BRISBANE - Brisbane trainer Barry Baldwin believes a minor change to Queensland's summer carnival could have averted a decision not to start star sprinter Burdekin Blues in the George Moore Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Owner Tom Sheahan made the call not to run Burdekin Blues on Baldwin's fears the 6-year-old was not ready to contest a tough 1200m in his first start since undergoing knee surgery.
The 6-year-old has not started since finishing eighth to Nicconi in the group one Lightning Stakes at Flemington in January.
He missed a crucial barrier trial last Tuesday after he lost a racing plate on the way to the stalls.
Baldwin preferred Burdekin Blues to have his first start this campaign in a 1000m race but none were programmed other than a Flying at Roma, in southwest Queensland, in which the Eagle Farm trainer contemplated starting the son of Sequalo.
Baldwin has called on Racing Queensland to shorten the distance of the $100,000 Keith Noud Quality which was run over 1200m and won by the Liam Birchley-trained Falco Star at Doomben 10 days ago.
"If the Keith Noud Quality was shortened to 1000m it would make the race a better lead-up to the summer series," Baldwin said on Tuesday.
"It's not just for me. It would make more sense as there'd be a 1000m race followed by the George Moore over 1200m, the Lough Neah over 1350m and the 1615m Bernborough Handicap, all two weeks apart.
"The way it is now there's only two feature races all year in Queensland for short-course horses up to 1000m.
"One is the Bat Out Of Hell over 900m at the Gold Coast in January which has A$100,000 in prizemoney and the other is the Lightning Handicap over 1000m at Eagle Farm in the winter.
"The Lightning is the only black-type race in Queensland under 1200m and was worth A$75,000 this year."
Baldwin cancelled a planned jump-out at Doomben on Tuesday for Burdekin Blues after conferring with Sheahan.
"We've decided against running him in the George Moore," Baldwin said.
"Tom believed the horse should come first and that's good enough for me.
"There's not a great deal for sprinters in Queensland at the moment and I just felt he hadn't done enough to run against this type of company first-up. There was no point giving him the jump out today."
Burdekin Blues beat Zero Rock in last year's George Moore Stakes before going on to win the Bat Out Of Hell.
Baldwin plans to tackle the Bat Out Of Hell again on January 1 with Burdekin Blues who is now likely to return in an open handicap (1110m) at Doomben on December 18.
Meanwhile, blinkers will go back on Phelan Ready in an attempt to help the 2009 Golden Slipper winner rediscover his best form in the George Moore Stakes.
The 4-year-old finished 12th, less than four lengths from winner Falco Star, in his comeback in the Keith Noud Quality (1200m) at Doomben on November 20.
Phelan Ready hasn't won since his victory in the Golden Slipper at Rosehill in April last year.