Final Vision to provide challenge
SUNTANNED'S stranglehold on the Thabeban Park racecourse will face its biggest test of the year when the champion lines up against Laurie Gough’s Final Vision in today’s Open Handicap race.
Final Vision beat Suntanned on its way to winning in Rockhampton the last time the two horses raced and Gough believes an upset could be on the cards today.
“I think she will be hard to beat,” Gough told the NewsMail earlier this week.
Mary Hassam’s horse has been near unbeatable on the Bundaberg track since debuting at Thabeban.
Suntanned’s form in Bundaberg this year forced selectors to name it Horse of the Year and when it retires from racing it will be talked about alongside some of the town’s great racers.
The champion horse has dominated throughout country Queensland, winning 20 races in a stellar career.
But the last time it went head-to-head with Final Vision, Suntanned finished in third place.
The following week Suntanned finished sixth in Rockhampton.
Since winning its 20th race in Bundaberg, on Melbourne Cup Day, Suntanned has managed only one podium finish in four starts.
Hassam will be hoping for an inspired run from her champion horse, carrying 65kg into the race, if he is to repeat past heroics at Thabeban today.
But Gough, for one, knows that you can never count the champion out.
“You can’t take away from what Suntanned has done. He’s been a champion horse,” Gough said.
“Horses like Suntanned, they always seem able to pull it out and he’s got the ability to pull it out at Bundaberg.
“You look at the amount of wins he has and the amount of times he’s won at Bundaberg and it’s impressive.
“But you never know what can happen on the day.”