Purchased recently by clients of the Mattie Craven stable, the Art Major gelding scored in a time of 2:01.3 while covering the final 800m in a slick 56.5 seconds. And now he’s ready to start for his new owners as they build towards a Brisbane winter carnival campaign. “I was really happy with the way he performed and he’s ready to race following that hit-out. I’m looking at a race next week down here and then we’ll keep going from there.” Craven said. Previously prepared by Christchurch based horseman Cran Dalgety, Master Moonlite is no stranger to Australian fans after competing in last year’s Breeders Crown series. At his most recent start on March 9 at Alexandra Park, Auckland, Master Moonlite finished fourth behind Italian Delight. He returned south and was being readied for the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby at Addington before being sold. Craven is no stranger to Brisbane after campaigning here two years ago with the likes of Kimani, Im Wrongly Accused and Roy George. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Brisbane and I’m keen to get back, things didn’t pan out that year but it was a great experience and a great opportunity. “I think this horse is capable of taking the Queensland Derby and we’ll give him his chance, he’s also Vicbred eligible so we’ll target that series before making the trip north at this point. “Obviously Colt Thirty One is pretty smart but I’m keen to take him on.” The Queensland Derby is scheduled for July 21. Craven heads to Europe this week to spend time with leading horseman Timo Nurmos, the trainer of star performer Readly Express. Chris Barsby | RQ Web News

Star harness racing filly Shartin is chasing history. The dual Oaks winner will take her spot in the $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby at Albion Park this Saturday night. Fresh from her dominant front-running display in last week's Queensland Oaks, trainer Dean Braun has elected to tackle the boys in the blue riband classic. Historically, the girls just don't seem to beat the boys. New Zealand filly Oaxaca Lass (2002) is the only member of the fairer sex to win the Queensland Derby, a race first staged back in 1969. Amazingly, Oaxaca Lass didn't win the Oaks feature prior to her Derby triumph; she played the runners-up role when second behind local filly Sparkling Melody while the vanquished also included the likes of Elect To Live and Sassy Sarah. So, Shartin is looking at becoming the first Queensland Oaks/Derby heroine. “I was very happy with her performance last week, while the lead time was steady it was the last mile that really pleased me and she was completely dominant at the line and Luke (McCarthy – driver) confirmed that immediately after the race.” Braun said. The Tintin In America filly will start from gate two in the 2680m feature while race favourite The More The Better starts off the second-line. And Braun is confident about the extra distance this week. “I’m not concerned about the distance, I think the longer the better for her and she proved that when successful in the Tasmanian Oaks earlier this season. While she has a very high cruising speed, she can stick a bit too given she’s out of a Live Or Die mare. “With a good draw, we should be fairly handy again and that gives Luke plenty of options. Obviously, The More The Better is the horse to beat and he looked sharp again last week but hopefully we can be right there matching it with him. “Since returning from a break, she’s proven she can compete with the very best fillies and she’s still on the way up. I’ve trained some nice fillies and mares like Nike Franco, Pacific Playgirl and Itz Nosurprisesthere among others and I’m not certain they could do what this filly is doing right now.” Shartin is not eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown next month in Melbourne and therefore, the Queensland Derby start is likely to be her final race this term. While Braun is yet to train a Queensland Derby winner, driver McCarthy is chasing his fifth success. His winners include Slipnslide (2004), Tip Your Hat (2006), For A Reason (2010) and Bling It On (2014). Goulburn filly My Casino Belle, a runner-up behind Shartin last week in the Queensland Oaks is also backing up but has drawn poorly. Trained and driven by Brad Hewitt, My Casino Belle will start from gate 13, the outside of the second-line. The Queensland Derby is listed as Race 4 on the program. Chris Barsby

The Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake has been won in brilliant style by Ohoka Punter, who held out harness racing favourite Hectorjayjay and Ultimate Art in a night that was full of curve balls. Rain fell steadily throughout the evening as some of the best pacers in Australasia prepared themselves for the biggest meet in Queensland harness, Catcha Lefty winning the Queensland Derby, Im Norma Jean winning the QBRED Triad fillies final and Changeoverme coming home in the QBRED Triad colts & geldings. Ohoka Punter had an outstanding lead in the Blacks A Fake, coming into the straight at a pace that couldn’t be caught in the run home.  Trainer/driver Nathan Purdon scored his first Group 1 win with Ohoka Punter tonight (Saturday) but knew favourite Hectorjayjay would put up a mammoth fight heading into the race. “I knew Ohoka Punter was at the top of his game tonight, but Hector’s a great horse and I knew that Gavin (Hectorjayjay’s driver Gavin Lang) would try to stay in front of me, it made it difficult but Bettor's Delight stallion stuck to his guns,” “It’s unreal you know, my first group one, I’ll always remember it,” said Purdon. Hectorjayjay put in a great run to come second, doing some hard work early in getting to the front which may have taken some sting from his trademark finish. While Nathan Purdon planned on having “a few beers with the boys” to celebrate his first Group 1 win, Ohoka Punter will have a brief break before continuing on with his campaign. “He can have a few days off, then we’ll head towards Melbourne where he can contest a few free for all races and then it’s Perth for the Inter Dominion,” said Purdon. The Queensland Derby was another curveball of the night, it was a surprise win for Catcha Lefty, the good draw (gate two) letting him find a comfortable position behind the leader before getting up towards the inside to secure a popular local victory. The Village Jasper gelding beat quality horses like Match In Heaven and Stanley Ross Robyn in a driving finish. Star filly Nek Time, who unfortunately pulled up during the race and was said to be carrying a mild virus. In both the QBRED Triad Finals, both the favourites and the Picket Fence contenders were knocked out of the win. Im Norma Jean (Modern Art) claimed the QBRED Triad filly’s final win, the gutsy youngster coming home in fine form down the outside to take the victory. Picket Fence hopeful Slippery Jade had a tough run throughout the race, fighting well to place fourth, favourite Jossie Jones coming in third. The QBRED Triad final for colts and geldings saw Changeoverme (Changeover) came through on the inside to take a brilliant win, the promising gelding probably going better than its form read going into the race. Maestro Bellini did a lot of work in the run, battling on well in the straight to come third, as did Rock With Sam who looked like winning but got run down in the final stages to take second. Racing Queensland

No harness racing trainer has ever prepared back to back winners of the Queensland Derby. Many have featured multiple times but never has a trainer scored successive victories. On Saturday night, respected Victorian horseman Larry Eastman is hoping to rewrite the history books and do the unthinkable following his victory last year with the mighty Menin Gate. Eastman prepares Iceenothink in the $75,000 Sure Duz Mosquito Candle Queensland Derby, and the Art Major gelding has been installed as the favourite after drawing the inside gate in the 2680m feature. Again, champion reinsman Chris Alford will combine with the Eastman trainee. But he has a simple message for punters. “This horse is no Menin Gate, he’s a nice horse who continues to improve but he’s not at the level that Paulie was last season. We think he deserves his chance in a race like this and his recent form is very good, his run in the Vicbred Final was very good last start so we’ve decided to head north again.” Eastman said. Iceenothink has developed nicely this term which followed on from his unbeaten rookie season and Eastman has been thinking Queensland Derby as a long range target. His efforts during the recent Vicbred Super Series have only confirmed the thoughts of Eastman; Iceenothink finished a brave second behind talented pacer Dont Hold Back in the July 2 feature. “I’m really happy with his form, I thought he performed really well during that series and his effort in the final was very good. Gary (Hall Jnr – Driver) said he went very well and the Queensland Derby comes at the right time, we don’t need an excuse to be in Queensland at this time of the year. “The draw is lovely because it looks a very open race on paper; there is no standout and most if not all can win this race with some luck on their side. This horse has gate speed and Chris has options while the distance shouldn’t pose any problems. “The Gold Coast Derby last week was a keenly contested race and this week will be no different, I thought there were a number of good efforts in that race and I’m not selling any them short. This should be a good race.” Last year, Menin Gate won both the Gold Coast and Queensland Derby classics but given the Vicbred series and the Queensland carnival clashing, Iceenothink was never considered for the Gold Coast Derby. UBET have listed Iceenothink as the $2.40 favourite. Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016

It was a much needed victory. And it was met with relief too. That’s the way leading Sydney horseman Paul Fitzpatrick summed up the winning effort of his talented harness racing three-year-old Match In Heaven last Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Somebeachsomewhere colt was responsible for a mystifying performance in the Gr.1 Breeders Challenge Final when a lacklustre 9th behind Charlaval on June 26, it was too bad to be true and almost ended his season right there and then. But Fitzpatrick was determined to find answers. “We had a number of tests, scans and scopes carried out on him but we couldn’t actually pinpoint any problem. There was no actual issue diagnosed and we just had to put it down to a bad run, he hasn’t missed a beat since and the win last week confirmed that he was back on track and we’re heading north.” Fitzpatrick said. The respected horseman is yet to taste success in the sunshine state feature, even former champion juvenile Lombo Pocket Watch came up short when beaten by local pacer Arkamigo back in 2007. While Match In Heaven is yet to race outside of his home state, Fitzpatrick believes his colt is ready to take up the challenge. “He’s a horse we’ve liked from the very beginning and we’ve deliberately looked after him, he hasn’t been over raced and the Queensland Derby has been on his radar for some time now. Given the way he bounced back last week, that confirmed he was ready to take on this task. “It’s a very even field, a very good field but no standout like we’ve seen in recent times and I think that sets up a very exciting race. Many of these three-year-olds are yet to race at this distance so it’s unknown territory for many, mine included. “I think the draw is quite ok for my colt, he will have time to settle early and given that so many of the favoured runners are also drawn the second-line, I’m hopeful we can get good cover before letting go with his sprint.” Match In Heaven is no stranger to success this season having claimed the Young Derby back in March where he defeated Charlaval while he is Gr.1 placed after chasing home Our Waikiki Beach last season in the Breeders Challenge Final. A decision on whether Match In Heaven heads to Melbourne next month for the Australasian Breeders Crown will be made following the Queensland Derby. Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 16 July 2016

Despite his winning run, things won’t get any easier this weekend. In-form Sydney harness racing three-year-old Charlaval will face fresh challengers on Saturday night in the Gr.1 $75,000 Sure Duz Mosquito Candle Queensland Derby at Albion Park. The Kerryann Turner and Robbie Morris prepared gelding has secured back to back feature race victories including the Gr.1 Breeders Challenge followed by Saturday night’s feature, the Listed Gold Coast Derby. Charlaval defeated a late charging Stanley Ross Robyn and a game Kimani while several others also caught the eye including My Mastercraftsman, Mattgregor and Fcee. “We were really happy with his effort in the Gold Coast Derby; he got an economical trip and made the most of it. Importantly, he’s comes through the race really well and we’re looking forward to the main event this week.” Morris said. But arriving in the sunshine state to contest the 2680m feature are classy Victorian pacers Brallos Pass and Iceenothink while last start Menangle winner Match In Heaven is also heading north. Both Brallos Pas and Iceenothink come out of the same race at their most recent start; they were placed by Don’t Hold Back in the Gr.1 Vicbred Final at TABCORP Park, Melton on July 2. And New Zealand filly Nek Time, who has swept all before her on Australian soil to date with victories in both the Queensland and Gold Coast Oaks, will also take on the boys this week. Should the Terry and Glenys Chmiel trained filly emerge triumphant she will be the first member of the ‘fairer sex’ to annex the Oaks and Derby. The two classics have been conducted simultaneously since 1972. In recent years, the Queensland Derby has been dominated by clear favourites, Menin Gate last year followed on from the likes of Bling It On, Majestic Mach and Best Deal Yet but this year appears to be very open. The field and barrier draw will be released tomorrow (Tuesday). Chris Barsby

Star New Zealand harness racing filly Nek Time is a chance of taking on the boys next week in the Queensland Derby. But first, she must claim the Gr.1 $75,000 DPMA Queensland Oaks at Albion Park on Saturday night. And her chances are looking good following her stylish all the way victory last week in the Gold Coast Oaks coupled with a handy draw this weekend. The Terry and Glenys Chmiel trained Gotta Go Cullect filly will start from gate four on Saturday and provides reinsman Dexter Dunn with plenty of options. “It’s a nice draw and we’ve got room to move so Dex can plot a path to success hopefully from there, I’m really happy with the way she won last week. She had a good blow after the race so I’m expecting a good performance again this week but it’s a much stronger field with several new fillies starting this week.” Co-trainer Terry Chmiel said. New faces this week include a trio of talented fillies from Sydney headlined by last start Gr.1 Breeders Challenge winner Rockmemama plus the duo from the stables of Amanda Turnbull in Eye See Diamonds and Neon Sky while classy local filly Cherish The Moment also starts after bypassing last week. Rockmemama defeated Eye See Diamonds in the Breeders Challenge final two weeks ago while Newcastle Oaks winner Neon Sky has been kept fresh for this assignment. But Chmiel is confident his filly can lift again and rise to the challenge. “I’m actually a little surprised how well she’s actually doing over here, after I weighed her the other day, she’s actually put some weight on so she’s really thriving in the warmer climate. Her work this week has been good and everything is looking good. “That was the first time we’ve used her off the gate last week and the lead time was pretty solid so I was more than happy with the effort, normally we just drive her steady early before making a move but Dex made full use of the good draw last week. “If we can win again this weekend, she’s eligible for the Picket Fence bonus but she must start in the Queensland Derby next week so we’ll keep our options open. We’ve got to win this weekend first.” The Rob and Sharon Symon owned filly is chasing her third Oaks success this season after already winning the Southland and Gold Coast Oaks. New Zealand bred fillies have a fine record in the Queensland Oaks with the past four winners coming from the shaky isles. Last year, the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Fight For Glory proved victorious. Betting giant UBET have opened Rockmemama ($2.50) a slight favourite over Nek Time ($2.80).        Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 09 July 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 09 July 2016           Chris Barsby

The 2016 Racing Queensland UBET winter carnival is fast approaching and in the coming weeks, Queensland harness broadcaster Chris Barsby will profile a number of major players vying for the top prizes. With 18 Black Type races on the program for the 2016 Winter Carnival, the carnival’s pinnacle in 2016 is the Group 1 Blacks A Fake, which now boasts an impressive $200,000 in stakes. The carnival spans from May 28 to July 30. Here’s a profile featuring a talented three-year-old from south of the border that’s eyeing Derby success on July 16. Name: Match In Heaven Stable Name: Sparky Age: 3yo colt Owner: John Starr Trainer: Paul Fitzpatrick Driver: Blake Fitzpatrick Prizemoney: $91,034 Biggest win: 2016 Young Derby Target: Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Derby (July 16) Trainer says: “We’ve always liked him and hold him in high regard, from day one he’s shown natural ability and he’s building a nice record and we feel he will keep improving and make a nice older horse over time. He’s got good smarts about him and he’s very quick, his point to point speed is his biggest asset. Hopefully we can have some luck in the Queensland Derby because he’ll prove very competitive in any race he contests.” Barsby says: “A really nice pacer that’s been well looked after and managed throughout his career to date. He showed his class when he chased home Our Waikiki Beach last season in the Breeders Challenge when he was still quite raw and inexperienced. Possesses great speed and will prove very hard to beat if given any luck, the Queensland Derby looks an ideal target.”

Top young Victorian Harness Racing horseman Matthew Craven is heading to Queensland. The emerging star is keen to chase Group One glory in both the Queensland Oaks and Derby with a pair of richly talented ex-kiwi pacers in Im Wrongly Accused and Kimani. And he’s heading north next week. Im Wrongly Accused has already shown her class by winning a heat of the Victoria Oaks earlier this season while Kimani is yet to race on Australian soil following his purchase from the stables of Barry Purdon recently. “The Queensland winter carnival has been on my radar for some time and I think I’ve got the right horses to head north with, the filly has proven she can compete with the best while Kimani is very talented and the Derby was an obvious target.” Craven said. Winning a Derby classic has proven elusive so far this season for Craven with another former kiwi pacer in Cant Refuse coming up short in the Victoria, New South Wales and West Australian features. Cant Refuse finished as a runner-up in the Sydney feature while running a close fourth in the other two events. Kimani is a son of super sire Bettors Delight out of the former champion filly Lizzie Maguire and gave a glimpse of his ability with a stylish trial at Terang last Sunday. Kimani rated 1:55.7 for the 2180m workout and scored by a widening margin. “I was very happy with the effort in the trial last weekend and he’ll improve on that obviously because that’s the first serious hit-out I’ve given to date. He had a good blow following the trial but he’s come through it in good style. “I’m keen to start him in a ‘CO’ event at Albion Park next week before pushing to the Gold Coast and Queensland Derby features. He’s pretty good and I’m looking forward to starting him up there.” Despite her scratching today (Wednesday), Im Wrongly Accused remains on target for the Queensland campaign. The Bettors Delight filly was ruled out owing to a hoof abscess and Craven wasn’t prepared to take any risks. “It’s not a major issue but I wasn’t prepared to take any chances, we’ll get it sorted and she’ll be ready for the Gold Coast Oaks on Saturday week. “This filly possesses very good speed and the pattern of racing up there should suit her ideally, these features have been earmarked for some time.” Another in-form pacer making the trip north is Roy George, an impressive last winner last night (Tuesday) at Ballarat. The Grinfromeartoear six-year-old has won 10 of his 15 starts including 7 of his past 8 starts. Craven is considering a $20,000 Rising Stars Championship series for the talented gelding. Chris Barsby

The 2016 Racing Queensland UBET winter carnival is fast approaching and in the coming weeks, Queensland harness broadcaster Chris Barsby will profile a number of major players vying for the top prizes. With 18 Black Type races on the program for the 2016 Winter Carnival, the carnival’s pinnacle in 2016 is the G1 Blacks A Fake, which now boasts an impressive $200,000 in stakes. The carnival spans from May 28 to July 30. Here’s a profile featuring an up and coming three-year-old colt that is being aimed at the Queensland Derby next month. Name: Brallos Pass Stable Name: Frankie Age: 3yo colt Owner: Neil & Mal Lennie Trainer: Mark Watson Driver: Nathan Jack Prizemoney: $120,432 Biggest win: South Australia Derby Target: Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Derby (July 16) Trainer says: “He’s a high quality colt with great potential, from the very beginning of his career he displayed natural ability and he’s been a pleasure to train. His speed is his biggest asset, whether he’s in front or sitting with cover he can be lethal and he’s still improving in that respect. His form this season has been outstanding and with a bit more luck, things could be a little different. He’s proven he’s up with the best going around.” Barsby says: “An impressive performer with an impressive record, dominated in the SA Derby while performing at a very high level in both the Victoria and New South Wales Derby series, barrier draws haven’t been all that kind either. His stylish looks are matched by his brilliant turn of foot, can really rip a good quarter. Performing well in the Vicbred series and he’ll carry plenty of support in the Queensland Derby.”

Exciting three-year-old Mattgregor is now racing the clock to be ready for the Queensland Derby next month at Albion Park. Connections were again forced to scratch their talented pacer yesterday (Tuesday) owing to an unfortunate setback which occurred on Monday night. The New Zealand bred gelding become cast in his box and ended up with a superficial wound on his hind leg which left connections with no option but to withdraw him from yesterday’s race. “Luckily, he didn’t do any major damage but we weren’t prepared to start him although we need to get some racing under his belt quickly because the Derby classics are just around the corner. All going well, hopefully he’ll be right to go next week.” Trainer Chantal Turpin said. It’s the second time in as many weeks that the speedy pacer has been scratched. Since arriving from New Zealand late last year after being purchased from the stables of respected Canterbury horseman Mark Jones, Mattgregor has won three of his four starts to date. All three victories coming at Albion Park and all in sub 1:54 time. Mattgregor has not raced since winning at Albion Park on December 22 where he paced the mile in a scorching time of 1:53.4. The Gr.1 $75,000 Queensland Derby is scheduled for July 16. Connections are also mindful of the UBET Picket Fence bonus of $20,000 if he can win three races in a row including the Queensland Derby. Chris Barsby

Exciting three-year-old Brallos Pass is bound for Brisbane. The South Australian Derby winner scored a scorching victory at Swan Hill last week and trainer Mark Watson has penciled in the Gr.1 Queensland Derby at Albion Park on July 16 as a feature race target. Brallos Pass will tackle the Vicbred series in the coming weeks where he will clash with talented types Shadow Sax, Don’t Hold Back and Ryley Major among others before heading north. “The Queensland Derby is definitely on our radar, he’s co-owned in Queensland and we’re keen to give him his chance in that feature. I plan on starting his next week before heading to the heats of the Vicbred series at Kilmore on June 16.” Watson said. With success in the SA Derby, the stylish looking colt has also contested the Victoria and New South Wales Derby series this season without luck. Following impressive efforts in the qualifying heats, luck deserted him in the respective finals where he chased home the Mark Purdon stablemates Lazarus and Our Waikiki Beach. Last Thursday, the Major In Art – Miss Athens colt scored by a widening margin at Swan Hill while recording a personal best time of 1:53.5 when handled for the first time by talented reinsperson Ellen Tormey. “The effort didn’t surprise me last week and the time confirmed where I think he is at right now, it’s been a really good season to date but we still have a few mountains to climb before seasons end. He’s really good right now and he’s ready for the upcoming targets. “He’s not eligible for the Breeders Crown so that’s another reason why we’re keen to head to Brisbane for the Derby, that will be his last start for the season and then he’ll have a really good break". "The Vicbred series will be really strong with so many good three-year-olds about but I think we have a good shot". “As long as he comes through that series in good shape, we’ll be heading up but I’ve never raced a horse in Brisbane so I’m looking forward to challenge of getting up there and taking on a bunch of good types. We’ll head up by road and probably get there with a bit of time up our sleeve so he can settle in.” Brallos Pass is raced by brothers, Neil and Mal Lennie. Chris Barsby

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