Most of the hard work is done, now the waiting game is underway for owners and trainers in the countdown to this year’s Toowoomba Truck Spares Pat O’Shea Plate.

The $75,000 Pat O’Shea Plate over 1000 metres features on Toowoomba Turf Club’s gala September 26 Audi Centre Weetwood Raceday at Clifford Park.

The two-year-old event traditionally helps launch Australia’s new juvenile racing year.

This year’s Plate also creates its own piece of history with its switch to metropolitan status on Saturday week’s race card.

The Pat O’Shea Plate was previously run under the Fitton Insurance sponsorship banner from its inception as a provincial-class race in 1988.

Official Clifford Park preparations for this year’s event wound up earlier this week when runners were out to earn a spot in the 2020 field with strong performances in two 870-metre barrier trials.

The colts and gelding dash was taken out by Better Than Ready colt Sherwood Prince for Nanango trainer Glenn Richardson in a time of 53.81 seconds.

The female heat was won stylishly by Flying Artie filly Princess Bojack from the Michael Nolan stable.

Michael Nolan is a three-time winner of his hometown two-year-old feature and plans to enter three runners for this years’ event.

Michael took out the Fitton Hopeful with Laurie’s Lottery (Glen Lynch, 1997) and Ghostnthedarkness (Kenji Yoshida, 2009) before combining with jockey Skye Bogenhuber to win the inaugural Pat O’Shea Plate with Greyt Start in 2015.

“We’ve been lucky enough to win the race three times including the first running of the Pat O’Shea Plate,” Michael said.

“It’s great to see the race go to another level now, and to be able to be a part of it.

“We plan on entering three of ours at this stage.

“Obviously we’ll be nominating Princess Bojack and we’ll make a final decision next week on running her.

“We’ll also enter Twilight Boom and Star Twinkle who were both placed in trials this week.

“I think shifting Weetwood day to the Spring is an exciting move and will be good for Toowoomba.”

The Pat O’Shea Plate field is expected to be dominated by entries from Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine Coast stables with trialling continuing at each centre.

Entries close on Monday with the field to be announced next Wednesday.

By Glen McCullough