Noel Doyle’s caution about the second-up prospects of Celtic Dancer could turn out to be misplaced if Brisbane weather forecasts are right.
Doyle has fitness concerns over the winter carnival winner but the Gold Coast trainer says a wet track will create a level playing field for the sprinter in the Listed Keith Noud Handicap at Eagle Farm.
“It’s taken me quite a while to get the weight off him after his spell,” Doyle said.
“He did too well in the paddock and he came back in looking like a whale.
“This race will just about bring him to his top.”
But with more rain tipped for the Queensland capital leading into Saturday’s meeting, Doyle said Celtic Dancer’s chances would be given a considerable boost.
“They are predicting showers every day this week so if they get a slow to heavy track on Saturday that will bring him into the race,” he said.
“He eats the mud. A wet track will make up for him being one run short.”
Celtic Dancer has a Listed class victory and a Group Two win to his credit on rain-affected tracks.
The most recent of those successes came in the QTC Cup at Eagle Farm in June when the track was rated as the heaviest possible.
Melbourne-based jockey Tim Bell makes another return to Brisbane to ride Celtic Dancer.
He counts Prime Minister’s Cup and QTC Cup wins on the horse who is closing in on $500,000 prizemoney.
“Tim knows the horse well and the horse races well for him,” Doyle said.
The Keith Noud attracted 16 nominations with premier trainer Robert Heathcote entering recent Melbourne spring carnival runner Excellantes along with Funtantes and Gundy Son.
The Golden Slipper winner and noted mudlark Phelan Ready, who hasn’t been able to break through since his 2009 triumph in Australia’s richest two-year-old race, is also entered.