Baylee Nothdurft is keen to be quick out of the blocks when he returns from suspension at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday and classy mare Sugar Boom affords him the perfect opportunity in the Swiss Ace Plate.
Nothdurft is serving an 11-day suspension, having not ridden since winning on The Sinner at Caloundra on November 8.
Combined with the time he spent sidelined with a broken jaw, it’s been a frustrating start to the new season for Queensland’s reigning premier rider.
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$4m in horsepower a no-show at Magic Millions
“Sugar Boom looks really well placed. She’s a proven 1000m horse, whereas the others are possibly better at 1200m,” Nothdurft said.
Sugar Boom is two from three over the Caloundra 1000m and comes off a dominant first-up win, where she beat impressive subsequent winner Skins.
Nothdurft also rides Corvo, All Important, Ready To Roam and Tokoriki Lad for Gollan on Saturday.
The Caloundra meeting is the official start of the Queensland Summer Carnival, which was launched from the 77th floor of Q1 on the Gold Coast earlier this week.
The carnival has $20 million in prizemoney, 19 black type races and a host of other features, including the $250,000 Gateway at Eagle Farm on December 12.
The road to Magic Millions day at Eagle Farm on January 2 offers a number of wildcard opportunities, ahead of $10 million Magic Millions day on January 16.
Meanwhile, part-owner Bill Harris has paid tribute to four-time stakes winner Monsieur Gustave, who died on Tuesday during an operation on his leg.
“He had a fantastic career and it’s incredibly sad,” Harris said of the $600,000 earner.
“What he lacked in ability he made up with his bravery and sheer determination.
Monsieur Gustave, who was prepared for most of his career by Darryl Hansen, won nine races, highlighted by the 2017 George Moore Stakes.