WHEN Brett Bellamy's star sprinter Sectagonal rounds the turn and straightens up in today's Daniel Baker Memorial Sprint, the trainer will be hoping more than usual that his seven-year-old gelding can salute the judges first.
It's been nine months since Baker died after a race fall in Grafton and Bellamy admits that he'd love to win the race that bears his mates' name.
“I'd really love for Sectagonal to get up for sentimental reasons,” he said.
Bellamy is in for a busy day today as he has 11 starters in seven races including Frisco Model in the feature event, the Carlton Draught Coffs Harbour Gold Cup.
Bellamy has enjoyed tremendous recent success as a trainer but he admits that the Frisco View mare is his first starter in the Coffs Harbour Gold Cup for many years.
While he has some concerns that the big race may be a touch short for his Cup entry, he believes that having the feature event as a mile race is a terrific initiative taken by the local Racing Club.
“If you look at the field, it's a very even race and most things are a chance of winning it and it gives the locals a chance of winning it as well,” Bellamy said.
“In the last few years I think it (the Coffs Harbour Cup) catered for second rate Sydney-horses and second-rate Brisbane horses to win it and I think there's only been a couple of chances in the race that could win it.”
The Coffs Harbour flag is also being flown in the Cup today by the Ken Lantry-trained Intermac and Trent Greentree's gelding Returnoftheking.
Last week Bellamy wrapped up his second Northern Rivers trainer's premiership but he says the challenges that trainer's have faced over the past 12 months have made this one special.
“It's been a hard year with EI (equine influenza) and everything else and to get as close as I did to the country trainer's premiership, it was good to finish in the top 10 in the state.”
It sure made the 80,000km travelled with high fuel costs worth the effort.