Few would begrudge popular comeback horse Aqua Vite a win at his first attempt at stakes company at Doomben.
Aqua Vite has proved one of the most consistent horses in Queensland with an overall record of 19 starts for six wins and nine minor placings.
From his past 11 starts he has had four wins, two seconds. four thirds and a fourth and has developed a strong following.
He has come back from battling colitis, a life-threatening illness.
Trainer Scott Morrissey is in awe of Aqua Vite’s toughness and believes he deserves his chance in Saturday’s Listed Tails Stakes (1600m).
“It has been well documented how he nearly died about 18 months ago. But he is a pleasure to have around the stables and just goes about his business,” Morrisey said.
“Every time we ask him to step up he does the job. He probably got to the lead a bit early last start when he won at Doomben but it was a good effort.
“We have got no favours with the barriers on Saturday but you know he will try hard and hopefully Paul (Hammersley) will get some luck.”
Morrisey said provided Aqua Vite ran well on Saturday he would press on into the winter carnival,
“There are plenty of similar races to the Tails for him and maybe even a race like the Ipswich Cup a bit later,” he said.
“But in the meantime I am just happy having him still racing.”
Aqua Vite has two wins and a third from three starts on rain-affected tracks with Doomben in the soft range on Friday.
That is good news for trainers Peter and Will Hulbert who have three-year-old Cooroi Chase lining up in the Listed Mick Dittman Plate (1050m).
Cooroi Chase was entered for Ipswich on Wednesday but the Hulberts elected to scratch her in favour of Saturday.
She has two wins and two seconds from four starts on wet ground.
Peter Hulbert said it was obviously important to get as much black-type as possible for Cooroi Choice as she was raced by her breeders.
“We have taken the punt with it being wet. She has come back well and we give her a chance on any track surface. But a few others don’t handle the wet,” Hulbert said.
“Cooroi Chase won a trial on the Eagle Farm A grass last week and she is ready to go.”
The Hulberts have stuck with Michael Hellyer who will have one of his few rides in a stakes race on Saturday.
“Michael is the most under-rated jockey in Brisbane and he knows her,” Hulbert said.