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The Harrovian on track for Northern Crown bonus in Cairns

By Glenn Davis

Trainer Stephen Massingham isn’t concerned with a five-week gap between races as he chases the biggest pay cheque of his career with The Harrovian in the $150,000 Cairns Amateur Cup at Cannon Park on Saturday.

Massingham is chasing successive wins in the 2100-metre feature after claiming last year’s race with Multifacets.

Massingham and The Harrovian’s connections will collect $287,000 in prizemoney if the former Victorian wins the Cairns Amateur Cup.

The Cairns Amateur Cup carries $87,000 in prizemoney and is the final leg of the five-race Northern Crown series for stayers.

An additional $200,000 bonus is available if a horse wins three races in the series including the Cairns Amateur Cup.

The Harrovian hasn’t raced since claiming the $150,000 Cairns Cup (2100m) on August 10 but Massingham isn’t worried by the lack of recent racing for the gelding.

“I’m not concerned he hasn’t race for five weeks as he’s been working strongly,” Massingham said.

“He had a good strong gallop on the course proper here on Saturday morning and another one on the course proper on Tuesday morning.

“There’s a knack to training this horse as he’s a big strong bloke and I think he can win.”

The downside for Massingham is The Harrovian’s sharp rise in the weights.

He carries 59kgs with Robert Thompson aboard, a 2.5kgs penalty for winning the Cairns Cup last start.

“He won the Townsville Cup with 54kgs in July and has gone up five kilos in two runs,” he said.

“If he’s good enough he’ll win but he’ll be in the paddock next week.”

Massingham rates the Cairns Amateur Cup as an open race with several dangers and is toying with sending The Harrovian to Brisbane when he returns next campaign.

“If he wins this race, he’ll get even more weight and will probably have to go to Brisbane to continue racing,” he said.

“He’ll have a good spell until after Christmas and then I’ll probably take him to Brisbane next year and may have to leave him with someone.”

The Harrovian is part-owned by Cairns Jockey Club president Tom Hedley who also owns former north Queensland sprinter Tyzone who ran second in the Group 1 Stradbroke at Eagle Farm in June.

“This is huge money for us. Tom ran second in the Stradbroke with Tyzone and won $270,000 in prizemoney and we’ll win more if The Harrovian can win this race,” Massingham said.

Racing Queensland webnews   September 11