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Vale chasing biggest payday in Northern Crown series

By Glenn Davis

Bonuses worth $350,000 will be up for grabs when Rockhampton sprinter Mr Attitude and local star The Harrovian bid for victory in the final rounds of the TAB Northern Crown Series races for sprinters and stayers at Cannon Park in Cairns on Saturday.

The Ricky Vale-trained Mr Attitude is chasing a $150,000 prizemoney bonus in the Cairns’ Amateurs Open Sprint (1400m) while The Harrovian can claim $200,000 in bonus payments if successful in the Cairns Amateur Cup (2100m).

Mr Attitude is eligible to claim the additional prizemoney after taking out the Mackay Newmarket and Townsville’s Cleveland Bay Sprint last month while The Harrovian won the Townsville and Cairns Cups.

The two bonuses are available to any horse who wins three of the five nominated features across the Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival including the Cairns Amateur features.

Mr Attitude’s trainer Ricky Vale is hopeful Mr Attitude can redeem himself after missing out on a $100,000 bonus in the series when he failed to clinch his third win of the series in the Cairns Newmarket on August 3.

The six-year-old failed to back-up a week after claiming the Cleveland Bay when he finished 10th on a heavy track behind the Trinity Bannon-trained Scherzoso.

Since then Mr Attitude carried a massive 64kgs and beat only two home when seventh to Casino Thoughts over 1050 metres at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park on August 29.

Despite the two defeats, Vale is not overly concerned but admits to having some nerves ahead of facing the biggest pay-day of his career.

“There’s always a little bit of nerves when you race for a big bonus like this,” Vale said.

“All the hard work has been done and we’re just hoping he’s got one more run in him before he goes for a spell. “

Vale was not overly disappointed with Mr Attitude’s two defeats since claiming the Cleveland Bay Handicap.

“The plan was to ride him cold when he had 64kgs at Rocky last start, a bit like he was ridden in the Cleveland Bay,” he said.

“But he jumped too well and got posted three deep.

“The good thing was he didn’t throw in the towel.”

Vale said Mr Attitude has been in work since June last year but he was showing no signs of training off.

“In that time, he’s had three breaks of one week each,” he said.

“He’s working as good as ever and I’m hoping we don’t get any rain as that was the killer in the Cairns Newmarket.”

Racing Queensland webnews   September 13