Prolific country winner Paradis Imperial and her favourite jockey will head back to metropolitan racing at the Gold Coast.
The filly has travelled all over the east coast of Queensland from her Rockhampton base in the past 12 months.
She had 12 starts as a two-year-old, winning seven and being minor placed three times in races from Townsville to Brisbane.
In six of those wins she was ridden by Nathan Day including her last start in the $100,000 Townsville Classic for two-year-olds in July.
The only time the combination has failed to win was in February when she was fifth to star filly Houtzen at Eagle Farm.
Day will again ride Paradis Imperial against some smart horses in Saturday’s Three-Year-Old Handicap (1100m) at the Gold Coast.
Trainer Tony McMahon says the filly has just about been weighted out of provincial racing and carries 58.5kg at the Gold Coast.
“She would have to race in open company in Rockhampton, Mackay or Townsville,” McMahon said.
“She still has plenty of weight on Saturday but she has earned every kilogram. But she isn’t really well off against some of the other runners.”
McMahon believes one big plus is having Day back in the saddle.
“Nathan knows her well and she knows him,” he said.
“When Nathan was out for a few months with injury she was ridden by a couple of other jockeys.
“When he was back and went to get on in Townsville she tried to lick his boot. She looked at him as if to say ‘hey you are back today’.”
The Townsville win gave McMahon a special thrill because it was an event he had always wanted to win.
“The race has had a few names over the years but it is regarded as the Golden Slipper of regional Queensland,” McMahon said.
The win took Paradis Imperial’s earnings to just over $300,000 which is a great return on her $9000 yearling price.
“She is a feisty customer and she loves to eat. But we all love her,” McMahon said.