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Pollard granted his barrier wish with Queensland Derby contender

Fri 17 May 2024

By Jordan Gerrans

The Queensland division of the powerful Annabel Neasham barn commenced their winter campaign with a bang at Caloundra last Saturday and the positive results kept rolling this week.

The Eagle Farm team of Neasham is headed by smiling horseman Todd Pollard and he had all his fingers and toes crossed that their Queensland Derby contender Port Lockroy would be able to draw a gate for Saturday’s Rough Habit Plate.

In the three-year-old’s last three race efforts, he had been handed the starting positions of 10, 15 and 16.

When acceptances were released on Wednesday morning, Kiwi Pollard had to finally be pleased with barrier five in the 2000 metre event at Doomben on Saturday.

The son of Better Than Ready is likely to push on to the Derby later in the carnival following the Rough Habit.

Port Lockroy finished just over three lengths behind Guineas winner Kintyre across the road at Eagle Farm late last month and Pollard is of the belief that it was a solid performance considering his wide gate and run.

“He hasn’t been able to draw a barrier in recent weeks,” the local stable boss said.

“His last five runs he has basically drawn the outside gate.

“His last run at Eagle Farm over the mile, he jumped well and he could have been in the first four.

“Unfortunately, he had to get snagged back to near last and he had to come very wide around the corner and his run is a lot better than what it looks on paper.

“This week hopefully he can park up on the speed and you would think he will be a chance.”

Port Lockroy is on the third line of betting for Saturday’s Group 3 staying test with Adam Hyeronimus retaining the ride. 

The young colt was one of half a dozen from the Neasham camp that worked on the course proper on Tuesday morning ahead of Doomben 10,000 day.

Port Lockroy was judged an $11 hope by bookmakers for the Group 1 Derby earlier this week but as of Friday morning he is a $15 shot.

“We are of the opinion it was a total forgive run, he is a nice athletic horse,” Pollard said of the Guineas effort.

“The Derby trip might be a bit of question mark being by Better Than Ready, but 2000 metres on Saturday should be fine.”

The Neasham stable head to Doomben on Saturday with six runners and the team will be full of confidence after claiming their fourth straight A. D. Hollindale Stakes with Numerian at Caloundra.

“The team is going well at the moment, it seems, it is right time of the year to be having them fire,” Pollard said.

“We had a few placings early in the day at Caloundra then obviously Numerian winning the Hollindale.

“It was special for the stable be able to win the race four years running.

“There are a few nice horses we have throughout the carnival and hopefully it can continue.”

Another from the stable that has Group 1 ambitions later in the carnival is Bosustow.

The galloper carries the same moniker as former footballer Peter Bosustow who was a star with the Perth Demons in the WAFL before heading to Melbourne to play for Carlton through the 1970s and 80s.

The emerging colt is a brother of Amelia's Jewel who will soon also be in the yard of Neasham after ending her time being based in Western Australia.

Bosustow goes to Saturday’s Spirit Of Boom Classic before the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes and then on to the grand final for the carnival.

“He is a nice two-year-old colt going forward,” Pollard said.

“He is going to the J.J. Atkins, hopefully it is just a matter of getting him into the race.”