The Open Handicap at Doomben has attracted only six acceptors but three of them are rated among the best sprinters in the state and also the unluckiest.
Heading the way is trainer Barry Lockwood’s six-year-old mare Tumbler who has won seven races and finished second four times from just 13 starts.
The mare is accident prone and through no fault of Lockwood’s has missed large chunks of her career with a variety of hard luck stories.
The latest drama came after she ran second in the Group Three Healy Stakes which made her a short-priced favourite for a race at Caloundra last Saturday.
But she shifted a glue-on shoe in the mounting yard and stewards had no choice but to scratch her.
“I could see it happening in slow motion. It was just one of those things but luckily she was fine despite being scratched,” Lockwood said.
Apprentice Corey Bayliss will claim 3kg on Tumbler who has drawn barrier one.
“She has a few things in her favour so fingers crossed, ” Lockwood said.
Highly promising galloper Niccanova will be having only his third start in a year in the Open.
Niccanova won the Group Three Fred Best Classic and was third in the Group Two Queensland Guineas last year but has been dogged by bad luck since.
He resumed to win at Doomben in March but some niggling problems meant he missed most of the winter.
Trainer Steve Tregea took him to Rockhampton for the Newmarket two weeks ago for his first winter run.
“The track was a bog and he never got into it,” he said.
Another runner on Saturday, Amaraant, was expected to be a major player in the winter when he won the Listed Weetwood Handicap in early April.
But he was badly injured in a barrier mishap when declared a non-runner at his next start and missed the main part of the winter.
Trainer Ben Currie has nursed him back to health and a racetrack comeback.
Stella Ombra, who bolted on his jockey at his last start, also has a history of bad luck luck.
Yet another runner, Courtza King, has won only four races but been minor placed 11 times often when considered unlucky.