Dream return beckons
FORMER Townsville trainer Steven O’Dea is hoping for a perfect homecoming today when he saddles up Dream Kisses in the Townsville RSL Two- Year- Old Classic ( 1200m) at Cluden Park.
North Queensland’s richest two- year- old race marks the start of the Townsville Winter Carnival and the now Brisbane- based O’Dea has brought his star filly to chase a sentimental victory.
Dream Kisses is the foal of Kiss Me Katy, who was O’Dea’s first major winner as a trainer before he made the move to Eagle Farm.
Kiss Me Katy won the Pallarenda Stakes in Townsville at her first start in 2008 and went on to win three more races in Brisbane that season, including the Listed Sir Douglas Wadley 2YO Fillies Plate.
O’Dea said it would be a proud moment if Kiss Me Katy’s daughter could deliver his first win in a Townsville Winter Carnival feature race.
“It would definitely be very satisfying,” O’Dea said.
“This filly’s mother is Kiss Me Katy who was my first win- ner in Brisbane. She won the Pallarenda Stakes up here at her first start then we took her to Brisbane.
“She won a listed race over the Carnival in the first year I was in Brisbane. It would be very satisfying to come back here with one of her foals and win a feature race.”
Dream Kisses has a tough draw at Cluden Park today in barrier 14, but she has some strong Brisbane form behind her, placing in five of her eight careers starts for two wins.
The filly has also performed well over the distance after winning her last start at Doomben on June 24 in the Aquis Farm Crystal Slipper 2YO Fillies Plate.
Dream Kisses will be ridden by leading Townsville jockey Graham Kliese in the TwoYear- Old Classic and O’Dea was confident the wide barrier won’t spoil their chances.
“It’s obviously not ideal drawing out that far, but there looks to be good speed in the race,” he said. “A couple of horses that should push forward have drawn out wide as well so hopefully she can get a bit of trail over with them and slot in behind.
“She’s travelled well up here and Kliese knows the track and he’s riding in good form.”
Allround Glory for Mackay trainer Lyle Wright will be one of the big dangers to the favourite given his strong record at Cluden Park, with two wins and a third from three starts, however the top weight will also have to come from the widest gate in barrier 16.
Golden Guardian for Black River trainer Michelle Petrofski looks to be the best of the local hopes, ideally drawn in barrier one and chasing a third- straight win over the distance in Townsville.
Today’s seven- race card also includes the Townsville RSL Garrisons Restaurant Open Handicap ( 1200m) where Tyzone will be chasing a fourth- straight victory for Atherton trainer Roy Chillemi.