Rival trainers Leon Cortsens and David Vandyke are hoping for clear skies to ensure a good racing surface heading into Saturday’s Doomben Cup meeting.
Corstens will saddle up Zabeelionaire and Vandyke will have Lamasery running in the Group 1 $500,000 Kirks Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben and neither galloper have won on a slow or heavy track.
The Brisbane Winter Carnival’s opening Group 1 meeting was marred last Saturday when the Group 1 $400,000 Bundaberg Distilling Co. BTC Cup (1200m) had to be run on a heavy track at Eagle Farm after several showers hit during the afternoon.
“He hasn’t handled wet tracks up to date, although I thought he went quite well this morning. But it is a lot different when you are under pressure in a race,” Corstens said after Zabeelionaire worked out wide on a heavy Doomben course proper on Tuesday morning.
Corstens is expecting the South Australian Derby winner to keep on improving following his two runs back from a spell with the Group 2 $300,00 Croser Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
Zabeelionaire failed to beat a runner home first up over an unsuitable 1400m at Caulfield but Corstens was happy at his next start when third over 2000m at Flemington.
“I was very disappointed with his first run at Caulfield but I was a lot more pleased with his next run, he stood them up a bit of ground and the winner went very quick,” Corstens said.
BTC Cup winning jockey Peter Robl rode Lamasery work at Doomben on Tuesday and confirmed that the six year old needs a good surface to perform at his best.
“He is a horse who wants it no worse than a dead track. He’s nowhere near his best on slow tracks or worse,” Robl said.
Robl has been a regular partner of Lamasery but will bypass the ride in the Doomben Cup after taking a full book of rides at the massive Scone meeting on Saturday.
Local jockey Glen Colless will take the ride on Lamasery who is a $7 chance behind $3.60 equal favourites Lights Of Heaven and Foreteller.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Hippopus is next in the betting at $8 just ahead of last season’s top weight for age performer Manighar at $10.