Gai Waterhouse-trained King Cobia will step up to Listed level for just the second time in his racing career in the Goldmarket Handicap (1300m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
King Cobia has raced exclusively in Sydney since making his racing debut in September last year but Waterhouse has elected to send the Exceed And Excel entire to chase a maiden black type victory in Queensland.
The four-year-old started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a narrow win at Kembla Grange and finished a narrow second in the Patinack Farm Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on October 7 before returning to the winners stall with a win in the Become An ATC Sponsor Handicap (1400m) at Warwick Farm on October 16.
King Cobia finished third behind Corryvreckan and Solemn in the Turner Freemans Lawyers Handicap (1400m), in what has been a strong form race, but failed to fire when sixth behind She’s A Girl in the Tamworth Store Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 16.
He returned to his best form with a second behind place behind the talented Terravista in the Time Thief At Darley Handicap (1400m) on November 23 and recorded the third win of his campaign at the Randwick Kensington track on December 14.
King Cobia will be returning to Listed level for the first time since he finished seventh behind Better Than Ready in the 2012 edition of the Brian Crowley Stakes and will be the only horse trained outside of Queensland in the 2014 Goldmarket Handicap field.
Leading the charge for the Queensland-trained hopefuls will be veteran sprinter Facile Tigre who will carry the top weight of 59kg, but has failed to fire since returning to the races in October.
Facile Tigre finished second behind Mrs Onassis in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and had a stint in the spelling paddock before beating home just a single runner in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville in May.
The Catbird gelding finished at the tail of the in the Narin Constructions Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on October 12 and was fourth behind Better Than Ready in the Club Super Handicap (1000m) before finishing thirteenth in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m).
Also coming out of the George Moore Stakes is the consistent Morning Captain and Tony Gollan-trained Gundy Son, while Ollie Vollie is returning to racing in Brisbane after finishing a credible fourth in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1150m) in Sydney.
King Cobia ($4.20) is currently on the second line of 2014 Goldmarket Handicap betting markets; with Morning Captain ($3.40) a narrow favourite and Facile Tigre an outsider at odds of $26.