Premier Brisbane jockey Jeff Lloyd may have given punters a lead by electing to ride free-wheeling Flamboyer for the first time in six months.
Lloyd will be aboard Flamboyer in Saturday’s Listed Sunshine Coast Cup (1400m) which will be his first ride on the gelding since they finished fourth in the Listed Tatt’s Mile in late July.
His only other ride on Flamboyer was for a win in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) on July 2 in which Group One winner Stratum Star finished third.
Lloyd could have ridden several other horses in the Cup.
Flamboyer has been ridden by Brad Pengelly and Larry Cassidy in his three runs back from a spell and apprentice Jag Guthmann-Chester rode him in a trial win last week.
Trainer Kelly Doughty said while Flamboyer hadn’t run since December 17 in the Lough Neagh Stakes he had been kept up to the mark in trackwork and in the trial.
“For such a big field on Saturday there doesn’t look to be a lot of early pace. So he should be able to get across in the lead or near it,” Doughty said.
“Jeff has been watching Flamboyer’s progress and he knows the horse. It is good to have him back aboard.”
While Famboyer is a noted soft track horse, Doughty believes he will be competitive no matter what the surface on Saturday.
“He has won five times on good going and the Sunshine Coast is usually on the softer side than most tracks,” she said.
Flamboyer will pass $500,000 in prize money if he wins on Saturday, a great return for his owner Peter Breen who bred the gelding with Doughty’s husband Gary.
Kelly Doughty is looking forward to stepping comeback horse Arki up to 1800m in Class Six race at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Arki has won his three starts since returning from a two-year enforced break with a tendon problem followed by a pedal bone injury.
“We were going to take him to Randwick two weeks ago but it would have been 41 degrees the day we had to travel and then 40 degrees the next day,” Doughty said.
“It wasn’t worth the risk after we put so much time into him getting back to the races.”
Doughty has always believed Arki would make a very good middle distance horse after he raced well in stakes races over ground as a three-year-old.