Warrior looking fit for battle
TABLELAND mare Real Warrior is primed to put in a performance worthy of her name in The Coffee Club Bracelet Fillies & Mares Class 6 Handicap ( 1300m) at today’s Ladies Day meeting at Cluden Park.
The five- year- old will have well- known Townsville jockey Peter Cullen in the saddle.
The combination has yielded two victories and a pair of second placings from four Cluden meets since the five- yearold mare returned from a fivemonth spell in February.
Tolga- based trainer Janel Ryan has full faith in Real Warrior to again deliver at Cluden, believing the $ 3 favourite “is just right”.
“She’s got good form, and she runs an honest race,” Ryan said. “We’ve been settling in for this one and I think it’s been just about perfect to be honest. We brought her up here from New South Wales and gave her a spell, and we didn’t want to go too early.”
Starting this campaign with a win in February’s XXXX Gold BenchMark Handicap ( 1000m) by almost two lengths, Real Warrior was runner- up a month later in her next Cluden start. In April she took out the Townsville Turf Club Class 3 Plate ( 1200m) by three and half lengths and at her most recent start finished second to Meteor Storm in last month’s Mater Health Servi- ces Class 3 Plate ( 1000m). Real Warrior’s surge of Townsville form has seen her record improve to three wins, three seconds and three thirds in 25 career starts, pocketing just under $ 60,000 in prizemoney.
Drawing barrier 11 in a 15strong field, Ryan could also be forgiven for believing she had received a promising omen after Real Warrior won his last race from the same draw.
“We’re confident in her, and Peter ( Cullen) is very thrilled with how she’s progressing,” Ryan said.
“We just want keep chasing the big prizemoney, and I think we’ve done just about all we can to give her the best chance.”
Three- year- old filly Starante, trained by James McConachy, looks to be Real Warrior’s toughest rival after winning over 1200m in Rockhampton last week. Starante had a successful two- year- old season, winning four races but before breaking through last weekend had struggled to make an impression in her second season.
The $ 4 chance looks wellsuited to give plenty of cheek.
The John Manzelmanntrained Rockette Rocket ($ 11) also comes into consideration as an outside chance.
The equal topweight will appreciate the 3kg claim of apprentice jockey Amanda Thomson.