Lux Aeterna To Target Rising Sun

Two more of Australia’s top pacers have been confirmed for the Group 1 The Rising Sun.

Earlier today, it was announced that Group 1 champions Captains Knock and Lux Aeterna will line up in the $355,000 race at Albion Park on July 13, as part of the Queensland Constellations.

They will join fellow stars The Lost Storm and Frankie Ferocious as confirmed starters, with Its Merlin and Sooner The Bettor unfortunately being withdrawn from the race.

Emerging New South Wales pacer Captains Knock has 12 wins from 25 starts, with victories in the Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge 2YO and 3YO C&G finals in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

The colt also finished third in March’s Group 1 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle, and has also been locked in for the world’s richest pacing race, the $2.1 million TAB Eureka on September 7.

Captains Knock is owned by the Triple Play Syndicate, which includes former NRL star Jarrod Croker.

Trainer-driver Brad Hewitt said the four-year-old would trial down south before heading north, with a possible hit-out in Queensland on the cards before The Rising Sun.

“It’s been his target ever since the Chariots Of Fire, we’ve had this race in mind for him – it’s a good little campaign for him before he aims up to The Eureka,” Hewitt said.

“It’s always a really strong race – since its inception, there’s been really good horses and you know you’re going there to come up against the best of the best.

“It’s similar to the Chariots, you know there’s going to be a top field.

“There’s some really strong four-year-olds in Queensland at the minute, plus all the interstate ones coming in, so it’s going to be a really good race.”

Lux Aeterna will also enter the Queensland Constellations on a high, after being crowned the 2023 Australian 2YO Pacing Filly of the Year.

The filly collected over $359,000 in stakes from nine wins and three placings in 12 starts last year, including the Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge Final.

She then backed it up with a dominant victory in the Nutrien Equine Classic Final at Melton last month, before finishing behind Very Pretty in the NSW Oaks on May 4.

Lux Aeterna will also become the first three-year-old filly to contest the Rising Sun.

Trainer-driver Rickie Alchin said Lux Aeterna would likely also target the Redcliffe Oaks and Queensland Oaks throughout the winter.

“She’s quite a versatile and adaptable filly…I couldn’t be happier with her preparation,” Alchin said.

“With the New Zealand horses not coming (Its Merlin and Sooner the Bettor), it’s still going to be hard, don’t get me wrong – but she’s got such a good constitution.

“This is probably my sixth or seventh year we’ve been coming to Queensland – obviously we have got some others for the feature races as well.

“It’s a good carnival and it’s a strong carnival and Queensland seem to do it right and we’re really looking forward to it.”

In a change to the race format from previous editions, RQ and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club will issue up to eight invites this year.

The Rising Sun will once again hold an additional $100,000 bonus for a three-year-old winner – while for the first time, a $25,000 bonus is on offer if a three-year-old runs second or third.