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Queensland assault for Menin Gate

By Adam Hamilton - Twitter: @AdamTABSports

One of Australia’s most exciting pacers Menin Gate could have a winter working holiday in Queensland.

Trainer Larry Eastman said his Victoria Derby winner had spelled well and would be set for a big final few months of the season.

“I’m glad I missed the NSW Derby. The Victoria Derby was our mission and we accomplished it … I didn’t want to ask too much of him too soon,” Eastman said.

“He’s had a good break now and it opens the way for us to give the back end of the season a big nudge.

“The Vicbred series and Breeders Crown are the obvious targets, but Queensland is firming too.

“I’ve looked through all the dates and I can do both (the Vicbred and a Queensland Derby campaign).

“They’ve changed things up there and thrown a fair bit of money at a few races.”

The $110,000 Vicbred 3YO final is at Melton on July 4 with the $40,000 Gold Coast Derby a week later. The $150,000 Queensland Derby on July 18.

Menin Gate made it seven wins (and two seconds) from just nine starts when he worked to the front and easily held-off Follow The Stars to win the Victoria Derby on February 7.

“I actually learnt from his mum, Dreams Of Heaven, that you can’t run in everything. I tried with her and she was out on her feet by the time she got to the Breeders Crown,” Eastman said.

“That’s why I opted to give him the break after the Victoria Derby and target the back end of the season.”

Eastman ruled-out a Harness Jewels trip if Menin Gate happened to be invited.

“It just wouldn’t working timing-wise with the program I’ve got mapped out for him,” he said.