Awesome Pluck, Arcadia Queen, Eagle Farm

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With Awesome Pluck turning in a brilliant display at Doomben on Saturday, Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham is hoping it will be Victorem’s turn to shine this weekend.

Awesome Pluck had drawn bad barriers at his previous two Brisbane runs but all went to plan on Saturday.

Stablemate Victorem has also had little go right in his two Queensland runs ahead of his Lough Neagh tilt this week.

“It’s been a bit up and down so hopefully that can be the catalyst for better things to come,” Graham said.

Graham said she wouldn’t be tempted to toss Awesome Pluck into the deep end just yet and he would continue in restricted races.

Damian Browne noted Awesome Pluck “still wanted to tug” on Saturday despite the hard pace.

“He picked them up quick in the straight, but then wanted to stargaze a bit. He will be a smart animal when the penny finally drops,” he said.

ARCADIA’S EAGLE EYE

Arcadia Dream stamped herself the best filly in the country with her Kingston Town Stakes win on Saturday and probably a worthy rival for The Autumn Sun in jousting for the best three-year-old slot.

To beat the older horses by 4½ lengths was something to behold.

But what does the future hold?

The first option put on the table was the new $7.5 million Golden Eagle in Sydney on Derby day next year.

It’s a sign of how quickly Australian racing is changing.

Ordinarily, the Cox Plate would be locked in as the target, but Racing NSW continues to challenge convention, much to the dismay of many south of the border.

It seemed a bit rich of the VRC to claim last week that “a collaborative approach on a national basis is critical to achieving an optimal result for the Australian thoroughbred racing industry”.

Just how the VRC is “collaborative” is a question.

Given they host Australia’s greatest race, “collaborative” on a national level would mean exempt races in other states for the Melbourne Cup would it not?

RNSW’s Everest has proved a runaway success and whether the Golden Eagle makes the same impact remains to be seen.

But I have to be honest. Hearing Arcadia Queen is being set for the Golden Eagle doesn’t set the heart racing as much as seeing her contest next year’s Cox Plate would.

DRESS REHEARSAL FOR FARM

Eagle Farm racecourse will have a mini rehearsal for an actual race meeting with two official barrier trials and jump-outs on Tuesday.

The track has been dormant for most of the past four years because of problems with a reconstruction of the surface.

The Brisbane Racing Club and Racing Queensland are hoping the track will be ready for a return to racing on December 22.

The new Eagle Farm surface passed its first test with track gallops last Tuesday and a week later faces a major test with two barrier trials over 1000m, as well as jump-outs on the course proper.

“We will use the trials as a type of dress rehearsal with the weigh-out area and jockeys room, etc open,” BRC racing manager Matt Rudolph said.

“After the trials there will be two jump-outs on the back section of the track. We want to see how it holds up.

“The December 22 meeting is set for Doomben but there are no feature races that day so the meeting can easily be transferred to Eagle Farm.”

There will be normal jump-outs on the Eagle Farm A grass before the trials.



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