Garden looking green for easter pickings
By VINCE HABERMANN
AFTER missing out at the last meeting at Thabeban Park on January 28, top Bundaberg trainer Darryl Gardiner will be hoping to get the chocolates early on Saturday's Easter program.
Gardiner will have four starters - Aerotic (Class 3), Hayhab (maiden), and Craiglea Ego and In Cobargo (ATW Sports Club Open).
He nominated Hayhab as possibly his "best chance''.
"The way he races up this way, Hayhab will go all right - he races well in Bundy but doesn't travel away well,'' Gardiner said.
"This preparation, he has run third and second here and third at Monto last Saturday week, and he is well in with the allowance for apprentice Michael Hughes.
"Take your pick for the hardest to beat - but probably Ron Bartholdt's horse (Star Valour) - he's not a bad horse in stages although he didn't go too good in his last preparation.''
Gardiner rates Craiglea Ego as his main open hope despite the gelding having his first outing since finishing fifth behind Rangers in the Bundaberg Cup on July 9 last year.
"He was to run in the Gladstone Newmarket after that but went lame and was a late scratching - he's had a fairly long spell but if he races like he has worked, he's not too bad, and if he gets anywhere near his best, he'll beat them,'' Gardiner said.
"But 58(kg) first-up will try him out and Ian Chew's Lucky Lad has been racing well and will be hard to beat, and Mansword would also have to be a chance on the sand.''
In Cobargo also is always thereabouts, and he will be aided by a 3kg allowance for apprentice Owen Turpin, who was successful at the most recent Bundaberg race day.
Aerotic has won only one race - a Rockhampton maiden three starts back - and Gardiner said he "may be a bit out of his depth''.
"It's too short too and I couldn't see him beating Princess Labada - Mystery Gun has to be a chance too I suppose in that kind of race, and there's a couple of horses I don't know too.''
Turpin also has winning prospects with his three other mounts for the day - Kubang D'Washu (maiden), Craiglea Tinsel (Class B) and Crown Prince (Class 5).
Kubang D'Washu was a handy last-start third at Esk, while Craiglea Tinsel won at the Bundaberg Boxing Day meeting before successive placings in Rockhampton prior to a fourth in Monto two weeks ago, and Crown Prince can improve on recent unplaced efforts in Gympie and Nanango.
The Class 5 is a race of many chances with at least five other genuine contenders. Among them are Fourak Lad, Rising Tower, Canadian Bay, Carlyle and Triunfo, whose also astute Bundaberg trainer Tony Hess has two other winning prospects - Torrequebrada (maiden) and Regal Theatre (Class B).
Easter Bunny will make an appearance at the meeting with giveaways for the children.