Cyclone omen made to wait
IT would have been today’s omen racing tip but Cyclone Brad won’t be starting in the last at Doomben after all.
Trainer Brett Bellamy said the horse wasn’t quite to the stage he would have liked but a winning opportunity would be given very soon.
“I still have to iron out a few problems he’s got but the horse is certainly capable of winning in the city,” he said.
“From the time the late Stathi Katsidis first rode him and said he had a fair bit of ability I’ve been bringing him along and one day, can see him picking up a good quality race.”
With the Brisbane trip abandoned, Bellamy will concentrate on Northern Rivers meetings this weekend.
“Trying to pick up a few local winners without travelling far always helps,” Bellamy said.
Fourth emergency Hayil And Pace and maiden runner Banjo’s Spirit are the only stable nominations at today’s Grafton TAB meeting but Bellamy will load the truck with eight candidates engaged in six of the seven races on tomorrow’s Murwillumbah card.
While he’s drawn wide gates in the earlier races, the trainer has better luck in the final two events with Bolton Abbey and Sir Qualo, both to be ridden by Jasen Watkins.
With exactly half the season completed, the trainer is well on target for another NRRA trainer’s premiership with 25 winners already against his name, seven clear of main rival Danny Bowen.
Stable jockey Raymond Spokes is on target for back-to-back jockey’s titles with 20 winners so far.
Marlon Dolendo is on 16 winners but his serious illness has almost certainly ended his riding career and most believe only boom apprentice Priscilla Schmidt (12 wins) has a genuine chance of reeling in the leader, providing she concentrates her skills at all remaining NRRA meetings.
Meanwhile, Dolendo’s illness has opened the door to former Sydney jockey Robbie Brewer to re-establish himself in the two coastal associations.
While apprenticed to Neil Godbolt during the 1990s, Brewer rode scores of local winners and is back with three mounts for his old boss at Grafton this afternoon.