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Essery sets her sights on rich Rocky Cup Carnival

By Brennan Ryan

Stratford, winner of the Racing Queensland Country Cup Final in February, brought up his second sprint feature win for the year when successful in Tuesday night’s TAB Young Guns Final at Townsville over 498 metres.

Sent out as the $1.70 favourite from box eight for trainer Rhonda Essery, Stratford began best in charging across the field, to set bold a winning lead on the field with 300 metres left going down the back straight.

At the top of the home stretch, it was a matter of times and margins as the brindle sprinter raced away scoring by more than eight lengths, with Miss Verify and Mr. Mendoza flying home late to fill the minors.

The son of Fernando Bale and Jingjing notched up his seventh career win from 38 race appearances.

“Steve and I thought a wide draw would be ideal for Stratford in the Final; when he came up with the eight alley it bettered our chances and the seven (Miss verify) gave us the dream run,” Essery said.



Townsville | Townsville Greyhound Racing Club | 9:11 PM

TAB Townsville Young Guns F

The Burdell trainer says the recent trip down south has helped matured Stratford.

“Stratford has really hit that full fitness peak, campaigning for the Country Cup series and the travel down to Brisbane has certainly made him mature up - showing he is full of confidence,” Essery said.

“It ticks a lot of boxes for Steve and I to now pinpoint the Young Guns series at Rocky as his next run.

“The 500-metre trip is Stratford’s go; I most definitely will be sending a few runners down for the heats.”

The Group 3 Rockhampton Cup will also be on the cards depending how Stratford handles the track.

Heats for the Rockhampton Young Guns (510 metres) will be staged next Wednesday night.