By Garry Dell
Visiting Victorian trainer Frankie Stockdale is desperately seeking a lightweight jockey for promising three-year-old Riverside Special for Tuesday's three-year-old Dollars at Townsville's Cluden Park.
Stockdale, who is on a travelling holiday through Queensland with a team of six horses from his Pakenham base, said he believed the lightly-raced Riverside Special could give him the chance of picking up his first feature event of the trip.
Riverside Special has raced only five times in his first preparation for a win, two seconds and a third.
He followed a second at Rockhampton on May 27 with an easy win over 1400 metres at Rockhampton on June 3 and an unlucky second over 1400 metres at Cluden on June 16.
"He was blocked a couple of times last start and mentioned in the stewards' report twice," Stockdale said.
"Young Jake Molloy rode him that day but unfortunately he's not coming up on Tuesday and apprentice Cody Collis was already booked for one for his boss.
"I'm sort of hoping there might be a scratching or I can get a jockey overnight or before scratchings.
"He's only got 54kg and there might be someone looking for a ride.
"I'm not too worried about the rain because they tell me the track can absorb plenty and it might not be worse than a Soft 5.
"The horse won on a Soft 5 at Rocky so he can handle the sting out of the ground."
Stockdale led a winner in Dubai Moon at Cluden on June 16 to give him three winners on his Queensland holiday to date.
He recently moved up to Bowen and plans to travel further on after meetings at Townsville and Mackay over the next couple of weeks.
"I reckon Riverside Special will be slightly better suited over 1600 metres so I'm looking at Guineas races at Mackay and Townsville during their carnivals," he said.
"I've got Barney's Blaze - a close second at Townsville at his last start - going around at Rockhampton on Friday so I'm covering a bit of territory."
The Roy Chillemi-trained Palencia looks the top hope in the Townsville Dollars after his brave third behind Prime Ruler and Brilliant Mind at Cluden last week.
Chillemi has decided to again go into the race with his two-kg claiming apprentice Rachel Shred to offset the weight and the wide barrier of 12.
"I don't know what I'd done wrong to keep drawing out wide in big races with this bloke," Chillemi said.
"It's a big ask for my bloke to get into a good position early and still have something left for the final 200 metres.
"But, Rachel knows him well and I know she'll do her best."