The Brett Bellamy trained Hotshot Hayil is hoping for another win at Ballina.
The Brett Bellamy trained Hotshot Hayil is hoping for another win at Ballina.

Brett the best bet for premiership

COFFS Harbour trainer Brett Bellamy could easily wrap up another Northern Rivers Racing Association premiership this weekend despite the season still having a little over four months to run.

Bellamy will start a select group of animals, all with genuine winning chances, at Association meetings in Ballina today and Grafton tomorrow.

The defending champion reached 30 winners when Choices saluted at his home track on March 10, and only Ballina-based Danny Bowen has the equine firepower to launch a late bid, after saddling up his 21st winner, Dowden, at Bowraville. Gordon Yorke sits in third position with 14 race victories, demonstrating how dominant the big two stables have become.

Bowen and Bellamy clash in four of the nine races on the Ballina program but the most intriguing confrontation arrives in the 1005m Benchmark 68 Handicap with Bellamy starting Hotshot Hayil against Bowen’s two-pronged assault from Radetsky and Mr Nappy.

It’s a similar race to one Hotshot Hayil won here on January 23 and while two subsequent runs at Grafton have been below par, both can be forgiven as the horse has always showed a dislike for that venue.

Bowen will use 2kg claiming apprentice Motoki Okada on Mr Nappy but has delivered a strong lead for Radetsky by importing senior jockey Peter Graham from Port Macquarie for the ride.

Bellamy also starts up-and-coming three-year-old Cyclone Brad at today’s Eagle Farm meeting and stated before winning at Grafton last month that a city victory wasn’t beyond the colt’s capability.

Meanwhile, Bellamy stable rider Raymond Spokes holds a four-win lead over Matt Paget in the jockey’s premiership and their face-to-face battle in around a dozen events at the pair of NRRA meetings adds another dimension to the local racing scene.

NRRA Premierships

Standings at March 18

Jockeys

Raymond Spokes 24

Matt Paget 20

Marlon Dolendo 16

Matt Bennett 15

Samantha Munro (a) 15

Scott Seamer 13

Apprentices

Samantha Munro 15

Priscilla Schmidt 12

Bradley Wallace 11

Anthony Allen 9

Gabrielle Coleman 9

Matthew McGuren 9

Trainers

Brett Bellamy 30

Danny Bowen 21

Gordon Yorke 14

Stephen Lee 13

William Pholi 11

Brett Dodson 8

John Shelton 8



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