By Glenn Davis
Central Queensland trainer Glenda Bell will be seeking Townsville Cup redemption with her consistent gelding Fastnet Flyer in Saturday’s $100,000 feature at Cluden Park.
Bell rated Fastnet Flyer, a Jason Taylor mount, unlucky in last year’s Townsville Cup when he finished fourth to Rockhampton galloper Chivadahlii who is attempting successive Cup victories.
Fastnet Flyer, who drew a horror barrier 18, has followed a similar campaign as last year after winning the Mackay Cup before finishing third at Townsville a week before the big race.
This year, Fastnet Flyer finished third to Townsville Cup rival Balboa Rocks (barrier 7) in the Mackay Cup and is again backing-up a week after placing over 2000 metres at Townsville.
“I’m backing him up again which is probably not ideal but he’s going a lot better this year,” Bell said.
“He was at the end of his tether this time last year.
“It’s a good field again but I don’t think it’s as strong as last year.”
Bell believes Fastnet Flyer was unlucky not to at least place in last year’s Townsville Cup.
“He got turned inside out in the Townsville Cup and got knocked from pillar to post,” she said.
“He should have finished a lot closer.”
Bell bought Fastnet Flyer as a tried horse off NSW trainer Paul Murray for just over $13,000 after he had won two races from 31 starts.
“I chased him for about three months before I finally bought him from Paul Murray,” Bell said.
“I watched a lot of his NSW races and I liked his form and what I saw.”
Bell returned to her former home base at Emerald in central Queensland 14 months ago following a short stint in Rockhampton.
“I moved from Emerald to Rockhampton to give it a go but I just didn’t like the hustle and bustle so I went back home about 14 months ago,” she said.
Meanwhile Tolga trainer Roy Chillemi is chasing his second Cleveland Bay Handicap crown with consistent sprinter Grey Missile.
Chillemi has been one of north Queensland’s most successful trainers for many years but has only won the north Queensland feature once with Kanetoshi King in 2009.
“It’s a very strong field and one of the best I’ve seen in many years but time will tell if Grey Missile is up to them,” Chillemi said.
Chillemi saddled up Tyzone in last year’s Cleveland Bay but the gelding could only manage fifth to Rockhampton sprinter Heartbreak Harry.
Tyzone is now with Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds and was placed at his past two starts in Stakes races in the Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich and Ramornie Handicap at Grafton after winning his first two starts for the stable.
Grey Missile drew perfectly in barrier four and drops to a luxury 54kgs in the Cleveland Bay after carrying 58kgs to victory at Cluden Park on July 10.
Grey Missile has won seven of his 17 starts and has hit a purple patch of form with three wins from his past four starts.
Racing Queensland webnews - July 26
Photo: Rockhampton Jockey Club Facebook