After coming up with a gun barrier two draw for her 14th career start this weekend at Doomben Racecourse the Tony Gollan-trained mare Traveston Girl has opened top of the odds to win Saturday’s Brisbane Handicap 2015.
Last time out the four-year-old daughter of Flying Spur scored her third turf triumph when backing up from a tough Melbourne Cup Carnival run to beat home Shotover River by one and a half lengths in the Listed Recognition Handicap (1600m).
That was her seventh start at Doomben and her second win at the track she returns to this weekend shooting for back-to-back summer black-types in the $100,000 Listed Queensland Bus Industry Council Brisbane Handicap (1640m).
One of two stakes races on the program, the Brisbane Handicap is due to run as Doomben Race 8 at 4:13pm (AEST) with Traveston Girl the firm $3.20 favourite in the latest odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Tegan Harrison stays on the mare from the nice barrier on the 54kg minimum, all of which adds up to the favourite being hard to run down again this weekend.
Just three of her rivals in the 14-starter field are also at single figures to win including the $4.80 second fancy Hopfgarten who didn’t have the same luck with the barriers drawn out in gate 12.
Interstate hoop Craig Williams is over for the ride on the 59kg top weight, Robert Heathcote’s Mossman five-year-old having his first run back home since the winter carnival.
Hopfgarten’s four most recent runs have all been in Melbourne including two tough Group 1 assignments at Caulfield.
Last time out at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day he ran sixth to Awesome Rock in the Listed Cup Day Plate (1800m) where he was beaten only 2.5 lengths, the step back to a mile to suit this weekend.
The next best in Brisbane Handicap betting at $8 are equal third favourites Jumbo Prince and Best Of The Rest drawn in barriers 10 and seven respectively.
Toowoomba’s Michael Nolan prepares Outback Prince four-year-old Jumbo Prince, the Queensland Derby third placegetter from June out to improve on his seventh to Saturday’s favourite in the Recognition last start.
The proven Group 1 performer carried a hefty 59kg that run and will enjoy the three kilo weight relief for the rematch with his regular rider Michael Cahill retaining the mount on 56kg.
A stablemate of Traveston Girl, the fellow Gollan-trained Best Of The Rest like the top fancy also carries just 54kg this weekend.
A five-year-old son of Northern Meteor, the gelding was under two lengths away fourth in the Recognition from a wide barrier 13 of 14 draw and he and jockey Jim Byrne should get a better run here.
Outside of the single figure hopes are a number of other genuine place hopes at juicy prices including the rails-drawn Landlocked ($10) who ran third in the Goulburn Cup over a mile on November 22 and Gollan’s last start Moonee Valley winning mare First Bloom ($13).
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