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Lady Skills targets Northern Crowns series in Cairns Cup

By Glenn Davis

There’s nothing like success to breed success.

That’s the hope of rookie north Queensland trainer Michael Geaney who saddles up Townsville Cup winner Lady Skills in the Cairns Cup at Cannon Park on Saturday.

Geaney’s Townsville Cup triumph has already seen his small two-horse team bumped up to three with the recent addition of the former Stu Kendrick-trained Goldie Girl.

Geaney hopes another “Country Cups” victory in the Cairns Cup with Lady Skills will put him in with a big chance of claiming the inaugural UBET Northern Crowns bonus series.

A bonus of $150,000 will be awarded to the connections of a horse that wins any three of the five nominated UBET Queensland Northern Crowns staying races across the program.

And if one of the races happens to be the Cairns Amateur Cup on September 8, the bonus grows to $200,000.

“If I can win the Cairns Cup with Lady Skills tomorrow she’ll go for the Four Crowns Bonus next month,” Geaney said.

“I’m confident she’ll run very well again although there’s a lot of chances in a strong field.

“This mare has come on a lot since she won the Townsville Cup and I couldn’t be happier with her.

“I’m probably more confident about winning the Cairns Cup than I was for the Townsville Cup.

“The way she has gone about her work since Townsville has been great.”

Geaney’s main income is working as a refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic but he comes from a strong harness racing background.

The 30-year-old has only been training for six years but has produced consistent performances with a small string of horses.

Lady Skills has been a family affair after Geaney’s mother Debra bought the ex-Victorian mare for $13,000 at an Inglis tried horse auction four months ago.

The daughter of Skilled was formerly trained by Michael Laurie who told Geaney she was capable of winning a midweek city race in Brisbane.

Since taking her over, Lady Skills has won four of her six starts and Geaney is toying with a possible Brisbane trip.

Geaney has named last year’s Townsville Cup winner Chivadahlii as the hardest to beat despite the seven-year-old asked to carry 59.5kgs off a horror barrier 17.

“I’m happy with our draw in 13 as she’ll come in five places if the emergencies don’t secure runs,” Geaney said.

“Chivadahlii ran second to her in the Townsville Cup so he’ll be hard to beat again although they’ll be looking for all the short cuts from the barrier and with his big weight.

“Glenda Bell’s Fastnet Flyer has been racing consistently so he’ll be one of the main dangers as well as Janel Ryan’s (We Just Love It) who will be ridden by Robert Thompson.

“You’ve got to respect anything Robert Thompson comes up here to ride.”

Racing Queensland webnews   August 10