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River Bird aiming at Queensland return

jason coyle
Trainer Jason Coyle hopes River Bird can earn a trip to Queensland with a win at Rosehill.

Promising filly River Bird will be given her opportunity in Queensland’s winter carnival races if she can break her maiden at Rosehill.

Bred by Burdekin cane farmer George Rapisarda, River Bird is trained at Warwick Farm by Jason Coyle.

She already has black-type on her record and the two-year-old has the Group One J J Atkins (1600m) at Doomben on June 9 as a long-term goal.

Coyle had nominated River Bird for Saturday’s Listed Bill Carter Stakes (1200m) at Doomben but opted to stay closer to home in a bid to get her off the mark.

She lines up in the Abercorn Hall Of Fame Handicap (1200m) as the second most experienced runner behind Godolphin colt Stunts, who has one win from five starts.

River Bird capped her first preparation with a third in the Group Three Widden Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill in February and resumed on May 5 with a fourth in an 1100m-handicap won by Gem Song.

“It was a good run. She just peaked on her run late,” Coyle said.

He thinks the step up to 1200m and barrier three should help the filly who will be ridden by Jess Taylor.

“She’s got some ability though she’s probably a preparation away. She’s got a little bit of growing to do but she seems to be handling everything well and it looks like she’s building towards a win,” Coyle said.

River Bird was a $10 chance with the TAB on Friday in a seven-horse market led by the Chris Waller-trained Press Box ($2.30).

Coyle says the race will determine whether River Bird ventures north.

“There’s a few options for her but she’ll have to her perform down here first,” he said.

Coyle has only has three two-year-old runner this season, with River Bird the clear stand-out after Myvatn and Spiritual Pursuit were unplaced in their debuts.

Press Box will be ridden by James McDonald who won on the Waller-trained Cormac at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, his first ride since returning from a betting-related disqualification.

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