Queen Elida looking to bounce back at IDs

By Adam Hamilton

Star Kiwi-owned trotting mare Queen Elida can bounce-back from a shock opening round Brisbane Inter Dominion defeat in Tuesday's second round of heats.

Trainer Brent Lilley suspects his stable star “probably tied-up a bit” when she was surprisingly run down by emerging Victorian trotter Plymouth Chubb in the second of last Friday night’s trotting heats.

Queen Elida looked all over a winning rounding the final bend when she sailed away from her rivals, but stand-in driver Cam Hart got Plymouth Chubb into clear air and he blasted past the leader to win easily.

It was the biggest shock of opening night with Queen Elida sent out a $1.08 favourite.

“She’s fine this morning. She at up everything,” Lilley said. “She might have just tied-up a little … the run will do her the world of good.”

It’s the second time in as many runs Queen Elida has been rundown when leading, but the first was by superstar Just Believe at Bendigo.

All eyes will now be on Queen Elida to bounce back on Tuesday where, importantly, she has drawn well again over 2138m in barrier three.

While many thought there wasn’t much between Queen Elida and Just Believe going into the series, the gap appeared to widen considerably after their night one deeds.

Defending champion Just Believe was barely out of first gear when he cruised home to win the third heat, making it two dominant wins from as many starts since returning from hid mid-year Swedish campaign.

“He’s in the zone,” co-trainer and driver Greg Sugars smiled. “He did that easily tonight. It was an ideal start to the series.”

Life gets a bit more interesting for Just Believe from a very awkward inside back row draw (gate eight) in Tuesday’s second round heats.

Adding to the mix is first night revelation Plymouth Chubb has gate two and the early speed to try and take the lead.

Master horsemen Chris Lang and Anthony Butt were both in awe of Just Believe on opening night.

“I said before the series he reminded me of Sundons Gift after I took him to Sweden (in 2009),” Lang said. “He came back much better and was almost unbeatable for the next 18 months, it could be history repeating itself with Just Believe.”

Butt looked further back to when former Kiwi stars Pride Of Petite and Chiola Cola went to Sweden.

“They both came back and raced better than they ever had back home … it’s not just one horse to do it,” he said.

“He (Just Believe) has just done it so easily in those two runs back. It’s hard to see how they can beat him.”

Lang’s hopes to qualify his emerging five-year-old Ollivici and Bullion Harry for the final.

“It was great to kick the series off with a win for Ollivici, especially now he’s drawn wide (gate seven) in the second round of heats,” he said.

“He should just keep building, but he’ll struggle to beat Just Believe the way he's racing. I’m hoping this series will help make Ollivici.”

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