Cheers for Cheeky Red Rocky run to victory for gelding
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.