Connections of Zero Rock weren’t asking for a lot before the Tattersall’s Tiara (Winter Stakes) barrier draw, all they wanted was to finally see single figures.
Yet again though luck was against them and for the fourth time in a row she’ll jump from a wide gate at Eagle Farm this Saturday.
From her 24 starts under trained Kelso Wood she’s had gate 10 or worse on 10 occasions.
In the end she’ll have to get the job done form barrier 10, a task made more difficult when favourite Beaded came up trumps with gate three.
Jockey Chris Munce knows how much talent his mare has though and he’ll be hoping to nullify the barrier draw as soon as possible after they jump.
“If my mare had drawn a nice gate she would have stuck it to her (Beaded), don’t worry about that,” Munce said.
“She’s had no luck with barriers all prep, but she’s racing in career best form.
“She never runs badly and puts in 110 per cent all the time.”
He already has a game plan in mind for the race and all things going to plan can predict where abouts she might settle.
“She will follow Steps In Time across and hopefully I can get in second or third with cover,” he said.
Munce himself was a little bit quiet in starting off the carnival but the last few weeks he’s really started to hit his straps.
He scored a mid-week double at Doomben yesterday and with that looks to have secured his spot at the top of the Brisbane jockeys premiership.
“The carnival overall has been good, especially the last day (winning the Brisbane Cup),” he said.
“The Doomben part was a little bit frustrating. I was only a nose away from winning the Group 1 on Love Conquers All.
“In other races a few of the Brisbane horses didn’t fire up. Apart from Rob Heathcote’s team, which had a great carnival, it was mainly the southern and Kiwi horses winning all the races.
“The Brisbane horses started to fire up towards the end and on Stradbroke day I had a winner for Baz (Barry Baldwin) and then won the Brisbane Cup.”
It’s been a long time between drinks for Munce who lasted tasted premiership success in Brisbane way back in the 1993 – 1994 season.
Previous to that he had also won the title in 1991 – 1992 as well as while he was an apprentice in 1989 – 1990.
To be fair since then he has moved around and been through a well documented series of tribulations, but this is the prize he has kept his eye on.
“I had to give myself a goal and it’s always good to strive to reach that target. It’s no use paddling around and going nowhere,” he said.
He’s now 15.5 wins ahead of the second placed Larry Cassidy on the premiership ladder.
His most recent winner was on Move To The Grove, a horse that will also be in action on Saturday in the Tattersall’s Mile.
“He pulled for the first half mile the other day but with Firebolt in the race they should run along at a decent clip this time,” Trainer Danny Bougoure said.
“He’s a typical Show A Heart. They love to be ridden quietly and come around them.”