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Horror draw suits Sayl in Townsville Cup

5 August 2022

By Glenn Davis

What looks like a horror barrier draw to most is a blessing for Townsville Cup hope, Sayl, at Cluden Park on Saturday.

That’s the belief of Toowoomba trainer Lindsay Hatch, who is chasing his maiden Townsville Cup win, after his only previous starter, Kuttamurra Al, finished third to the John Manzelmann-trained Shiranda in 2020.

Sayl, a narrow winner of the Mackay Cup last start, drew barrier 20 earlier this week, but will come in several places if the emergencies don’t start.

“Barrier 20 is ideal for him,” warned Hatch.

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“Every time he draws well in a race he gets into trouble.

“He’s better off two and three wide where he can go around them without any interference.

“It might sound silly but it’s the best draw for him.”

Hatch will also saddle up Djukon, who finished seventh, but was only beaten three lengths by his stable mate in the Mackay Cup.

“Djukon’s run in the Mackay Cup was enormous,” Hatch said.

“He’s on the way up and will run a big race.”

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Both Sayl and Djukon are imports from the United Kingdom before being sold to race in Australia when they started off with Sydney’s Chris Waller.

Hatch rates Sayl the pick of his pair and believes the six-year-old has trained on since his Mackay Cup victory.

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“His win in the Mackay Cup was outstanding,” Hatch said.

“Robbie Fradd was awkwardly placed on him coming to the corner and he had to come to the outside and was ten lengths off the lead.

“He’s a good horse.”

Hatch was born in Blackall in Central Queensland but grew up in Ayr in North Queensland before eventually settling to train in Toowoomba after a short Victorian stint.

“I went to school in Ayr and used to go to the Townsville races with my father,” Hatch said.

“I left there when I was 14 to become an apprentice in Brisbane, where I rode 120 winners and won the Gold Coast apprentices’ title.

“Kelly Schweida, who is one of Brisbane’s leading trainers, was an idol of mine when I rode in North Queensland.

“I’ve got a lot of friends in Townsville and it will be huge if I can win the Cup.”

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