Trainer lets secret out
By MITCHELL DALE
WITH an ounce of luck, Kel Connell's Secret Money would have moved out of maiden class by now.
The three-year-old filly was a near certainty beaten after clipping the heels of another runner at Coffs Harbour on November 18.
"Her last run was her best chance, to break through but she nearly fell and that cost her," he said.
"She was on the heels of another horse and Zac Purton said she was lucky to stay on her feet.
"I think she would have won if it wasn't for that."
Connell rates the filly a good chance of greeting the judge first in the Park Beach Homebase Maiden Handicap (1500m) at Coffs Harbour today, despite lugging topweight of 56kg.
"There is no such thing as a good thing, but she'll be hard to beat," he said.
"She shows a bit of promise, she's had seven starts for four placings.
"I think she'll be a good chance, I won't be surprised if she wins."
Connell said the longer distance will suit the three-year-old, who has been bred along staying lines.
"She's by Secret Savings out of an English mare, so she's bred to get over a bit of ground," he said.
"She has had one other start over 1600m at Grafton, but she had not run for five weeks before that... she will be much fitter this time."
Kempsey hoop Terry Treichel will ride for Connell for the first time today, after first-choice jockey Zac Purton was suspended in Brisbane last week.
Connell will instruct Treichel to settle back early and look to finish strongly.
"She'll get back early, but come home strongly," he said.
Connell doesn't have any grand plans for the filly at this stage.
"I'll take it day to day with her," he said.
"We'll see how she pulls up after this one.
"There are no great plans yet."
Today's twiight meeting starts at 2.42 with the final race scheduled for 7.07.