Brisbane trainer Kelso Wood has given himself every chance of claiming a second straight Glasshouse Handicap (1400m), accepting with two strong chances for Saturday’s $175,000 sprint at the Sunshine Coast.
Heading Wood’s pair is defending champion Belltone who is joined by in-form younger stablemate Someday.
But the pair will have to overcome an early obstacle after drawing barriers 14 and 16 respectively in a 16-horse field.
Belltone, who won the race convincingly last year, is expected to return to form when dropping back in class after struggling in the Stradbroke while Wood will be hoping for a change of fortune for Someday.
The four-year-old has raced consistently without luck in four winter starts, recording minor placings on three occasions including in the Listed Strawberry Road Handicap and the Listed Centenary Mercedes-Benz Mile.
Wood rates the Falvelon gelding highly and has prepared him for five wins and six minor placings from 13 career starts to date.
The only last-start winner in the field is Barry Lockwood’s progressive gelding Tokamak who held off a fast-finishing Someday to win the Strawberry Road Handicap at his last trip to the races.
Also in strong form is local gelding River Lad who has gained a reputation as a consistent sprinter, with his record standing at 10 wins and 10 minor placings from 31 starts.
The Nat McCall-trained five-year-old will head to his home track off a seven-day backup after fighting gamely to take second place behind Howmuchdoyouloveme in the Group 3 Healy Stakes on Saturday.
Others notable horses stepping out in the Glasshouse include Robert Heathcote’s front-runner Pellegrini, last year’s runner-up Jetset Lad and former Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready.