Trainer’s sink­ing feel­ing Wet track hits triple as­sault on big race

Townsville Bulletin - - Racing - by Andrew Aloia andrew. aloia@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

THE big wet has put a damp­ener on Townsville trainer Bub Baker’s ex­pec­ta­tions head­ing into to­day’s $ 150,000 Of­fice Choice Pen to Pa­per QTIS 600 Two-Year-Old Plate ( 1200m) at Clu­den Park.

Baker just had to look at the grey clouds hang­ing heav­ily over Clu­den Park late yes­ter­day to con­cede Mother Na­ture might have his trio of run­ners beaten to­day.

The big rep­u­ta­tion of Pal­larenda Stakes win­ner He’s So Tempt­ing, im­pres­sive blood­lines of What a Dragon and strong bar­rier draw for Apache Crazy Horse in gate two aren’t about to con­vince Baker other­wise.

‘‘ If it was dry, then I reckon I would be in there with a real chance,’’ he said.

‘‘ If it’s wet I’m no chance at all, it’s a sim­ple fact.

‘‘ Nei­ther one of the three will want to go in it at all.’’ It’s when the go­ing has been good that He’s So Tempt­ing has shone, win­ning on de­but and fol­low­ing up with a sec­ond plac­ing in Ather­ton last year.

If it was a num­bers game, Baker puts it plainly: ‘‘ Any­thing af­ter ( a dead) four and he’s in trou­ble’’.

Hav­ing worked on the Clu­den Park track for years, Baker holds a good in­sight into the con­di­tions.

While brief show­ers con­tin­ued through the af­ter­noon he held hope of the meet­ing go­ing ahead. Any­thing re­sem­bling a down­pour, how­ever, and he feared an­other costly de­lay.

But even Baker is one of the for­tu­nate ones, re­sid­ing just across the road from the track in Wul­guru.

Those from the Far North, how­ever, might not even make it in sight of the city lim­its with the Bruce High­way cut by flood­wa­ters.

Townsville Turf Club chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Charge said al­most 35 per­cent of run­ners en­tered for the meet­ing could be stranded, crip­pling the sec­ond rich­est race day in the North.

‘‘ The main race is ac­tu­ally the one least af­fected,’’ Charge said.

‘‘ We are just hop­ing we see those guys from up north get through for it.’’

Cairns trainer Fred Wieland didn’t like his chances yes­ter­day as he fol­lowed weather con­di­tions and re­ports to the south.

Wieland said he would wait un­til the early hours of to­day to de­cide if he would at­tempt the drive and give highly fan­cied prospect Miss Hon­ahlee a crack at the hefty purse.

‘‘ We’ll just have to wait and see what’s go­ing on, make a few phone calls first thing in the morn­ing,’’ Wieland said.

Wieland hadn’t given up hope of claim­ing the vic­tory af­ter the race was post­poned from Tues­day, get­ting Miss Hon­ahlee back to work as nor­mal.

Con­ver­s­ley, the six-strong Craiglea Stud team from down south has es­caped the worst and are ex­pected to come through from Bowen to­day with­out trou­ble.

If so, Baker be­lieves the race will be run on Craiglea Romeo’s terms, de­spite the Sun­shine Coast colt com­ing off a heavy travel sched­ule and hor­ror draw of bar­rier 19.

HOPE FLOATS: Bub Baker with He’s So Tempt­ing yes­ter­day

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