Wet weather thwarted the chances of Group One winner Vonusti in the Glasshouse Handicap and trainer Alan Jones fears a similar scenario at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Vonusti, winner of the 2010 Group One Telegraph Handicap in New Zealand when trained by Tim Carter, was sent to the Sunshine Coast-based Jones last month for a Queensland winter campaign.
But he beat just one runner home in the Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) on a bottomless track.
He makes his second Australian appearance in Saturday’s Listed Tattersall’s Mile (1600m) in which Glasshouse winner Belltone again looms large.
“He was sent over to get away from the wet in New Zealand because he’s no good in the wet,” Jones said.
“But it’s never stopped raining since he’s been here.
“He was no hope (in the Glasshouse on a heavy 10), particularly being on the inside which was a no-go zone.
“But it’s just one of those things. You can’t change the weather.”
Judging by the gelding’s wellbeing, Jones believes Vonusti is definitely up to winning races in Australia and expects an improved showing in the Tattersall’s Mile provided he gets a firmer surface than at the Sunshine Coast.
“The horse is well, he looks really good and has done really well,” Jones said.
“But if he strikes another wet track then we’re in trouble.
“It’s raining here now but they say it’s going to stop and be fine on Thursday and Friday so it will be better than the track he struck last time.”
Eagle Farm was rated in the slow range on Wednesday.
Vonusti, a rising eight-year-old, has won nine of his 49 starts but went winless for more than two years between his Telegraph success and a victory in May at his last start in New Zealand.
A final field of 12 was declared for the Tattersall’s Mile with Vonusti, to be ridden by Larry Cassidy, coming up with barrier three.
Eye Liner Stakes and Glasshouse winner Belltone has the outside gate and topweight of 59kg while last start Listed Ascot Handicap winner Adnocon has barrier nine.
Jones believes Belltone will be very hard to beat again.
“He won the Glasshouse easily,” he said.