The reduced distance of 2200m for the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby at Doomben on Saturday will suit Kiwi three year old Shocking Luck.
Two starts back Shocking Luck produced an impressive win in the Group 3 $125,000 Mittys Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben on May 13 but was then well beaten as favourite when sixth in the Group 3 $150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Eagle Farm on May 27.
Following that meeting Racing Queensland transferred the remaining Group 1 race days of the Winter Racing Carnival to Doomben as a result of heavy criticism of the Eagle Farm track that raced well below standard.
Shocking Luck is raced by Te Akau Racing and principal David Ellis said the return to Doomben will greatly help the chances of Shocking Luck who will also be well suited to the 2200m.
“I think the distance drop from 2400m to 2200m will help him, too,” Ellis told The Courier-Mail.
Shocking Luck along with stablemate Melody Belle were at the centre of a major mix up when Te Akau Racing failed to pay up for the first acceptances for them in their respective races, the Queensland Derby and the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) also run at Doomben on Saturday.
Te Akau Racing then had to pay an $18,000 late entry fee for each horse to get reinstated into their events and Ellis is anticipating getting it back with plenty of interest on Saturday.
“It was our fault,” Ellis said.
“Now we’re looking forward to the weekend and absolutely our goal and our attitude is to turn it into a good investment.”
Shocking Luck was in luck at the barrier draw for the Queensland Derby and came up with the inside barrier in the capacity sixteen horse field plus five emergencies and currently shares favouritism with the Ciaron Maher trained Ruthven at $5 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Regular rider Opie Bosson will be in the saddle again on the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards trained gelding in the Queensland Derby and was on hand on Tuesday morning at the Gold Coast to put Shocking Luck and Melody Belle through their final paces for Saturday’s assignments.
“He was thrilled with how they worked,” Ellis said.
“The team has done a fantastic job with them.”
Hugh Bowman rides Ruthven who drew barrier nine in the original draw for the Queensland Derby while the Darren Weir trained Volatile Mix was out of luck with barrier twenty.
John Allen rides Volatile Mix who is on the third line of betting at $7 and will jump from the outside gate if all the emergencies fail to get a run.