Fastnet set for a flyer
C E N T R A L Q u e e n s l a n d trainer Glenda Bell has described Fastnet Flyer as a “totally different horse” this year as he chases Townsville Cup redemption at Cluden Park today.
Bell will saddle up Fastnet Flyer for his second tilt in the $ 100,000 Mater Townsville Cup ( 2000m) after he came home a disappointing 13th in last year’s race, which was won by Kelly Schweida galloper Outraged.
Fastnet Flyer had sensational lead- up form, with six wins from eight starts under Bell, but she admitted that the horse had probably had enough by the time the Townsville Winter Carnival feature race rolled around.
Bell was confident her star six- year- old still had more to give this year after taking out the Mackay Cup over 1800m on July 1, beating home Townsville Cup favourite Chivadahlii by a half- length.
Fastnet Flyer also ran third over the mile at Cluden Park last weekend and Bell said the horse looked every bit a winning chance with jockey Les Tilley on board.
“He’s still fresh going into the race, he’s totally different this year,” Bell said.
“Last year he was on the downhill run and he’d had enough, but this year he’s still on the up.
“The Mackay Cup’s probably not a good lead- up, it’s always a lot weaker race ( compared to Townsville), but we’re definitely going to be up there.
“He’s just an old general of a horse, whoever beats us will be the winner.”
Fastnet Flyer ($ 7) was second in the line of betting with UBET yesterday, behind favourite Chivadahlii ($ 4.80), but Bell believed that Brisbane galloper Flying Light ($ 8) was the horse to beat.
Flying Light for Eagle Farm trainer Barry Baldwin has a strong record over the trip with three wins from seven starts, but he has a horror barrier draw in No. 19.
Leading Rockhampton jockey Adrian Coome takes the ride on Flying Light who also has to carry the top weight of 60kg, but Baldwin said he was most concerned about the wide alley.
“He’s got a little bit of class, especially over the distance, and I do believe that he’s carrying 60kg because of that,” Baldwin said.
“He’s naturally earned his 60kg, but I don’t know if he’s earned the 19 barrier which is the biggest obstacle.”
Flying Light is owned by well- known Townsville racing identity Tom Sheahan, who has teamed up with Baldwin to realise his dream of winning his home town feature race.
Baldwin admitted Flying Light’s Townsville Cup preparation had been a bit of a rush, but he was excited to try and deliver Sheahan a longawaited victory.
“We had to get him up pretty quickly to get him ready. It’s the owner’s dream to win the Townsville Cup and it’s all he wants to do so we’ve got him to the races,” Baldwin said.