One of two horses engaged to race at Doomben Racecourse for Queanbeyan trainer Joe Cleary on Saturday, Landlocked looks a livewire chance in the Brisbane Handicap 2015 as the veteran continues his nine-year-old campaign.
The Zabeel gelding is still lightly raced despite being a rising 10-year-old having his 36th career run this weekend in the $100,000 Listed Brisbane Handicap (1640m).
Drawn on the rails with Robbie Fradd to ride him from the inside alley, Landlocked has had just one previous run at the track when unplaced behind Jetset Lad in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) during the winter.
He was unplaced again in his two first-up runs this campaign before re-finding form with a brave third behind Just A Blur in the Goulburn Cup (1600m) last time out.
In the Goulburn Cup on November 22 he carried a hefty 61kg and Cleary is confident he can be competitive in tougher company in Brisbane dropping back to 55kg for Saturday’s mile handicap.
“The Brisbane Handicap is a strong field but he had 61kg at Goulburn and he drops to 55 on Saturday,” he told AAP.
The latest Brisbane Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Tony Gollan’s market mover Traveston Girl ($3.20) in barrier two who is looking to go back-to-back at the track and distance with Tegan Harrison aboard after her tidy win in the Listed Recognition Stakes (1600m) last time out.
Cleary’s runner is rated a $10 chance and after Saturday will see out his campaign in the $175,000 Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m) back at the track on December 19.
“Landlocked will have one more run in the Bernborough Handicap in a fortnight,” Cleary said.
“Then it is off home.”
Landlocked is stabled at the Gold Coast for his Queensland Summer Racing Carnival raid along with stablemate Hudson County, winner of the Queanbeyan Cup (2000m) in late October, who also runs at Doomben this weekend.
“Both horses got to the Gold Coast where they are stabled early in the week. It gave them a chance to settle in and me a chance to have a bit of beach time as well,” Cleary said.
Glen Boss rides the Danewin gelding in Race 2 – the $65,000 Volgren Optimus Open Handicap (2200m) – with the five-year-old leading the tight markets at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.30.
Drawn in gate eight of nine, Hudson County has his first look at the track on the back of four straight top two runs in Canberra and Sydney.
The latest was a second over the mile and a half at Rosehill a fortnight ago beaten by the barest of margins by Jiayuguan carrying 53.5kg.
He goes up just a half-kilo this weekend and if he gets to the front could be hard to run down in a field that also features Chris Munce’s flying Lonhro six-year-old Perplexity coming off three straight wins at Doomben over 2000 – 2200m.
“We have the right bloke (Glen Boss) on top to do that,” Cleary said of beating Perplexity on Saturday by sitting outside the dominant local hope.
“We will make it a true staying race.”
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