Apprentice Nick Keal’s three kilogram claim has boosted the chance of Rockhampton’s The Tax Accountant winning Queensland’s first Highway Plate at Doomben.
The Tax Accountant brings strong city form to Saturday’s $50,000 1350m-race which is based on the Highway concept in NSW.
Each Saturday, Sydney hosts a $75,000 race restricted to country-trained horses with Queensland to stage one a month initially.
The Tax Accountant received 59kg under the Plate conditions but Keal’s claim reduces that to a handy 56kgs.
Toowoomba-based Keal rode his first metropolitan winner on Snipstream at Ipswich on Wednesday and has been riding well at the provincial meetings.
The rules of the race bar horses trained at Eagle Farm, Doomben, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast from entering.
The Tax Accountant adds plenty of credit to the race as he has performed well in Brisbane on several occasions.
Earlier this year he finished third behind two promising three-year-olds, Millard Reaction and Soxagon at Doomben.
He also ran third in the $200,000 QTIS Jewel in March.
Trainer Tom Button said The Tax Accountant deserved a win in Brisbane.
“He has been just behind the placegtters at his past two runs in Brisbane after having no luck,” Button said.
“I hope they keep going with the Highway concept because it is a real boost for country trainers.
“It is a chance for us to race for more prize money and also to raise our profiles.”
A former top apprentice, Button has made a great fist of training since moving to Rockhampton and he had 45 winners from just over 200 runners last season.
“We have been on a farm just outside Rockhampton for about a year and it has been great for the horses,” he said.
“We can travel down to Brisbane fairly quickly these days and races like the Highway are a good reason to go.”