2nd Slot for The Archer Cemented.
Published 14 March 2023
The second piece in the 12-horse jigsaw puzzle which is the $775K WFA The Archer (1300m) has been cemented in place with the slot of talented Brisbane young sprinter Count Da Beans being confirmed.
Count Da Beans (b g 3 Spill The Beans-Postponement x More Than Ready), trained by Tony Gollan will represent slot holder Archer Park of which some of its members are involved in the ownership of the sprinter.
The field for The Archer, the kingpin in Rockhampton’s historic first $1 million-plus race day on Sunday, April 30 is determined by negotiation between its 12 paid-up slot holders with owners of racehorses of the highest calibre.
It is the richest regional-provincial race ever run in Queensland rising from its inaugural running last year when marketed at $440,000.
Chris Wessel and premier Queensland trainer Tony Gollan believe that Count Da Beans has the right profile to take his place in The Archer.
Lightly raced, having just seven starts for a debut win in a Grafton 2YO last year, Count Da Beans’ four subsequent seconds have been suggestive that he is very much a star of the future.
“He certainly demonstrated to us just how good he was when just nosed out at his last start before a spell by Fashion Legend in the Vo Rogue 3YO at Doomben”, Chris Wessel said.
The $300,000 GR 3 Vo Rogue 3YO Plate (1350m) was run on New Years Eve and Count Da Beans second, was officially beaten just 0.15 lengths.
“At its next start Fashion Legend won the $2M Gold Coast 3YO Guineas beating Yellow Brick which then went on to win the King Of The Mountain in Toowoomba. The form lines are certainly there for Count Da Beans”, Wessel said.
Other factors which the slot holder and part-owner emphasised in support of Count Da Beans’ quest for The Archer centre around his adaptability and handicap weight.
“He handles rain affected and good tracks and under the Weight For Age conditions of The Archer will come in with just 55.5kg for a three-year-old”, Chris said.
Furthermore, he believes Count Da Beans will be all the better for his “first solid preparation” which encompassed five starts late Spring and early summer of last year.
Count Da Beans will take on The Archer second-up from his spell with Ryan Maloney the likely jockey.
He is likely to resume either at Eagle Farm on April 15 (LR Ascot Handicap, 1000m) or in The Mick Dittman 3YO Plate (1110m) at Doomben the following Saturday.
“After The Archer we will look to qualifying him for the Stradbroke’’, Wessel said.
The $3 million GR 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) will be contested at Eagle Farm, Brisbane on June 10.
Count Da Beans joins the David Vandyke trained Weona Smartone (NZ) (slot holder Max Whitby) as the only two horses signed in for The Archer to date.
The interest generated by the “cloak and dagger” behind the scenes negotiations to secure one of the 10 remaining slots in The Archer will reach a crescendo in the weeks ahead
It creates a magical spin-off to the intriguing theatre which is The Archer while elevating Rockhampton racing to heights never previously envisaged.
The stand-alone Sunday race date of April 30 with no corresponding metropolitan race meetings throughout Australia, will focus unprecedented publicity for not only Rockhampton racing but for the region as well.