Begg delighted with Gem's return

A Queensland trip is being considered for Cardinal Gem after his placing at Flemington. 

CARDINAL GEM winning the Cervus Equipment Maiden Plate at Sportsbet-Ballarat Synthetic in Ballarat, Australia.
CARDINAL GEM winning the Cervus Equipment Maiden Plate at Sportsbet-Ballarat Synthetic in Ballarat, Australia. Picture: Racing Photos

Trainer Grahame Begg would like to head north for the Brisbane Winter Carnival with Cardinal Gem who resumed with a placing at Flemington on Monday. 

Having sorted stabling for his horses in Brisbane, Begg is concerned with the ongoing wet tracks along with transport issues. 

For that reason, Begg will remain in Melbourne with Cardinal Gem for a heat of the Silver Bowl Series (1400m) at Flemington on May 14 before heading north.  

"That way it gives us the chance of getting another run into him before going up there," Begg said. 

Begg said the two races he's likely to target in Queensland were the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 11 and the Group 3 Winx Guineas (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 4. 

"The Sunshine Coast Guineas we think might be a good race for him or even the race Ayrton won last year, the Gunsynd, it might be a nice lead-up race into the Sunshine Coast," Begg said. 

"But the problem is getting there. There aren't the planes flying at present. 

"Otherwise, we've got to float them, and you need a stop between here and Sydney, stay overnight in Sydney, then have another stop somewhere between Sydney and Brisbane. 

"It could turn into a three or a four-day trip, so hopefully by the time we want to go they'll be up and flying again." 

Although beaten more than seven lengths into third place behind Star Patrol over 1200m on Monday, Begg was delighted with the performance. 

"We asked Tim (Clark) to follow the favourite, cross over, get behind it, and the favourite will bring you into the race," Begg said. 

"While everything was getting checked, the winner was off and gone, but I liked the way he run on." 

Should Cardinal Gem head north, Begg is contemplating sending Butter Chicken as well. 

Butter Chicken has not raced since last spring due to a few minor niggles, and Begg is hopeful the mare will also run at Flemington on May 14. 


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