MATT JONES’S BEST BETS

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - MATT JONES

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.

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