Vonusti’s chances in Saturday’s Listed $80,000 2012 Tattersall’s Mile hinge largely on Brisbane’s winter weather, with the New Zealand gelding having a reputation for struggling in the wet.
The Alan Jones-trained seven-year-old has had just one start since arriving in Queensland last month, labouring to finish 11th on a heavy 10 track in the Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast.
A son of Ustinov, Vonusti was brought to Australia to escape New Zealand’s wet winter but he has faced similar conditions since arriving in the “sunshine state”.
Jones said the experienced gelding is in fine shape for Saturday’s Brisbane feature but admitted fears as to the state of the Eagle Farm track.
“The horse is well, he looks really good and has done really well,” Jones said.
“But if he strikes another wet track he is in trouble.”
Jones may just get his wish this weekend, with early week rain in Queensland having passed and fine weather is predicted for the next three days.
A winner of nine of 49 starts, Vonusti has won nine times including once at Group 1 level in the Oaks Stud Telegraph Handicap in New Zealand in 2010.
To win on Saturday, the veteran will have to beat a number of quality horses, including the in-form Belltone.
Jone said Belltone will be tough to topple after showing tremendous form to win both the Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ispwich and the Glasshouse Handicap last start.
“He won the Glasshouse easily,” Jones said.
Also set to line up is last-start winner Adnocon, who backed up his third placing in the Eye Liner Stakes with a win in the Listed Ascot Handicap.
A nine-time winner from 47 starts, Adnocon has won three times at Listed level and collected $550,000 in prize money.
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