This Saturday on Stradbroke Handicap Day in Brisbane, Victorian-based trainer Troy Corstens has a top shot at breaking his Group 1 maiden with in-form colt Pinstripe Lane.
Corstens has been around the best in the business for many decades being the son of Leon Corstens, but this weekend has the chance to win at elite level on his own for the first time.
He’s chasing victory at Eagle Farm in the $500,000 Group 1 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400m) with Pins three-year-old Pinstripe Lane who he just hopes puts in a good run.
“As long as Pinstripe Lane runs well I’ll be really happy. If I could win it, it would be out of this world,” Corstens told AAP.
The up-and-coming galloper has been under Corstens sole care since the start of the year having originally been trained by John Sadler at Malua Racing where Corstens has been general manager for years, and is now the sole owner and trainer.
For Saddler the horse has had four runs, including a two length win over 1900m at Rosehill two back.
Their last start was a step back up in class in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) where they finished in the money behind the Chris Waller-trained Vilanova after a luckless run.
In the Grand Prix Pinstripe Lane and their hoop Damien Oliver suffered interference near the 200m with Oliver, staying on for the Derby ride, lodging a protest that was upheld and saw them elevated from third to second over rival Rudy.
Now they go up in distance again with Corstens hoping they live up to the challenge and improve on their disappointing 13th in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2400m) at Flemington last November when under Sadler’s guidance.
“We’ve really set him for this,” Corstens said.
“It’s been the long term plan and it all looks like it’s coming together. He is fit and well and spot-on. I don’t think I can have him any better.”
Corstens also expects Eagle Farm to suit them better than Doomben where the Grand Prix was run.
“He copped a little bit of interference and bit of bad luck (in the Grand Prix) but I still liked the way he hit the line,” Corstens said.
“I thought it augured very well for getting him over to the bigger track at Eagle Farm.”
Queensland Derby betting is currently led by Grand Prix winner Vilanova ($3.80).
Pinstripe Lane then occupies the second line at $4.80 equal in the odds with John Sargent’s progressive Encosta De Lago gelding Elusive Runner, a deserving price according to their trainer.
“I wouldn’t swap him for anything in the race at the moment,” Corstens added.
“Whether he’s good enough to win remains to be seen but I’m confident he’s going to run a huge race.”
The 2014 Queensland Derby final field and barriers are set for release on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
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