Desleigh Forster’s smart Brisbane-based colt Too Good To Refuse will kick off an autumn campaign that sees him head to Sydney for the Randwick Guineas 2016 when he runs first-up at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
The three-time winner from eight starts, the progressive son of Rothesay is accepted for the last on the Caloundra race card as part of a capacity field of three-year-olds for the $65,000 Coastline BMW X6M QTIS Three-Years-Old Handicap (1200m).
Carrying the 59kg top weight with Robbie Fradd booked for the ride in barrier nine, Saturday is the horse’s third look at the track and his first run since October 10 but Forster is confident the horse can cart the weight to victory.
“Robbie knows him well and Too Good To Refuse has won with 59 (kilos) previously. It is a fair weight for him to carry,” she told AAP.
His latest start was at Royal Randwick in elite level company where Fradd rode him to a close fifth when beaten only 1.7 lengths by the Chris Waller-trained winner Vanbrugh in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
That followed back-to-back Doomben wins in September and was not only his first interstate assignment but also his first start in black-type company.
Having more than held his own in top class during the spring, the Eagle Farm-based Forster is planning a return trip to Sydney this coming autumn with Too Good To Refuse to target the $600,000 Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) over the mile on March 5.
Forster also has hopes of getting the youngster into Queensland’s richest race field during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival with long term plans to target the $2 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Too Good To Refuse is about 95% fit for his return according to Forster who rates him a big hope on the weekend.
“He is about 90 to 95 per cent at his best for Saturday’s return,” Forster said.
“It is a field of good three-year-olds but the Sunshine Coast should suit as it will give him a chance to wind up and use his big finishing burst.”
After his Caloundra run Forster said the up-and-comer could have two Doomben runs before his trip to Sydney that will start with the $200,000 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 20.
“His first start in Sydney will be the Hobartville Stakes which should be an ideal Guineas lead-up for him,” she said.
“But I am really keen to get him into the Stradbroke field.
“Three-year-olds have a great record in the Stradbroke and it is back at Eagle Farm this year which will also suit.”
The Hobartville Stakes has produced five of the past six Randwick Guineas winners including three to do the double with Ilovethiscity (2011), Dissident (2014) and Hallowed Crown (2015).
Three three-year-olds have beaten their older rivals in the Stradbroke Handicap in recent years meanwhile with La Montagna (2006), Sniper’s Bullet (2007) and Sincero (2011).
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