Locals pursue coveted prize
THE race for one of Central Queensland's most coveted prizes is well and truly on and Rockhampton trainer Dave Vale believes he is covering both options with a snazzy pair of former southern sprinters.
The $25,000 Rocky Amateurs Bracelet Handicap (1200m) is much soughtafter and Vale will nominate one of the likely topweights in Schahriar while at the other end of the spectrum is his boom lower class sprinter Joe Dirt.
Both Vale's sprinters have been brought north by enthusiastic Rockhampton owners Steve and Sharon Coome with Schahriar only arriving from the Randwick stables of Bob Thompsen last week.
Schahriar is the winner of eight races, including two at Canterbury in Sydney over 1100m and 1250m, as well as winning over 1200m at Rosehill.
At his most recent start on September 7, Schahriar finished a halflength second behind Ankaret in a Canterbury Welter (1200m).
"I expect he will get sufficient weight for Darryl Johnston to ride him in the Bracelet next Friday,'' Vale said.
Conversely, Vale believes that Joe Dirt will be handicapped on the minimum in the Bracelet.
Vale has done a magnificent job with Joe Dirt who has recorded class record wins at his past two Rockhampton starts. The most recent was on September 13, when the natty sprinter affectionately known as "Joe'' exclipsed the 1min:10 seconds mark for a 1200 metres win.
In winning the Class 6 Hcp, Joe Dirt ran a fleeting 1m:09.72 seconds ? the mark of a first class sprinter.
"I just hope Joe makes it into the Bracelet field. We can't do anything about a jockey until we are guided by the nominations,'' Vale said.
Meanwhile, interest in the Rocky Amateurs Carnival run on September 30 and October 1 is intensifying, with nominations closing next Monday at 11am.