CHAMPION jockey Damien Oliver, back in group 1-winning form with success on Danleigh in the All Aged Stakes at the weekend, heads to the Gold Coast on Saturday in a bid to continue his winning charge.
In addition to scoring on the Doomben 10,000-bound Danleigh for trainer Chris Waller, Oliver also won the Emancipation Stakes on Melbourne mare Amberino at Randwick.
He has been booked to ride the West Australian Scenic Shot in the Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast as well as Skiddaw Peak for Mike Moroney in the Prime Minister’s Cup.
Scenic Shot is out to make it successive Hollindale Stakes victories after winning the race last year when Glen Colless was aboard. The gelding is a stablemate of Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap winner Scenic Blast, which is a chance to travel to the UK for the Royal Ascot meeting in June.
Sydney’s leading jockey, Corey Brown, will join Oliver at the Gold Coast with the ride on the Anthony Cummings-trained pair Prima Nova (Hollindale) and Miss Darcey (Gold Coast Bracelet) awaiting.
Prima Nova was a last-start winner of the JRA Plate at Randwick while Miss Darcey won the Adrian Knox Stakes en route to a third in the AJC Australian Oaks.
"Miss Darcey is racing in great form and while she’s dropping back from 2400 metres to 1800m she’ll be very hard to beat," Brown said.
Cummings will also start talented staying filly Nothin’ Leica Cat (Oliver) in the Bracelet. Brown links with Brisbane trainer Liam Birchley when riding Sarge In Charge in the Ken Russell Memorial Classic while stablemate Court Command, a former Golden Rose winner when trained by Darren Smith, resumes and has his first start for Birchley in the Prime Minister’s Cup.
Cummings will send Solo Flyer and Duporth, both of which were scratched from the All Aged Stakes, as well as Rose Of Cimmaron, to Queensland on Tuesday to be set for feature races up north.
The trainer said Solo Flyer missed the All Aged because "he just hadn’t recovered in time for the race after running in the Doncaster".
"And Duporth drew another wide barrier so I thought it would be best suited heading north too," Cummings said. "It should be a decent sort of winter up there for us. Prima Nova and Turffontein did well for us last year."
Saturday’s Gold Coast Guineas is shaping as a classy event with the Peter Snowden-trained Desuetude (Kerrin McEvoy) set to return alongside Youthful Jack (Robert Thompson) for Allan Denham and the Clarry Conners-prepared Court (Oliver).
Snowden will also produce last year’s Gold Coast Guineas winner El Cambio (McEvoy) in the Prime Minister’s Cup.
Rockpecker, from Victoria, goes around in the Prime Minister’s Cup with Michael Rodd while the jockey will also partner Sphenophyta in the Hollindale Stakes.