Speed holds Prelude key

By TONY McMAHON ? SPEED is a determining factor in so many aspects of everyday living and on the racetrack it is one of the most crucial factors between winning and losing. What better example than the $22,000 QRSE XXXX Rockhampton Cup Prelude (1900m) at Callaghan Park racecourse today?

Courageous Callide Valley-owned racehorse Celtic Trial is lumbered with 65.5kg, less a 2kg reduction for the claiming allowance of Gold Coast apprentice jockey Lachlan Fyfe.

A winner of a staggering $331,000 in prizemoney, Celtic Trial is no giant of a horse in physical appearance by any means, however he is a giant in a race ? a real bulldog.

In line with the adage: "It is not the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog that counts'', Celtic Trial will have rival jockeys preplexed today.

Should they make the Prelude a slowly run race, Celtic Trial will be ideally suited.

However, should that apply the speed ? true they will make the topweight have to carry his huge impost ? but conversely they risk bringing about the undoing of their own mounts who are not in Celtic Trial's class.

It promises to be an interesting contest.

In the co-feature, the $15,000 QRSE XXXX Gold Open Handicap (1200m) ? a virtual Newmarket Prelude ? the Ray McCalltrained Steel Cap has a gift horse's weight in 62kg.

That amounts to confetti for Steel Cap, unbeaten in Rockhampton in six starts when carrying as much as 61.5kg.

Yesterday, some 29 sprinters were en-tered for the $55,000 Rockhampton Newmarket (1300m) on June 16.

Entries have rolled in from southern stables with the only surprise absentee being popular Gold Coast trainer Bryan Guy, who is enjoying a stellar run with his team in Brisbane at present.



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