James abandons Queensland campaign plans

After casting his expert eye over his team yesterday morning, Cambridge trainer Roger James has abandoned plans to take a squad to the Queensland Winter Carnival.

James had Delago’s Secret and Full Count, the pair who provided the quinella in last Saturday’s 200-metre three-year-old event at Te Rapa, as well as Queensland Oaks candidate Lady Cumquat booked for the flight to Brisbane tomorrow, but all three horses will now be going out for a spell.

The decision on Lady Cumquat, a last-start runner-up in the Gr. 3 Adrian Knox Stakes in Sydney, was made after James watched her work yesterday morning.

“I wasn’t happy with the way she worked,” said James. “She looks well enough but she gave me the impression she might have had enough for now.

“She’s shown plenty and if you put stayers aside and look after them they can go on and race well as four and five-year-olds.”

James has the same feeling with Delago’s Secret and Full Count, who were originally heading towards the Queensland Derby.

“They both had hard runs at Te Rapa and are frail three-year-olds who need looking after,” said James. “I couldn’t see the sense in taking them over unless they were 100 per cent.

“Like Lady Cumquat, they will go out for a spell and should be better for it.”

James will, however, have one runner in Australia this weekend. Katie’s Cove, an impressive winner of her last two starts, will take on Beauty’s Beast in the Gr. 3 A$150,000 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) at Hawkesbury with Jason Collett in the saddle.

Within a few hours of boarding a flight to Sydney, James was at Avondale today to witness his runners and thrilled to see Ocean Park’s half-sister, Lady Sayyida, storm down the outside to win the Wynyard Wood 1400.

Rider Matt Cameron settled Lady Sayyida at the rear of the field and was working on her before the home turn. With Cameron refusing to let up, Lady Sayyida picked up momentum in the run home and stormed home to nab To Be Sure.