RAMORNIE ON RADAR

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - BEN DORRIES

TIM Bell knows the Grafton track like the back of his hand and reck­ons he can win his first Ramornie Hand­i­cap with sprint mare Bound For Earth to­mor­row.

Bell fondly re­mem­bers be­ing ap­pren­ticed to Tam­worth trainer Sue Grills and trav­el­ling to Grafton Car­ni­vals in his early days in the sad­dle.

Back- to- back Bris­bane rid­ing pre­mier­ships are now out of reach for Bell ( pic­tured), who has 51 wins and sits well adrift of frontrunner Jim Byrne who has 66 wins.

Bell is de­ter­mined to have a strong fin­ish to the sea­son and wants to leave his im­print on the Grafton car­ni­val.

“It has al­ways been a big car­ni­val for my old boss Sue Grills, and when I was with her, we al­ways took a big team of horses to Grafton,’’ Bell said.

“I know the track very well as I did a lot of rid­ing there as a NSW coun­try ap­pren­tice. But I have never won a Ramornie and I think Bound For Earth can be the horse who ticks that box.

“I’ve al­ways seem to have been sus­pended at Ramornie time so it will be nice to go down to Grafton with a good chance in the race.’’

Gold Coast trainer Toby Ed­monds puts the pol­ish on Bound For Earth and the mare is com­ing off a nice fourth in the Group 1 Tatts Tiara be­hind su­per sprinter Srikandi.

It will be a com­pet­i­tive Ramornie as usual but Bells be­lieves Bound For Earth has her hoof on the till.

“There wasn’t much speed in the Tatts Tiara once Srikandi found the front but my mare trav­elled quite well in the race and wasn’t beaten far at all,’’ Bell said.

“The Grafton track should suit Bound For Earth and I think there isn’t as much depth in the Ramornie as there was in the Tiara.’’

Bell has all but con­ceded the Bris­bane rid­ing premier­ship to Byrne but says he is proud of his achieve­ment to be run­ning sec­ond this sea­son af­ter he won the ti­tle last sea­son.

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