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Fly For Yulong soars into Coral Coast Final

Image credit: Caught in the Act Photography CQ

By Tony McMahon

It well may be a long way to Tipperary, but it’s only a wee bit further than from County Galway in Ireland to Rockhampton, Queensland.

It seems the 16,291km journey hasn’t bothered Rockhampton trainer Jared Wehlow’s Irish import Fly For Yulong, which now has another trip booked for Townsville on November 28.

At Mackay last Saturday, Fly For Yulong ensured his trip north with a brilliant albeit unorthodox win in the $35,000 Coral Coast Shield Qualifier over 1560 metres.

Ridden by Clermont apprentice jockey Emma Bell, Fly For Yulong led by more than 10 lengths at one stage before cantering home a near dour-length win from talented miler Shiranda.

Jared Wehlow, who part-owns Fly For Yulong with Stanwell’s Mark Withers and his daughter Lydia, explained that Emma Bell had a very difficult ride on the horse.

“Emma said the flaps of her saddle kept moving back on her and each time she tried to settle him; he just raced more fiercely and wanted to go harder, it was a bit trying to watch,” the trainer said.

Stewards reported that the saddle actually further shifted nearing the winning post and Bell had difficulty and needed the assistance of the Clerk of the Course to pull her mount up after the race.

“It is great to think that Mark Withers may have a pretty good horse on his hands,” Wehlow said.

“Many, many years ago Mark was the first owner to give me a horse to train – from memory her name was Banker’s Joy.”

The Withers and Jared Wehlow purchased the flash grey seven-year-old from an online auction some months back for $15,000.

To say Fly for Ulong is a journeyman horse would be an understatement.

The grey won at his third race start over 1408 metres on August 1, 2017 at Galway, Ireland and two starts later at Dundalk over 1609 metres - but failed there again in April 2018.

Some 18 months, later Fly For Yulong appeared at Geelong, Victoria where he failed first-up under the David Hayes training partnership.

However, on Melbourne Cup Day 2019 at his second Australian start, he showed his ability with a third of 14 in the All Greys BM 90 at Flemington.

Disappointing at his next three starts, Fly For Yulong’s appeared listed on an online auction site and has now had four starts for Wehlow with his wins preceded by Sunshine Coast and Doomben unplaced efforts.

“I think I have ironed him out and he is certainly going well at present, he is obviously a talent and looks well placed up this way,” Wehlow said.

“I made some inquiries when we got him and apparently he had some feet issues but they have been pretty good for us.”

Fly For Yulong (IRE) Next Racing

The 2020 Racing Queensland Coral Coast Shield Series has been an innovative and well accepted concept through its initiation this year.

Heats have been run at Rockhampton, Cairns, Mackay with the Townsville qualifiers scheduled for this coming Friday, November 15.

The concept categorises races for sprinters, stayers, and Fillies and Mares.

The $50,000 Finals for those categories will be part of a glamour TAB racing card at Townsville on Saturday, November 28.

Based on a points placing formula, the four provincial race clubs participating have nominated a charity with the winning club’s charity receiving $10,000.

Click here to read more about the Coral Coast Shield.