Rain in Brisbane has given trainer Lauren Herne a chance not only to train her first metropolitan winner at Doomben but also her first double.
Herne will saddle handy wet trackers Kievann (Shangri La Gardens Open Handicap ) and Allknight Saint (Benchmark 85) on Saturday.
A former jockey, Herne took over her husband Brad Herne’s team earlier this year when he decided to concentrate on full-time work outside the racing industry.
She has had a steady stream winners but a Saturday metropolitan victory has so far eluded her.
Kievann is much-travelled, having raced with success in Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland.
The gelding has been consistent since joining Herne in March and has won twice as well as finishing second in the Queensland country’s biggest sprint race the Cleveland Bay Handicap.
Herne had Kievann in an open handicap at Doomben ON September 29 but elected to take him the night before to the Sunshine Coast where he won.
“It was a very good effort because he had 61.5k kilos, a soft track and he led all of the way,” Herne said.
James Orman replaces Damian Browne after Kievann got 54kg which is below the Group One-winning jockey’s riding weight.
“Kievann has won four times on soft tracks but never been on heavy,” Herne said.
Allknight Saint has been a consistent performer over several seasons for Brad Herne and then Lauren.
“He gave me a real thrill when he won the Beaudesert Cup four runs back and he has won twice on heavy tracks,” Herne said.
Fellow trainer Les Ross is another who likes to run his horses on wet tracks and has Miss Sara (3YO Handicap) Red Colour (Benchmark 75) and Sister Patti (Class 6) at the meeting wit the surface heavy on race eve.
“I don’t know why but my horses always seem to go OK in the wet. It is a bit of a mystery,” Ross said.
“I am originally from Cunnamulla in western Queensland and the Miller brothers (stakes winning trainers Barry and Trevor) are from out there.”
“They always had good wet weather horses and maybe something rubbed off on me.”
Miss Sara is resuming after a solid juvenile year with her last start a midfield finish in the Group One J J Atkins Stakes in early June.
“She is first-up but always tries hard,” he said.
Sister Patti has a good wet track record having won two of her three starts on heavy tracks while Red Colour has won five of her six starts on wet tracks.