Promising juvenile Up Trumpz will be put to the test next week, providing he can win the $25,000 Lamont Classic 2yo (1300m) at Wagga on Friday.
Trainer Joe Cleary has Up Trumpz in the list of 19 entries for the $600,000 J J Atkins (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday week and is keen to start the gelding.
He is one of four horses Cleary plans to head north with on Monday for some races over the Queensland winter carnival. “It’s a big step up from a Wagga two-year-old to a Group 1 race worth $600,000 but he is going well, is fit and will start providing he gets the job done at Wagga,” Cleary said.
“The horse has come a long way in a short period of time and has won twice at Wagga.
“He has a bit of weight but he is better now than what he was when he won at Wagga last start.”
Up Trumpz, who will be ridden by Nick Souquet, will take on five rivals including Sweettallkingwilly who made him work all the way to the finish last start.
Cleary explained his reasoning for taking on a Group 1 race with the two-year-old.
“He will be a roughie in the race, but it looks like the field will drop away for the J J Atkins and it’s worth a lot of money,” he said.
There is another reason why Cleary wants to see Up Trumpz compete in a Group 1.
“Sam Shiers bred the horse, it’s the first one he has bred, and he races him with his family. Sam travels away looking after my horses and if he could be in a Group 1 race with his first horse it’s a big effort,” Cleary said.
“Some breeders never get a chance to have a starter in a Group 1 and the horse is going well enough to have a shot.
“I expect him to win at Wagga even though he has 61 kilograms.
“He was a little bit off after the Wagga Cup carnival and bounced back last start and is even better now judging by his fast work during the week.”