Damian Browne has been one of Queensland’s best jockeys in 2011 so when he was unavailable for the ride of Chateau Fort in this weekend’s Grand Prix Stakes it left a big hole.
Not one to panic though, trainer Paul Messara new exactly who he wanted to take up the ride and he got him with Glen Colless booked for this Saturday at Doomben Racecourse.
“There were a few Sydney riders available but Glen was my first choice,” Messara said.
“He’s a great jockey.”
Chateau Fort suffered his first defeat of 2011 when beaten by the flying Fillydelphia in the Rough Habit Stakes last start, he finished more than two lengths back in third.
“I was very happy with his run but not the result,” Messara said.
“He’s had only a light preparation and has only started five times.
“He was caught a little wide last time and had to make an early run which took away from his finish.
“I’d prefer to see him chase more than get to the front too soon in the straight.
“He got to the front on the home turn in the Rough Habit and got a couple of checks.”
Messara thinks that Fillydelphia will once again provide the main threat in the Grand Prix Stakes however his main aim is the Queensland Derby and that’s where his attention will shift to Shootoff.
“The horse to beat in the Derby is Shootoff and on current form he is unbeatable,” Messara said.
“I can’t see anything beating him.
“I really liked his Doomben Cup run and for me he’s an odds-on chance in the Queensland Derby.”
Shootoff was fourth at Group 1 level last start when running behind Scenic Shot in the Doomben Cup.
Previous to that he had won two in a row, the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup at Canterbury and the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate at Randwick.
Damian Browne is unavailable for the ride after being suspended for seven meetings for careless riding at Doomben last weekend.
At the time it appeared like the perfect ride in the BRC Sprint when he won aboard Woorim in the final 100m of the race.
It was a similar to suspension to one handed down after a Caloundra meet and means the star Queenslander won’t ride at his home carnival until the final days on June 14th.