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Fri 14 May 2021

By Jordan Gerrans

Sunshine Coast trainer Darryl Hansen will experience the extremes of racing across the next 24 hours.

Hansen was busy preparing to head to Kilcoy on Friday morning with At The Helm from his stable to go around in the Class 1 Plate over 800m at the provincial track.

Just hours later, he will start roughie Pennino in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 on Saturday afternoon against some of the top sprinters in Australia.

Pennino is one of the outsiders of the field, rated a $61 chance with the TAB as of Friday afternoon.

But the five-year-old mare did put in an eye-catching run last start in the Group 2 Victory Stakes to flash home and finish third.

“The run in the Victory Stakes, she tried her guts out and got to the line well first-up,” the Magic Millions-winning trainer said.

“We go to a Group 1 this week, it is tougher again, but if she can fine the line like she did the other day, we will be wrapped.

“A bit of a sting out of the track will not hurt her, I would have liked to draw a bit softer this week, but unfortunately we have drawn out wide again and it will all depend on what sort of run we get from that gate.”

The Easy Rocking mare has won at Listed and Group 3 level before, both of which came on rain affected ground, with Doomben rated as a Heavy 8 as of Friday afternoon.

It is likely to get back into the soft range by Saturday.

The flashing last-start effort by Niccanova also came on soft ground.

“She has always showed us lots of potential, she is a tryer,” Hansen said.

“I was hoping she would get to a nice race like this, we are there now and we will see what happens.”

Experienced hoop Robbie Fradd takes the ride of Pennino on Saturday in the Doomben 10,000 with Tiffani Brooker in the saddle last start.

Fradd has not been aboard Pennino on race day since late 2019 but Hansen thought he got the best out of the horse in his handful of occasions he did ride her in that year.

Hansen also Fabulonh in for Saturday at Doomben in the Benchmark 85 Handicap, with Fradd to again get the job.