Key runners secure golden gates for Saturday’s Weetwood
RACING: It was a case of survival of the fittest as the barriers for the $125,000 Audi Centre Toowoomba Weetwood Handicap were revealed.
Of the first 10 horses drawn, remarkably just one drew a single digit number, In His Stride in barrier nine.
That left a stack of sought-after barriers for a number of the fancied runners, including Mr Marbellouz (barrier one), Boomsara (two), Just Orm (three) and The Odyssey (four).
Another left to draw a low gate was local trainer Barry Squair, who came away with gate five for Love You Lucy.
The progressive five-year-old mare is coming into the race first-up after a breakout preparation saw her claim two black-type events last time in work.
"I was hoping to draw between one and six, so to get five is pretty good," Squair said.
"A few of the top horses have drawn handy as well, so there'll be plenty of pace on.
"We'll get back in any case, so hopefully we can sit back and have a look at them, and get over the top of them at the finish.
"I just hope she can do the job on Saturday. I think she's in it up to her neck."
Lindsay Hatch didn't have the same luck with Jadentom, who will be left to plot a path into the race from out wide.
"It's not ideal," he said.
"She's been set for the race and her record at the track is second to none.
"She goes good first-up and is unbeaten at the distance, so she'll be in it up to her ears."
The Odyssey went up favourite with Ladbrokes at $3.20 before being backed in to $2.90 soon after markets opened.
Boomsara and Love You Lucy are on the next line of betting at $8, with the latter opening at $16.
Local bookmaker Pat Kynoch said this year's Weetwood Handicap field is an open one.
"With the draw I had The Odyssey favourite. It's a good draw for (trainer) Kelly Schweida," Kynoch said.
"Mr Marbellouz will hunt up from barrier one and will be positioned where it wants to be.
"I think Master Jamie will be in the market.
"Red Chase is a chance. I know Desleigh Forster has had this horse in her sights."
The draw for the $125,000 TAB Toowoomba Cup (2000m) also threw a spanner into the works, with a number of key chances drawing out wide.
Ladbrokes favourite Reckless Choice ($3.90) was posted out in barrier 15, with Kaonic (12), Bajan Gold (11) and Sir Barnabus (13) all in a similar boat.
"Alward's drawn in barrier two and is suited down to the ground," Kynoch said.
"I had Reckless Choice as favourite. for Steven O'Dea."
Other feature races on the card include the $100,000 Moore Trailers Toowoomba Guineas (1600m), with a field of 10 set to go around, and the Toowoomba Truck Spares Pat O'Shea Plate (1000m), which has attracted 11 two-year-old acceptances.
*Prices listed correct as at 1.45pm 23/9