Trainer Desleigh Forster is hoping the Sydney autumn carnival form is a good guide so she can become only the second Queensland trainer to win the Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast.
Forster will saddle last-start Toowoomba Cup winner Cylinder Beach in Saturday’s Group Two Hollindale (1800m).
Chris Jordan became the first Queensland-based trainer to win the Hollindale when Fulmonti took the race in 2009.
Since the race, named after former Gold Coast Turf Club chairman Allan Hollindale, was first run in 1989 it has been won by NSW trainers 16 times.
Victorian trainers have won it four times while the Kiwis have taken the trophy home five times and West Australians has two wins.
Forster is growing in confidence Cylinder Beach can buck the trend despite coming up against a better than average Hollindale field which includes three Group One winners.
She is taking a line through Cylinder Beach’s only run in the Sydney autumn when he finished seventh behind subsequent Doncaster Mile winner It’s Somewhat in the Ajax Stakes.
“We weren’t far behind It’s Somewhat who will be favourite in the Hollindale. There is no doubt we should have finished a lot closer and my horse has improved a lot,” Forster said.
“It’s been a month since the Toowoomba Cup win but he has worked well including a hit-out on the course proper between races at Doomben two weeks ago.”
The race is a dress rehearsal for the Group One Doomben Cup on May 20.
Leading Brisbane jockey Jeff Lloyd will resume his association with premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller’s stable in the Hollindale when he rides McCreery.
“I have ridden a few winners for Chris over the years and obviously it is good to get a stakes race ride for him. Hopefully, I will get a few more in the winter,” Lloyd said.
McCreery races in the same colours as champion Winx as he is part-owned by Peter Tighe.
McCreery, who was fourth in the Group One All Aged Stakes at his last start, is one of two runners for Waller, with Hugh Bowman to ride multiple Group One winner Preferment.
Waller is also aiming both at the Doomben Cup.