Kiwi sprinter Sacred Star has drawn the rails in the Listed $175,000 HMR Projects Pty Ltd Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Cambridge trainer Tony Pike has elected to stay on in Queensland with Sacred Star who has eleven opponents in the Sunshine Coast’s feature sprint race.
“I have kept him in Queensland because there is nothing in New Zealand for him at this time of year,” Pike told The Courier-Mail.
“The Glasshouse looks a good race for him, it is certainly a significant drop back in grade.”
One of New Zealand’s top riders Vinnie Colgan takes the mount after riding Sacred Star last start when fifth to Under The Louvre in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Jim Byrne was aboard the six year old at his only other 2016 Queensland Winter Carnival start when eleventh to Malaguerra in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 14.
Pike will decide after the running of the Glasshouse Handicap if Sacred Star will stay in Australia and possibly run in the Listed $160,000 Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July 13.
“Depending on how he races on Saturday, I might also look at keeping him in Australia for the Ramornie,” Pike said.
The Peter Robl trained Ninth Legion has drawn awkwardly at barrier eleven and won’t get the same cosy run that her did when he won the Listed $175,000 City Of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich on June 18.
Top local jockey Damian Browne gets the mount again on Ninth Legion and he knows the Sunshine Coast track better than anyone else and should be able to find a good position in the run for the six year old.
Michael Cahill takes over from Jeff Lloyd on Steel Zip who ran third to Ninth Legion in the Eye Liner Stakes and gets his chance to turn the tables after drawing better at gate seven.
Lloyd goes onto the Kelly Doughty trained last start Eagle Farm Class 6 winner Flamboyer who has drawn mid field at barrier six.
The Darren Weir trained Stratum Star had been allocated the top weight but Kerrin McEvoy might be able to negate the 61kg a little after the four year old drew favourably at barrier two.
Stratum Star failed to beat a runner home two starts back when thirteenth in the BTC Cup but then showed a glimpse of his best form with a close up third behind Spill The Beans and Federal in the Group 2 $175,000 MIRVAC QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Saluter has been in fine form for the Robert Heathcote stable with a win two starts back in a Sunday meeting at the Sunshine Coast in a 1000m Handicap followed by a second to Into The Red in the Group 3 $175,000 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
Brad Stewart was aboard last start and gets the mount again on Saluter who has drawn nicely at barrier three.
Glasshouse Handicap final field: 1 Stratum Star (2), 2 Sacred Star (1), 3 Ninth Legion (11), 4 Steel Zip (7), 5 Saluter (3), 6 Pillar Of Creation (4), 7 Timeless Prince (10), 8 Time To Plunder (10), 9 Flamboyer (6), 10 Mischievous Devil (12), 11 Elusive Catch (9), 12 Irish Constabulary (8).