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Townsville Cup an option for D'Avila

d19cfe5b-8a15-4fda-8947-aec5d19598bd.jpgBy Glenn Davis

Popular Tolga trainer Sharlee D’Avila hopes to know if she’ll have her first Townsville Cup starter when stable mates Maquereau and Buxton clash in Cairns on Thursday.

The $150,00 Townsville Cup will be run over 2000 metres at Cluden Park on Saturday week.

D’Avila rates the former Ben Ahrens-trained Maquereau as the best horse in her stable of 20 and is confident the six-year-old will be very competitive in the Open Handicap over 1500 metres at Cairns' Cannon Park this week. 

Maquereau will be ridden by stable hoop Lacey Morrison and is coming off a last start seventh-placed finish to 2020 Mackay Cup winner Best Hoffa over 1609 metres at Townsville on July 6.

“He needed the run last start and he got back a bit further than I expected and was caught a little wide,” D’Avila said.

“It was only his third run back from a spell and he’s probably the best horse I have in the stable.

“I’ll see how he goes on Thursday and if he runs well, I might throw in a nomination for the Townsville Cup.

“I’ve won a few Cup races like the Cooktown and Innisfail Cup's, but I’ve never had a runner in the Townsville Cup.

“Even if he doesn’t go to Townsville, I’m looking at the Cairns Cup with him in a few weeks.”

The $150,000 Cairns Cup will be run over 2100 metres at Cannon Park on August 28.

D’Avila isn’t overlooking the prospect of stable mate Buxton, who beat home Maquereau when a close fourth to Best Hoffa before a last start eighth to Live The Moment at Townsville on July 22.

“Buxton didn’t have the turn of foot I expected last run but he doesn’t go as well at Townsville and he’ll be better suited on his home track,” she said.

Sharlee D'Avila Next Racing

D’Avila has eight horses entered for Cairns this Thursday and has only been training for eight years.

She is regarded as one of the rising stars in the Far North Queensland training ranks.

D’Avila originally hails from Macksville in the Mid North Coast of NSW and has an agriculture degree in horse management.

“I got a degree in horse management and breeding when I attended college,” she said.

After growing up in Macksville and earning her college degree, she moved north mustering on cattle stations in the Gulf Of Carpentaria.

“My grandfather was a racehorse trainer in Macksville that’s how I got my love for thoroughbreds,” she said.

“When I moved to Tolga, I got the bug back and started working for Roy Chillemi in the wet season's when I wasn’t mustering.

“It all kicked off from there and I rode a lot of work for trainers like Terry Crossland, Glen Baker, Greg Wehlow and Janel Ryan.

“I learnt a lot from them before I went out on my own.”