Cheers for Cheeky Red Rocky run to vic­tory for geld­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLATTER trent. slatter@ news. com. au

ROCK­HAMP­TON geld­ing Cheeky Red pro­duced a huge fin­ish to cut down favourite Bold Shot in yes­ter­day’s Townsville Guineas Three­Year- Old Hand­i­cap ( 1609m) at Clu­den Park.

Rock­hamp­ton train­ers have had a sen­sa­tional strike rate dur­ing the Townsville Winter Car­ni­val, but the Ricky Vale- trained Cheeky Red didn’t have an easy run af­ter jump­ing from bar­rier 14.

Jockey Scott Shear­gold had to push the horse to the extreme out­side at the turn to find a run, but Cheeky Red showed ex­plo­sive speed to hit the front over the fi­nal strides and win by a length.

The well- backed Bold Shot ($ 3.20 favourite) held on for sec­ond for Sun­shine Coast trainer Gar­nett Tay­lor, with the Leigh Wan­less- trained Mista Busy ($ 4.80) third.

Cheeky Red ($ 26) saluted at big odds on an other­wise good day for the pun­ters, but Vale said he was al­ways confi- dent his star three- year- old was a win­ning chance.

The Capri­cor­nia Year­ling Sale grad­u­ate was hav­ing just his sec­ond start over the mile, but Vale said Cheeky Red’s pre­vi­ous runs showed that he could han­dle the trip.

“We couldn’t be­lieve the price to be hon­est,” Vale said.

“He won over 1300m firstup in the big Sales race in Rocky. He did go off a lit­tle bit af­ter that – the 1300m prob­a­bly flat­tened him – but we’ve al­ways thought he was go­ing to be a miler. His last start was a beau­ti­ful run. It was just a warm up for here, back over 1200m and car­ry­ing 62.5kg, and we mainly did that so he’d have a big 8kg weight drop.

“He was back last at the turn over the 1200m and flew home in his last start so we knew he’d have a huge run ( in the Townsville Guineas).

“He trav­els all right, but we didn’t want to bring him up in the hot­ter months. He was al­ways com­ing up for this race no mat­ter what.”

Cheeky Red’s vic­tory in the Townsville fea­ture race capped a promis­ing cam­paign, with two wins from seven starts.

The Townsville Winter Car­ni­val wraps up at Clu­den Park to­mor­row with the pres­ti­gious Townsville Cup and Cleve­land Bay Hand­i­cap.

POW­ER­ING HOME: Scott Shear­gold rides Cheeky Red to vic­tory in the Townsville Guineas. Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

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