By Glenn Davis
Trainer Roy Chillemi won’t have a Townsville Cup runner this year but he still hopes to be a major player over the two-day carnival, which starts at Cluden Park on Friday.
The old master from Tolga on the Atherton Tablelands will have three starters on Friday’s opening day with another seven entered for Saturday, including runners in the Townsville Guineas and Cleveland Bay Handicap.
Chillemi has won a host of North Queensland feature races, including the Cleveland Bay and Newmarket Handicaps but is yet to win the Townsville Cup.
“I’ve won the Cairns and Cairns Amateur Cups a few times but I’m yet to win a Townsville Cup and I won’t have a runner this year,” Chillemi said.
The 72-year-old knows how to train a winner after claiming 16 Townsville trainers’ premiership during a star-studded career.
Chillemi is hopeful Bet On Love can give him a win in the first of the Townsville features in Friday’s Lightning Handicap over 1000 metres.
The daughter of Love Conquers All is raced in a syndicate headed by North Queensland’s biggest owner, Tom Hedley.
The five-year-old mare has two wins and four placings from her past six starts in a remarkable campaign, which began in February.