It seemed quite appropriate that Carn won on AFL grand final day at Eagle Farm but the Racing Queensland stewards took a different view.
The Doug Johnson trained galloper paid $112.90 on the local TAB and the officialdom asked questions about the apparent form turnaround.
Johnson, a man who trains just four horses at Toowoomba, wasn’t surprised by the improvement and neither were his small but loyal tight knit supporters.
Those who had watched Carn in previous races would have known he had excuses, primarily bad luck and average rides.
Johnson explained to stewards that most of the gelding’s performances had merit
He further added that Carn is best suited when able to make a sustained run from the 600m and finish on the outside of runners in the home straight.
“He shocked certain people when he won but not me or a lot of people in Toowoomba,” Johnson said.
“I backed him but it was the same old story, I didn’t have enough on him.”
The five-year-old has had two creditable runs in town since that win but neither time Carn was ridden to Johnson’s total satisfaction.
On Saturday, the talented apprentice Tim Bell gets a chance and in doing so will claim 1.5kg from Carn’s allotted 53.5kg in the BDO Class 6 Handicap (2106m).
While Carn has only won two of 18 races ,Johnson says the best is still in front of him.
“He is a typical Carnegie, you just have to wait for him, he hasn’t completely matured,” Johnson said.
“He keeps getting better with each run.
“He looks magnificent, he is covered in dapples all over.”
“He had a bit of bad luck at his past two starts, she (Jacqui Brown) got on the rails and then was held in a pocket two starts back.
“And last start he was taken out at the home corner and nearly fell.”
In that race (Class 6 2000m) Carn finished mid-field beaten five lengths by Our Recidivist who raises 1/2kg for the win while Carn drops a kilogram.
Our Recidivist unsurprisingly is Tattsbet favourite at $2.50 on early markets while Carn is a $10 shot.
Rundle ($3.80), who finished second to Our Recidivist in that race, is 4-1/2kg worse off on that run after winning his subsequent start.
Johnson said the weights even things up a little and puts Carn, a $10,000 purchase, into the race.
Winmara ($17) and Red God ($6) finished behind Carn when he won on October 1 – He is meeting a similar field to when he won and Johnson says he could again be value.
“He used to jar up on dry tracks as a young horse but he is better now,” Johnson said.
“He handles wet and dry but you never want it too hard.”