Worthy Cause will return to the races in the 2015 Bernborough Handicap and trainer John Zielke is thrilled with the physical condition of his star galloper ahead of the Listed event at Doomben on Saturday.
Worthy Cause stamped himself as a genuine contender at Group level when he took out the Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on October 4 and he went on to perform well without winning in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 17, the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown on November 14.
The Choisir entire has not been seen at the races for over a month, but he impressed with his victory in a barrier trial over 1270 metres at the Sunshine Coast on December 15 and Zielke told Racing Queensland that he is unsure if he can have the four-year-old any fitter ahead of the 2015 Bernborough Handicap.
“I’m very happy with him,” Zielke said.
“His blood count has come back perfect and he’s fit and healthy.
“He won a trial over 1270 metres here at Caloundra on Tuesday in good time and he was never asked for an effort.
“He also had a jump out over 1400 metres the week before.
“He’s ripped and you can count his ribs.”
Traveston Girl took out both the Listed Recognition Stakes (1600m) at Doomben on November 21 and the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1640m) at the same venue on December 5, but Ladbrokes currently have Brisbane Handicap runner-up Hopfgarten as a narrow favourite from Traveston Girl and Worthy Cause.
Zielke believes that Hopfgarten represents the main danger to Worthy Cause in the Bernborough Handicap and he expects both horses to fight out the finish in the final stages of the race.
“I think the handicappers and the markets have it just about right,” Zielke said.
“Traveston Girl has an awkward alley this time and goes up in weight and only just beat Hopfgarten last time in the Brisbane Handicap.
“She can only win by leading but she’s got to carry an extra 1.5 kilos.
“I rate Hopfgarten’s as our danger.
“He will be storming home and I think in the last 75 metres you’ll see two serious racehorses breathing down her neck.”
Role Model ($6) and Centre Pivot ($9) are the only other horses available at single figure Bernborough Handicap odds, in what is a very competitive edition of the Listed event.