MATT JONES’S BEST BETS
LISMORE trainer Daniel Bowen has Queen Of Kingston in winning form but he knows her best is yet to come.
And it could start today at Ballina when she races in the Community Cup (1400m). The fiveyear-old Nicconi mare has run first or second at her past five starts after an inconsistent period.
She’s only lightly raced and is looking for win five at start 12 today with Matthew McGuren on board.
Bowen said she’s an exciting prospect and should win a lot more races.
“She’s a pretty handy horse but she took us a long time to get to the races because she was going shin sore,” Bowen said.
“Her pre-race manners were bad but she’s getting better. She has a leading rider on so she’s got a massive chance.
“She’s a horse on the way up and we’ve always had an opinion of her so it’s good to see her start to put it all together and develop a good record. She’s obviously my number one candidate and she’ll be awfully hard to beat.”
Queen Of Kingston is coming off a second placing at Lismore when she couldn’t find the lead, which is what Bowen wants McGuren to do today from barrier 11.
“She didn’t begin well last start then got shut out by the two leaders and ended up one out, one back and he (Stephen Traecey) was undecided whether to go around them or not because the normal pattern is to lead but that all went out the window,” Bowen said.
“She has to go forward. When she gets in behind them she gets a bit field-shy. When she’s out in front, she has a high cruising speed and likes being out on her own and in her comfort zone.
“It’s not a strong field and she’s well weighted even though Matthew is riding her half a kilogram over (55.5kg).”
Bowen feels Queen Of Kingston is ready for metropolitan racing, in Brisbane, now but opportunities to win races like these won’t exist much longer.
Rain predicted at Ballina means it’s likely to be a heavy surface but she rattled home on a bog track to run third at Lismore this year so Bowen has no concerns with her handling the track.
“You’ve got to place them where they can win and not where you want them to win and this is the race for her,’’ he said. “There’s no point in knocking back a race where she’ll probably start favourite.
“She’s only going to get better and better because she’s overcome her previous problems and her manners are getting better.
“She’ll handle a wet track, being a Nicconi. Her work on heavy tracks over the years has been pretty good.”
Watched is Bowen’s other runner in the race and she’s going to improve as her preparation goes on.
“She’s looking for further and she’ll be better once she get up over a mile and more,” Bowen said.
Matthew McGuren winning aboard Sunny Farm on the Gold Coast.