A soft track and a reunion with jockey Brad Pengelly are the factors trainer Tony Sears believes can bolster the chances of Pillar Of Creation at the Gold Coast.
Pillar of Creation, who has been stakes-placed, was beaten nearly 12 lengths at his comeback run behind Straturbo in the Listed Bribie Handicap at Doomben three weeks ago.
The gelding heads to the Gold Coast on Saturday for an Open Hcp (1200m) and Sears is looking for a much improved effort.
“The track was far too hard for him last start. They have had plenty of rain at the Gold Coast so at least the track will be soft,” Sears said.
“Also Brad seems to get on well with Pillar of Creation and he has won on him twice. Brad also rode him when third in the Weetwood Handicap and fourth in the Eye Liner during the winter.”
“A soft track and Brad will hopefully bring out the best in him. If it doesn’t we might be in a bit of bother.”
Sears will also run the handy Choice Bro in the race.
Choice Bro won the Weetwood in April and was a consistent performer before going for a spell in August.
He also ran in the Bribie, finishing 4 1/2 lengths behind Straturbo.
“It was a nice run first-up and he did what we expected,” Sears said.
“He will obviously be better suited at this distance and he has some wet track form.”
Choice Bro and Pillar of Creation are both being aimed at the $100,000 Sunshine Coast Hcp (1400m) on January 28.
Sears has mixed memories of the Sunshine Coast race as Pillar of Creation was first past the post last year only to lose in a controversial protest.
“The year has gone fast and I think I am finally over the protest result,” he said.