Caloundra trainer Stuart Kendrick is in two minds about the weather as he prepares for the biggest day of the year on his home track.
Kendrick has seven acceptances on Saturday but his best chances appear to be smart filly Italia Bella in the Group Three Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) and Tarzan in the XXXX Open (1000m).
The trainer believes Italia Bella is better when able to run on the top of the ground but Tarzan has performed well on wet tracks.
“We have had rain all week and I think the track on Saturday has to be rain-affected. Italia Bella is going from 1200 metres first-up to 1600 on a wet track,” Kendrick said.
“I will have to wait until late this week to make up my mind. But at this stage she will go around with James Orman in the saddle.”
Italia Bella, whose preparation has been interrupted by injury, has won a barrier trial at the Sunshine Coast since her last start three weeks ago.
Kendrick has another option with the filly as she is second emergency in the Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m).
“It is obviously shorter but far tougher class so the Guineas is probably the preferable way to go. The weather is the key,” Kendrick said.
By Fastnet Rock, Italia Bella is the first foal of 2012 Group One Tatt’s Tiara winner Pear Tart.
There are few horses with a better track and distance statistics than Tarzan has at Caloundra.
The gelding has had 10 starts at the track and distance for seven wins and two seconds.
“He was beaten at 1200 metres at Doomben last start but he is back to 1000 metres at his favourite track so I would expect him to go well despite drawing wide,” Kendrick said.
Tegan Harrison who rode Tarzan when he set a 1000m record at Caloundra last year is back aboard the gelding on Saturday.