Tonight signals the official beginning of the 2022 TAB Constellations Carnival in Queensland.
Redcliffe starts the ball rolling over the next few weekends, with its Group 1 double-header next Saturday set to be a carnival highlight, while tonight is the perfect kick-off point.
The Patrons Purse has always been a competitive affair with four and five-year-old up-and-comers tackling the triangle ahead of bigger race targets over the coming weeks.
This year’s edition shapes as one of the strongest yet with the Sydneysiders CAPTAIN CRUSADER and ARTILLERY heading betting from their favourable peg line draws. Victorian visitor ALBY TWO CHAINS (pictured) will make his Queensland debut, while a strong local contingent including HEMSWORTH, MANILLA PLAYBOY and SUMOMENTSOMEWHERE are all in exceptionally good form.
With The Rising Sun only three weeks away and the remaining eight spots set to be heavily contested, a forward performance by the four-year-olds is a must.
Leading into the Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sales 3YO series it was looking likely that the barrier draw was going to prove vital with TEDDY DISCO and BANGKOK DEEJAY the top two seeds.
After dominant heat victories from the two horses last Wednesday, it was advantage to the lighter-raced Bangkok Deejay after drawing seemingly perfectly in two. Meanwhile, Teddy Disco’s driver Nathan Dawson will have to weave some magic from the inside of the second row.
Tonight’s action will be fantastic with it all flowing nicely onto tomorrow evening’s 10-race Albion Park card.
With the locals in full force, the visitors are also arriving en masse and look to be the dominant force in the night’s features.
The Lucky Creed will be a wonderful opportunity to see the top two in betting for the Blacks A Fake go head-to-head early in the carnival.
SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS announced himself on the Grand Circuit in the first half of this year, highlighted by his Group 1 Schweppes Sprint victory alongside runner-up cheques behind champion stablemate KING OF SWING in both the Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile. With two trials under his belt in preparation for his first-up assault, he looks perfectly poised to strike from a kind draw over the longer trip.
It’s not often that the Australians head to New Zealand and beat them on their own turf, but that’s exactly what MAJESTIC CRUISER was able to achieve at his most recent start in the Group 1 Messenger at Alexandra Park.
Despite not trialling in readiness for this fresh assignment, he can’t be underestimated and will follow his more fancied rival through at the start, with the 2600m distance right up his alley.
It will also be worthwhile staying up until the 10th race on the card, with a small but high-quality field of three-year olds lining up under sprint conditions.
AMORE VITA will be looking to sharpen up for her Oaks assignments when she takes on the boys from the outside gate. Despite her favouritism and stunning first-up win, Group 1-winner TIMS A TROOPER and pint-sized pocket rocket SUGAR APPLE are both legitimate threats.
While the Constellations Carnival has officially begun, there are still some key interstate contenders fine-tuning themselves at home tomorrow evening before trekking north.
Here’s where you can catch them:
Race 4 (#2) Momentslikethese – Targeting the G1 Golden Girl
Race 5 (#1) Rock N Roll Doo – G1 Rising Sun, Sunshine Sprint & Blacks A Fake
(#6) Better Eclipse – G1 Rising Sun, Sunshine Sprint & Blacks A Fake
(#9) Tango Tara – G1 Sunshine Sprint & Blacks A Fake
Race 11 (#6) Majestuoso – G1 Queensland Trotters Cup
Brittany Graham is a regular host on Sky Racing and the Sky Racing Active app, plus In The Gig with Ben Way and Gareth Hall every Tuesday night on Sky Racing 2 from 6pm.
The opinions expressed in The Forum are those of the author and may not be attributed to or represent policies of Harness Racing Victoria, which is the state authority and owner of thetrots.com.au.