The Robert Heathcote trained Hopfgarten in the highest rated horse among the nineteen nominations for the Listed $175,000 Bernborough Handicap (1615m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Hopfgarten, rated at 101, is set to clash again with the Tony Gollan trained Traveston Girl, rated 98, in the Bernborough Handicap after a nose second to the mare when they last met in the Listed $100,000 Queensland Bus Industry Council Brisbane Handicap (1640m) at Doomben on December 5.
But Heathcote expects the underdone Hopfgarten to turn the tables on Traveston Girl at Doomben this week.
“We will meet Traveston Girl two more times this summer and we will beat her,” a confident Heathcote said.
“I knew he would be a bit soft at the end of the race because he had a little break since coming back from Melbourne. We hadn’t done a lot with him.”
Following their clash in the Bernborough Handicap, Traveston Girl and Hopfgarten will meet again in the $1m Magic Millions Trophy (1800m) at the Gold Coast on January 9.
As well as Hopfgartenm, Heathcote has also nominated Bewhatyouwannabe and Lordag for the Bernborough Handicap.
Bewhatyouwannabe ran a much improved race last start when fourth to Traveston Girl in the Brisbane Handicap while Lordag has been racing in restricted class and is coming off a last start third in a 1200m Class 6 at Doomben on December 5.
Gollan also has multiple nominations for this Saturday’s Summer Carnival feature ‘Mile’ race, and as well as Traveston Girl, has entered three others Bentiles, Best Of The Rest and Trakstar.
Shotover River ran a cheeky race when third behind Traveston Girl and Hopfgarten in the Brisbane Handicap and is one of two horses Eagle Farm trainers John, Dan and Chris Meagher have nominated.
Well performed restricted class galloper Comacina, from the Meagher stable, has been placed five times since winning a 1600m Class 5 at the Sunshine Coast on September 2 and will be facing tougher company this week.
Trainer Barry Baldwin is also contemplating stepping his consistent performer Glendara up in class and distance after recording his sixth placing from his last six starts when a nose second to Mister Booze in a 1350m 1MW Handicap at Doomben last Saturday.
Top Tone is another stepping up to the 1615m after finishing fourth to Didntcostalot in the Group 3 $200,000 Channel 7 George Moore Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on November 28.
Sunshine Coast trained Worthy Cause is back from a Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign and looks well placed over the ‘Mile’ of the Bernborough Handicap.
Trainer John Zielke produced Worthy Cause’s to win the Listed $120,000 Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on October and rounded off his Southern campaign with a third to Casino Dancer in the Group 3 $150,000 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown on November 14.
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