Trainer Clint Garland and Gobou relax in preparation for a Yeppoon barrier trial today in the lead-up to the Rocky Amateurs on May 14
Trainer Clint Garland and Gobou relax in preparation for a Yeppoon barrier trial today in the lead-up to the Rocky Amateurs on May 14 Sharyn Oneill

Trial used to monitor sprinters' progress

THE outcome of a humble barrier trial at Yeppoon's Keppel Park racecourse this morning is likely to have significant bearing on the $22,000 Kalka Hotel Rocky Amateurs Bracelet (1200m) run at Callaghan Park on May 14.

The trial performances of quality sprinters, Ricky Vale's Bazzooka and Clint Garland's Gobou, will be used as monitors to the progress of the pair, which are coming off spells.

Adrian Coome is set to pilot Bazzooka in the trial run over 900 metres, while Scott Sheargold will ride Gobou.

Bazzooka was due to resume racing at Mackay last Tuesday but was a late scratching on track after a slight injury hiccup en route to the course.

A quality sprinter and winner of 14 races and $279,550 in stakes, Bazzooka was narrowly beaten in photo finish results at his past three race starts in Brisbane last summer.

He has not started since second, beaten a neck by Perugin Thought in an IMW Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm on December 11.

Vale, who is building a formidable record as an astute conditioner, a point emphasised by the excellent first-up performances of his horses, expects to have Bazzooka in fine fettle for the Amateur Bracelet.

One-bid-wonder Gobou, bought for the proverbial smidgen price of $2000 as a yearling, is on the comeback trail after a niggling tendon injury.

Claiming nine wins as well as four placings from his 16 starts, Gobou has been off the racing scene since lumping 60kg to win over 1200 metres in Rockhampton on July 29 last year.

The strapping six-year-old has bulked out during his extended lay-off and Garland has been meticulously cautious in his training preparation with his mother Margaret Garland's “pride and joy”.

“He (Gobou) developed a thickening in his near fore tendon after that start. We tipped him out and gave him plenty of time off. The tendon has been scanned and it looks okay. Everything's good,” Garland said.

Preparation-wise, with hopes to get Gobou to the post in the $100,000 Rockhampton Cup (1600m) run at Callaghan Park on June 25, it could be looking as a race against the clock for Gobou.

However, to that end, Garland has yet to seriously test Gobou in a gallop.

“He has had plenty of work but not a gallop. He has done three-quarter pace six times over 800 metres but this trial will be his first serious hit-out. It will tell us something,” the trainer said.

If Gobou performs to expectations and trains-on after the 900 metres trial, it will be a case of a progression to the Amateur Bracelet as the first-up assignment.

The Central Queensland Amateur Racing Club chairman Peter Peirano said that the May 14 race meeting, billed as the “Rocky Amateurs”, was shaping up pleasingly.



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