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Fri 30 April 2021

By Jordan Gerrans 

Godolphin have declared Trekking is ready to fire first-up in the Group 2 Victory Stakes on Saturday afternoon, which signals an exciting start of the TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

The 2019 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap champion (pictured) arrived in Queensland earlier this week and is rated a $2.10 chance with the TAB to take out his first assignment of the winter, the WFA feature over 1200m.

Nacim Dilmi, travelling foreman for the Godolphin stable, knows the Sunshine State well, bringing the twice Group 1 winner north before, as well as other quality horses that don the famous blue colours.

Trekking has not been seen at the races since the Perth carnival last year but the French horseman, Dilmi, thinks the six-year-old bay gelding is ready to produce this Saturday.

“First-up after a lengthy spell, after having a big prep last time,” Dilmi said.

“He has arrived on Thursday morning and he is ready to fire first-up, hopefully.

“We are not coming into the race too confident; he is a highly rated horse obviously against the older runners.

“But, we are not here to say he is definitely going to win; he is going to run a good race and obviously it is not his grand final.

“This will be a nice steppingstone for his next couple of runs.”

Dilmi is in charge of the Godolphin team at Eagle Farm across the TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival, noting he has great memories from his previous trips to the Sunshine State, including the Stradbroke two years ago.

“It would be great if we could do it again next year,” he said.

“I am always well looked after when I come to Queensland.”

Following Saturday’s Victory Stakes, Trekking is likely to press towards the Group 1 TAB Doomben 10,000, which will enjoy a prize money increase to $1 million in 2021.

He is likely to be joined by a few of his Godolphin mates in the coming weeks, as well.

Dilmi says Kementari is on the way north, as is Savatiano, who he believes will be well suited to a race like the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup in just under a months’ time.

Avilius will also be in Queensland by next week, looking towards the Group 2 A.D Hollindale Stakes on the Gold Coast before the Doomben Cup.

“We have a nice team this year,” Dilmi said.

“Especially being the winter carnival, we try to aim our horses to be a bit lightly raced in the winter so they can fire in the spring.

“Horses like Trekking who are tough and versatile, it is always good to give him two or three runs here and then go back to Sydney or Melbourne for the spring.”

On the Victory Stakes, champion hoop Glen Boss (pictured) rides Vega One for premier Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan and thinks he can upset Trekking if the gun sprinter is slightly off his game.

“Of the back of his first run and knowing that he springboards of his first run into his second-up effort, I am expecting him to run very well,” Boss said.

“Trekking is going to be very hard, obviously, he is a very good horse, but if he does not have his A-game – Tony is expecting Vega One to run super.

“Vega One is a very good horse in his own right, Tony has a great team behind him and his horses are flying at the moment.

“I am sure he will be expecting this horse to run super.”

Vega One is rated a $10 chance with the TAB, just behind Emerald Kingdom at $9.50, who will be ridden by local jockey Stephanie Thornton on Saturday.

“The horse is coming into this race super, I have never seen him so relaxed,” Thornton said.

“He is starting to put the writing on the wall with his ability.”

The new-look TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival officially kicks off its 10 action-packed Saturdays with the Group 2 Queensland Guineas, the Group 2 Victory Stakes and Listed Dalrello Stakes this Saturday afternoon.

Click here for full details on the 2021 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival feature races.