Bart Sinclair's Preview - SUNSHINE COAST 20 Nov 21

This could be the opportunity which Boris Thornton has earned.

Baylee Nothdurft’s decision to take a break from racing has opened the door for Thornton to grab a headline when he partners the talented Shooting For Gold in the Swiss Ace Plate at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

This is not a black type race. But it has real importance for Thornton who has been given limited opportunities on city tracks since he resumed in August after a 12 months break following shoulder surgery.

He did ride Birriecart to victory for training partnership Steve O’Dea and Matt Hoysted at Doomben on October 23. They have supported Thornton from his arrival in Brisbane four years ago and are pleased to have him on Shooting For Gold.

Thornton wages a constant battle with his weight. But it is now consistently riding at 56kg and even a tad lighter if needed for a special ride.

To date Thornton has not reached the riding heights of his siblings Damien, in Melbourne, and Stephanie who is firmly entrenched in the top ten on the Brisbane premiership. But he is highly regarded by racing insiders.

All three have been around horses from a young age. Their horsemanship is well recognized.

Boris has not ridden Shooting For Gold in a race. But he was involved in the early education of the gelding and partnered him in his first barrier trial at Doomben in July last year shortly before injuring his shoulder.

While he was out of action Just Huxtable picked up the ride on Shooting For Gold in five starts for four wins and a second.

The barrier draw has not done Thornton any favors. Shooting For Gold needs some early luck from barrier 10 in a field of 11.

Like Thornton favorite Zoustyle has spent a lot of time on the sidelines in the past year. This is his first race appearance since a commanding Gold Coast victory in September last year.

The Tony Gollan-trained Zoustyle is a free running sprinter who looks certain to lead. Shooting For Gold will be conceding a big break at the home turn.

Gollan has a powerful hand at this meeting. There is much hype surrounding his two-year-old filly Honey Pot in her racing debut in the Archer Park Racing Handicap.

Matching regional form with metropolitan standards is not easy. But Rockhampton four-year-old Avocado Sunset comes with excellent recent victories at successive starts in Mackay where he has posted slick sectional times under big weights.

With a 2kg claim for the in-form Jaden Lloyd, Avocado Sunset will carry 53.5kg in the Flash Fibre Handicap, or six kilos less than in his last start win on October 22.