The rain which has soaked the Gold Coast this week is music to the ears of trainer Kelly Doughty.
The Gold Coast has had a mixed bag of weather this week with heavy rain early and then good drying weather on Wednesday and Thursday.
The track was rated in the soft range on Thursday but showers are predicted for Friday and Saturday.
Doughty has promising stayer Panno Rossa stepping up to a middle distance for the first time this campaign in the First National Real Estate Open (1800m) on Saturday.
In the late winter and early spring, Panno Rossa worked his way up to open company before having a break.
The Testa Rossa gelding is out of a Zabeel mare and Doughty is hoping he will be competitive in races up to 2400m.
But first he has to prove himself against better horses and Doughty sees Saturday’s race as the first stepping stone.
“His two runs back from a break at unsuitable distances have been good. He was fifth first-up and then got a mile back when sixth at Doomben at his next run,” Doughty said.
“It was obvious after they had gone 100 metres and he was a clear last he couldn’t win. But he worked home nicely and we are now out to his right distance range.”
Panno Rossa has won and been placed over the 1800m at the Gold Coast.
“He is also very good in the wet,” Doughty said.
“It is hard to say exactly how wet the track will be on Saturday but he has never been out of the place in heavy going for a starter.
“There has been a wind but the sting should be out of the track at the least.”
Doughty said there were no plans to take Panno Rossa interstate at this stage of his career but he could measure up to a winter horse.
“We have been thinking about races such as the Ipswich Cup and Caloundra Cup late in the carnival. There might even be something a bit better if he continues to measure up,” she said.
James Orman will ride Panno Rossa and Doughty thinks his style suits the horse.
“James rode him two starts back and handled him well and we have stayed down on the minimum weight here.” she added.