Trainer Kelly Schweida hopes Stella Ombra gets Doomben conditions to suit to stop his losing streak.
In-form Eagle Farm trainer Kelly Schweida has been enjoying a fishing holiday in North Queensland and having plenty of luck judging by the photographs he has been sending friends.
He is hoping to have the same luck with Stella Ombra who will be trying to break the longest drought of his career at Doomben on Saturday.
Stella Ombra has won eight races and $379,000 prize money but his last success dates back 20 races to August 2017.
Schweida is hoping the conditions might finally be right for Stella Ombra to return to winning form in the Open Handicap (1350m).
He said Doomben should be on the soft side after rain this week and Stella Ombra would not have to lead with Zahspeed in the race.
“A couple of his better runs have been at 1350 metres and although he has never won at the trip, it should suit him,” Schweida said.
It was been a great season for Schweida who has 48 overall winners for the season to be just shy of $2 million prize money.
Among Stella Ombra’s rivals is The Chairman who has trialled well in the lead-up to his debut for Gold Coast trainer Michael Costa.
Previously trained by Mick Price in Melbourne The Chairman was twice stakes placed in Brisbane in 2017 but has not started since May last year.
He was sent to Costa to get ready for longer races and has had two trials at Ballina and The Gold Coast on Monday.
“Volkoff beat Cadogan in the trial and they are smart sprinters so it was a good effort from a stayer resuming,” Costa said.
The race also heralds the return of Group One-winning jockey Sean Cormack.
The rider of more than 1500 winners, Cormack had a stint with the late trainer Bruce McLachlan at Caloundra in 2008 before heading back to South Africa.
He returned to Australia to settle on the Sunshine Coast in 2017 and rode plenty of winners before injuring his knee in a freak accident on the way to the barriers at Ipswich in May last year.
Cormack will ride the Bruce Hill-trained Bodega Negra and was the last jockey to win on the gelding at Doomben in April, 2018.
His manager Cameron Partington said Cormack had been riding track work and trials.
“We were going to take three rides but two didn’t accept at Doomben. He will have three or four at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday and then hopefully it will be upwards from there, ” Partington said.