Tony and Maddysen Sears believe they have two future Queensland racing stars on their hands.
In five week’s time they hope that confidence becomes a reality with one of the pair good enough to be crowned King Of The Mountain.
The father-daughter training team will fly the Toowoomba racing flag when they saddle lightly raced three-year-olds Steady Ready and Yellow Brick in the inaugural running of the Mort & Co King Of The Mountain at Clifford Park on New Year’s Eve.
The unique $750,000 1200-metre sprint – reserved for eligible Queensland horses only – is based on a slot-race format similar to Sydney’s The Everest, and is the richest provincial race in the state’s history.
All eyes will be on Steady Ready this Saturday when he continues his King-Of-The-Mountain build-up at the Gold Coast while Yellow Brick – the winner of three of his four starts – will be kept on ice for his Mountain tilt.
Tony has headlined Toowoomba racing in recent decades with Weetwood Handicap and home-town premiership victories amongst his trophy haul.
On December 31 he’ll chase another slice of Clifford Park glory alongside Maddy when Yellow Brick lines up for the Sears Racing slot and Steady Ready represents slot-holder Jayven See.
“We’re very lucky, myself and my daughter, we’re in partnership together so it’s very exciting times,” Tony said.
“We are very lucky to have two horses in the race.
“It’s not easy to do.”
Steady Ready is also owned by Jayven See and returns from a break this week after creating a big impression in three mid-year Brisbane runs.
“We brought him back with the King Of The Mountain in mind,” Tony said
“Hopefully he’ll run well on Saturday and it’s all systems go for the King Of The Mountain.”
Yellow Brick is part-owned by the Sears family and has been freshened since notching back-to-back Eagle Farm wins last month over 1400 and 1600 metres.
“He’s a very exciting horse,” Tony said of The Mission gelding.
“We probably haven’t seen the best of him yet.
“He’s had three weeks in the paddock and he’ll run first-up in the King Of The Mountain before going onto the Gold Coast Guineas.
“We’re very happy to have him in the race.
“It’s a feather in everyone’s cap. Not just mine and Maddysen. All our staff. It’s a big effort to get these horses there.
“I wish other Toowoomba trainers the very best of luck as well because I know how hard it is for them to get their horses in there.”
Group 1 and Weetwood Handicap winner Apache Chase already shapes as the King Of The Mountain race favourite after being named the first slot holder, while the remaining nine slot runners will be announced in coming weeks.
“You’ve got to respect every horse in the race, especially Brisbane horses,” Tony said.
“We’re very confident with the two horse we’ve got, that they have plenty of ability.
“He’s a very good horse Apache Chase, and I think whatever beats him is probably going to win the race.
“He’s a Group 1 horse.”
*Tickets for the King Of The Mountain New Year’s Eve meeting are available here.