Emerging sprinter Noble Boy faces his biggest test in a surprisingly strong Hinkler Quality Handicap at Eagle Farm.
Queanbeyan trainer Todd Blowes brought Noble Boy to Queensland with an outside chance to run in the Group One Stradbroke Handicap but mainly for experience against top class horses.
The winner of seven of his eight starts, Noble Boy was successful in a benchmark race at Eagle Farm on May 25 but did not make the cut for Saturday’s Stradbroke.
Blowes has always had the Listed Hinkler Handicap (1200m) on the program as a back-up option but admits he is surprised by the strength of the race.
The Hinkler rarely has a capacity field but this year there are 18 runners with four emergencies allocated.
Noble Boy won the Country Championship final at Randwick but the Hinkler is a different level with 12 of the runners already stakes winners.
“It would have been nice to get into the Stradbroke with 51 kilos but the Hinkler will give us an idea where we are at,” Blowes said.
“He has come on in recent weeks and I liked his work this week.”
Multiple Group One winning jockey Glen Boss, back in Brisbane to ride Spright in the Stradbroke Handicap, has the Noble Boy mount.
“Glen is one of the greats so I will be interested to get his opinion on Noble Boy,” Blowes said.
Noble Boy will return to Queanbeyan after Saturday to be prepared for the $1.3 million Kosciuszko at Randwick on October 19.