Gold Coast trainer Noel Doyle is banking on the lucky combination of jockey Ric McMahon and Le Val to return the three year old to the winner’s circle in the Group 2 $350,000 Sky Racing Queensland Guineas (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Doyle is hoping that history can repeat itself after McMahon partnered Le Val to victory in the Listed $100,000 Moreton Hire Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast last year.
McMahon is replacing Timothy Bell who hopped off Le Val to ride Sir Moments after the Snitzel gelding came up with the horror gate of twenty-two in the original barrier draw and will jump from seventeen if the five emergencies don’t gain a start.
And in similar circumstances McMahon replaced Bell before Le Val won the Ken Russell Memorial Classic twelve months ago.
“Tim got off him when he drew barrier twenty-two,” Doyle told AAP.
“But it was the same story in the Ken Russell when we won he got off and Ric got on. Hopefully it will be the same.”
“I have had a bit of luck with Ric when he rides for me so let’s keep our fingers crossed.”
Doyle has been pleased with Le Val’s two runs back after a lengthy time on the sideline recovering from a broken pelvis sustained in Group 2 $250,000 Al Basti Equiworld BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350) at Doomben during last year’s Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Bell has been aboard on both occasions this campaign when Le Val finished fifth to Agitate in the Listed $100,000 Channel Seven Mick Dittman Plate (1110m) at Doomben on May 10 and then third to Eastern Prince in the Listed $100,000 Nuturf Queensland Day (1200m) at Doomben last weekend.
“I thought he was terrific first-up when fifth in the Mick Dittman Plate up and then his third in the Queensland Day Handicap was as good a run as any in the race,” Doyle said.
McMahon will be at his best and hungry for a feature race win as he is set to start a careless riding suspension on Sunday, June 1, after being sent out for seven meetings for causing interference at the 600m in the second race at Doomben last Wednesday, May 28.
Le Val has been marked as a $21 chance for the Queensland Guineas with Ladbrokes.com.au with Adelaide colt Hucklebuck the ruling favourite at $4.60 in an open betting race.
The Paul Messara trained Havana is the second pick at $5.50 and looks hard to beat after winning the Group 3 $125,000 Ascend Sales Trophies Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben a fortnight ago.
The Gerald Ryan trained Dothraki and Agadir from the Darley stable share the third line of betting at $8 ahead of Kiwi filly Costa Viva at $10 and Safeguard at $13.