Fastnstraight on track
A ROUSING gallop midweek was enough to convince Gold Coast trainer Alicia Willick Fastnstraight was ready to tackle the Murwillumbah Cup (2000m).
The giant 17 hands-plus gelding heads into today’s deferred Cup third-up after a 411-day break recovering from injury.
“I couldn’t be happier with the horse,” Willick said.
“Ideally I didn’t want to jump straight to 2000 metres but Fastnstraight is an out-and-out stayer and needs ground to produce his best.
“The track rider got off him the other day and said he’s ready to go after a very good gallop.
“The horse has done everything right.”
Fastnstraight was purchased by Willick for $15,000 at a tried horse sale in Sydney and is raced by her parents, Larry and Pat.
The lightly raced seven-year-old gelding by Over has recorded three wins and seven placings from 21 starts earning $66,550 prizemoney.
After some promising efforts in Brisbane last campaign, Willick was confident the gelding could measure up to better class races until disaster set in after Fastnstraight’s fifth to Double Or Nothin at Eagle Farm on September 20 last year.
“He tore the ligaments in his near side front completely off the bone,” Willick said.
“It happened during the run. He pulled up very sore.
“We just gave him plenty of time to recuperate and he had a slow build up before getting back into serious work.
“We ice the leg every day, give him lots of swimming but touch wood, he hasn’t had a problem
“It’s just a shame the injury happened. He was a promising stayer.”
Willick, who has 17 horses in work, has a real soft spot for Fastnstraight.
“He’s a big boy, a real big boy but a lovely horse,” she said.
“He could carry an elephant he’s so big and his form’s been pretty good. He is a Brisbane winner.
“At his first two runs back he was just getting warmed up over the last bit.
“I don’t think it’s a super strong Murwillumbah Cup.
“If he runs out the 2000 metres and handles the tighter Murwillumbah track, we think he can win.”
Daniel Griffin takes the mount and Fastnstraight has drawn ideally in barrier one.
Fastnstraight is one of seven Queenslanders in the event headed by topweight, Lismore Cup winner Hecentadove.