Rockhampton trainer Kevin Hansen with Sweet Dolly, who is being set for a $500,000 race on the Gold Coast. Photo: Contributed
Rockhampton trainer Kevin Hansen with Sweet Dolly, who is being set for a $500,000 race on the Gold Coast. Photo: Contributed

Rocky filly being set for $500K race at Gold Coast

Glamour Rockhampton juvenile filly Sweet Dolly has returned to training from a short Capricorn Coast spell to be set for the $500,000 QTIS 2YO Jewel (1200m) at the Gold Coast in March.

Bought for a mere song as a weanling for $1500, Sweet Dolly set tongues wagging with a last-start sensational win in the $125,000 Listed Callaway Gal 2YO Fillies (1000m) at Eagle Farm on December 12.

Following that win, a $400,000 offer from a Victorian agent was rejected by Sweet Dolly’s managing owner, the Capricorn Coast’s Michelle Walker.

Michelle and her husband Ken and trainer Kevin Hansen, along with jockey Justin Stanley, were so taken by Sweet Dolly’s win that they even gave fleeting thought to plotting a campaign to the $3.5M Golden Slipper in Sydney in March.

However, those thoughts were shelved because of qualification requirements to gain a start and the impact it may have on the filly being rushed.

Now the Walkers and trainer Hansen have a much more realistic feature race in mind whereby Sweet Dolly should have an easy path to making the big race at the Gold Coast.

“She (Sweet Dolly) came back to my stables last week,” Hansen said. “She was galloping around the paddock feeling so well we felt it better to get her back in before she possibly hurt herself. She spelled very well and I couldn’t be happier with her.”

He said the set weight conditions of the 2YO Jewel were very favourable for Sweet Dolly.

“We were thinking about where to go with her and I came across this race. Dolly will come in with 55kg,” Hansen explained.

“Admittedly she will have to go up another level, but the race is worth $300K to the winner and certainly is worth aiming for.”

Better still for the Sweet Dolly camp, there is a perfect lead-up qualifying race for her at Mackay on Saturday, February 20.

This is listed as the $36.5K QTIS 2YO Plate Jewel Qualifier (1100m) in which Sweet Dolly will again only get 55kg.

Hansen said the program should work nicely as Dolly had not lost much muscle tone in the short time she was spelling.

Sweet Dolly is undefeated, having won on debut at Townsville on November 28.

Such is her status, her trail to the rich Jewel on the Gold Coast is going to invigorate tremendous interest, not only in Rockhampton but Australia-wide.

It seems Rockhampton racing is in for a vintage year as another local, the Clinton Taylor trained Busted Up has also lit up the racing airways and social media platforms.

On Tuesday at Callaghan Park’s TAB races, Busted Up (b/br g 4 Dusty Moon-Crystal Doll x Falvelon) scored one of the easiest wins ever witnessed at the track.

Having only his second start for the stable since purchased from a spelling paddock, Busted Up carried 59kg to win a 0-55BM Handicap (1100m) by 6.75 lengths just outside the course record time.

That win came on top of a similar win by 5.8 lengths in a Mackay Maiden (1100m) at his first start after an eight-month spell.

His astute trainer, Clinton Taylor from a racing-wise family, while excited about the prospect he part-owns is not getting carried away about Busted Up.

“He does look pretty handy, but I suppose time will tell,” Taylor said coolly on Friday.

Busted Up is raced by a syndicate of seven including some first-time owners, among them Yeppoon’s Anthony Crosland.

Taylor said “we’ll let the dust settle” before assessing a campaign for the exciting prospect.

“There is a Class 2 over 1200m at Eagle Farm coming up on January 28,” he said.

“That may suit but of course we will have to wait and see how the handicappers adjust his benchmark rating after Tuesday’s win and what weight he will get.”

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