By Glenn Davis
Townsville Cup winner The Harrovian will continue his quest for the Northern Crown series for stayers in the $150,000 Cairns Cup at Cannon Park in Cairns on Saturday.
Cairns trainer Stephen Massingham decided to chase the lucrative series prizemoney after The Harrovian’s brilliant win in last Saturday’s Townsville Cup at Cluden Park.
Any horse which wins three of the nominated five TAB Northern Crown stayers’ features wins a $150,000 bonus for connections.
It rises to $200,000 if one of those three races include the Far North Queensland Amateurs Cup (2100m) in Cairns on September 14.
The Harrovian has been penalised 2.5kgs for his Townsville Cup success and will carry 56.5kgs in the Cairns feature.
The six-year-old son of Fastnet Rock has eight wins and four placings from 22 starts with prizemoney of more than $180,000.
He was previously trained in Victoria by Jim Conlan but since entering Massingham’s stables last year the gelding has won five times and finished second twice from his seven starts in far north Queensland.
The Harrovian, who will again be ridden by Cessnock jockey Robert Thompson, is raced by leading North Queensland owner Tom Hedley who is president of the Cairns Jockey Club.
Massingham has trained horses for Hedley for many years and won the 2011 Cairns Cup with Magnum Forty Four and was runner-up in last year’s race with Multifacets who went on to win the Cairns Amateurs Cup.
Massingham also will saddle up the Chris Waller cast-off Vassal, who finished 12th in the Townsville Cup.
“I’m sure The Harrovian will be hard to beat again and he’s the better of my two but I wouldn’t be selling Vassal short,” Massingham said.
“They’re up against the same sort of horses as in the Townsville Cup but they’re coming to play in my backyard this time.”
The Harrovian has been a great money spinner for Hedley who paid a paltry $20,000 for him as a tried horse.
“He’s lucky to be alive as he nearly died from travel sickness on the way up from Melbourne,” Massingham said.
“We sent him to a vet clinic in Brisbane and he stayed there for seven weeks to recover and then he had six weeks off at Kilto Park.
“He had nearly a year off before he had his first start for us.”
Racing Queensland webnews August 9