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Applewaite looks for back-to-back Gypsy Biker wins

Image credit: Caught in the Act Photography CQ

By Glenn Davis

There won’t be any time to celebrate for trainer Leanne Applewaite if Gypsy Biker makes it back-to-back wins at Rockhampton on Friday.

Applewaite is a night fill manager for a north Rockhampton Woolworths store and mixes work with training three horses at Callaghan Park.

Applewaite - a daughter of retired premier trainer Dave Balham – has entered Gypsy Biker for the Open Handicap over 1400 metres.

Gypsy Biker is coming back in distance after winning over 1600 metres when the gelding downed the Fred Smith-trained Tycoon Flyer at Rockhampton on February 13.

Applewaite finishes her work duties with Woolworths at 2.00am each weekday and instead of heading home to bed, she goes straight to the stables to work her small team.

“I finish work around two each morning and go straight to the stable,” she said.

“Trackwork and work around the stable is all done by 4.30am then I got home to sleep until 11 when I get ready to go back to work at the store.”

Applewaite admitted she was a little surprised with Gypsy Biker’s recent win.

“He’s going okay but from a punter’s point of view you either stick with him or wipe him,” she said.

“He’s dropping back to 1400 metres after he won over 1600 metres last time.

“I was a little concerned about him getting 1600 metres but he ran on well.”

Applewaite originally feared Absolut Artie as the hardest to beat but the gelding was not an acceptor.

Absolut Artie was given his opportunity in Brisbane last start beating only two home when eighth to Express Princess in a no-metropolitan race over 1350 metres at Doomben last month.

“Absolut Artie was a late nomination but he hasn’t accepted,” Applewaite said.

Topweight Mr Phenomenal looks to be one of Applewaite’s biggest threats after drawing barrier one while Gypsy Biker will jump from the outside gate seven.

Mr Phenomenal has won two of his five starts this campaign including a last start win for claiming apprentice Elyse Smith over 1500 metres at Rockhampton on February 15.

Trainer Darryl Gardiner has decided not to claim and has booked Ash Butler which gives Gypsy Biker a five-kilogram advantage.