This Saturday Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse will host one of the final black-type features for the month with the Keith Noud Quality Handicap 2011 taking place.
Twenty-three quality gallopers have been nominated for this year’s $100,000 Listed Keith Noud Quality Handicap (1200m), including three from the stables of premier Queensland horseman Robert Heathcote.
Heathcote has nominated his super consistent Falvelon four-old Excellantes, in-form five-year-old Solzhenitsyn set to resume racing after a three and a half month break and Work The Room for the handicap feature.
Lightly-raced for their age with just 15 starts, Bel Esprit six-year-old Work The Room won the Listed Tattersall’s Mile at Eagle Farm during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and come off a first-up win over the track and distance on November 12 where they beat home stablemate Excellantes.
Other trainers with multiple Keith Noud Quality Handicap entries this year include Gold Coast-based Bryan Guy with top Group 3 winning stayer Shuffle The Cash last seen running third in the Grafton Cup on July 14 and Jazz Heart, fellow Glitter Strip horseman Les Kelly with Grafton Cup third placegetter Lucky Luna and last-start Doomben winner Skating On Ice, and Toowoomba’s Tony Gollan with the recently disappointing Listen Son and Spirit Of Boom.
A half-brother to stable ace Temple Of Boom, Spirit Of Boom returns home to Brisbane after finishing a disappointing fifth down the Flemington straight in the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) on November 1, Melbourne Cup Day.
“I’ve always felt this horse has the X-factor about him, but he has to prove it,” Gollan said of Spirit Of Boom.
Other notable entries include the Gillian Heinrich-trained Bel Esprit four-year-old Audacious Spirit, Darryl Hansen’s last-start Listed Ascot Handicap winner at Eagle Farm back in July Essington, resuming Gold Coast galloper Tierqualo and Sydney raider Latin News recently transferred from Bart Cummings to David Payne.
Latin News is a dual nominee across two states for Saturday, Payne having also entered them for $70,000 Welter Handicap (1100m) at Canterbury on Saturday with a decision on which they will contest to be made later in the week.
Meanwhile, after having been offered the ride on a number of Keith Noud hopefuls this year, top hoop Chris Munce has made the decision to partner with the Kelso Wood-trained Belltone, the Brahms six-year-old having won their last three races.
“It was difficult because I did have some very nice offers, but I just think Belltone is a bit untapped,” Munce said.
“His form last prep was unbelievable.
“He was six from seven and he probably shouldn’t have got beat the other time when he had a little niggle.
“He went from winning a maiden at Eagle Farm and then went bang, bang, bang through is grades really quick.
“I think he will measure up (on Saturday).
“On what he did last prep there’s no reason why he wouldn’t.”
The Keith Noud Quality Handicap field and barriers are due out later in the week and will be published here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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2011 Keith Noud Quality Handicap Nominations
|1||AUDACIOUS SPIRIT||Gillian Heinrich||82|
|3||CELTIC DANCER||Noel J Doyle||87|
|7||FASTER SON||Trevor Bailey||92|
|9||JAZZ HEART||Bryan Guy||88|
|10||LATIN NEWS||David Payne||–|
|11||LISTEN SON||Tony Gollan||96|
|12||LUCKY LUNA||Les Kelly||94|
|13||OLLIE VOLLIE||Sue Grills||94|
|14||POOR JUDGE||Wayne Nugent||102|
|15||READY TO RIP||Andrew Williamson||89.5|
|17||SHUFFLE THE CASH||Bryan Guy||98|
|18||SKATING ON ICE||Les Kelly||85|
|19||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||88|
|20||SPIRIT OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||88|
|21||STEEL ZIP||Pat Duff||80|
|23||WORK THE ROOM||Robert Heathcote||93|