It's Gladstone Cup time
HORSE RACING: All the glitz and glamour of a metropolitan meet comes to Ferguson Park on Saturday with the running of the coveted Gladstone Cup.
The feature meet on the Gladstone racing calendar sees six races taking place with the Gladstone Cup (Race 5), Wayne Wilson Memorial (Race 3) and Newmarket Open (Race 4) among the highlights.
Gladstone will have two trainers with runners on the day, although none are contesting the feature race held over 1608 metres.
Trainer Denis Schultz has horses in four of the six races with Duan Theo (Race 1), Duan Nymph (Race 2), Duan Major (Race 4) and El Gradino (Race 3) hopefuls to perform strongly.
"Duan Theo is first up from a spell, but likes the sand track," Schultz said.
"Duan Nymph ran third in her first race so she wouldn't have to improve a lot to go all right. Her last race was in Thangool three weeks ago on grass and she's trained on the track here so she should handle the (sand).
"Duan Major has been been working well and the sand track suits him. He ran first up on the sand here over the 1000m so probably that day he might have won if it was 1200m and it's (1194m) on Saturday so he should go a bit better.
"(El Gradino) has won all his trials I've given him leading into this. I've put blinkers on him so hopefully that will keep his mind on the job. He's got tremendous speed but he hasn't been using it.
"He's been promising so much but hasn't delivered yet."
Schultz is expecting a strong contingent of runners to travel from places such as Bundaberg and Rockhampton and would cherish a win on his home track.
"You like to do well on your home track, but it's not easy to win races these days," he said.
With the weather tipped to be sunny and a warm 27 degrees, Gladstone Turf Club president David Weinert hopes to see a healthy turnout of racegoers.
"It'll be a good day for people to get out and about and enjoy themselves," Weinert said.
"There's plenty of highlights like Fashions on the Field, music starting from 4pm going through until 7pm.
"But of course the racing is what we're all about."
Gates open at Ferguson Park at 11am with the first race beginning at 1pm.
QantasLink Fashions on the Field will begin from 2.30pm with the Gladstone Cup running at 3.45pm.