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From the Callers Box

March Review

The countdown continues.

Racing Queensland’s TAB Constellations takes place in July staged at Albion Park with a raft of feature events scheduled including the Grand Circuit event, the $355,000 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship plus the $305,000 Rising Sun.

The latter event, a Gr.1 feature for four-year-old’s plus two three-year-old’s (which carries a bonus of $100,000 if a 3yo is successful) is tipped to become the new jewel in the crown for the Sunshine State, the race will be staged over 2138m and comes with four invitations being issued.

The remaining eight spots come via the Racing Queensland handicapping panel.

Naturally, invitations come with conjecture.

But it creates hype!

To date, only Victorian four-year-old’s Bondi Lockdown and Better Eclipse are guaranteed starters following the acceptance of their invitations.

Bondi Lockdown was the first pacer invited following his defeat in the Chariots in Sydney while Better Eclipse received the second invitation following his efforts in Sydney, a victory over Bondi Lockdown in the Chariots while being placed third behind King Of Swing & Spirit Of St Louis in the Miracle Mile last month (Bondi Lockdown finished last).

So, there’s plenty of questions that need to be asked.

Firstly, will brilliant mare Ladies In Red be invited? Should she already be invited given her unbelievable record?

Remember, it was a mare that scored in the inaugural edition last year (Amazing Dream).

Most within the sport consider the Emma Stewart trained mare the best four-year-old in the country (male or female), and by a big margin.

Secondly, when will star local three-year-old Leap To Fame be invited?

Last year, Patsbeachstorm was immediately invited to contest the Rising Sun following his victory in the NSW Derby, the same event that Leap To Fame won this year.

And the Grant Dixon trained and driven colt was more impressive, he scored in faster time and by a bigger margin.

How long will connections have to wait before the invite is issued?

And what about Akuta, the pacing powerhouse from the Shaky Isles?

The multiple feature race winner from the All-Stars operation is the most talked about pacer in New Zealand and his victory in the Great Northern Derby in Auckland last month clearly underlines the hype factor he possesses.

Krug won the Great Northern Derby last year before being invited to contest the Rising Sun.

Another Victorian that deserves careful consideration is Catch A Wave, a brilliant three-year-old from the stables of leading trainer Andy Gath.

Ready to trial following a lengthy break after crushing his rivals in the Breeders Crown back in November at Melton, the Captaintreacherous gelding has won 6 of his 7 starts to date.

Should he be a priority pick?

All these questions will have answers in time to come but it’s exciting thinking about the prospects available, the TAB Constellations is prime time for the sport with the spotlight firmly on the Sunshine State.

Good luck to those involved in the upcoming carnival.

Follow the Racing Queensland social media platforms and SKY for all the announcements.

Until next time.

Chris Barsby