Whitsunday horse more than a name
A LEADING sprinter in North Queensland, who has accumulated more than $140,000 in career winnings, brands the region everywhere he goes.
Whitsunday Express is a horse owned by trainer Ben Williams, Tony Soden (Longford Creek) and Whitsunday Produce’s Melda and Bryan James and Joh Schreiber of Bowen.
The seven-year-old gelding was named according to the owners’ location, while ‘ Express’ hails from the horse’s family – an off-spring of Express Train.
The group of owners purchased Whitsunday Express five years ago at the Magic Millions’ March sales as a yearling before breaking him in and unleashing him as a two-year-old.
However Whitsunday Express has proven to be anything but just another name at the race track, boasting 12 career wins including a lucrative $32,000 victory in the two-year-old plate at Cannon Park (Cairns) in October 2009.
“He is as good a horse as you’d wish for in North Queensland,” trainer Williams said.
“He is one of the highest rated sprinters in the region. He is a nice horse and has been a little bit unfortunate. Injuries plagued him heading into the Townsville Carnival this year.”
Whitsunday Express was expected to compete at the Bowen Cup earlier this month; however he was a late scratching due to a pulled muscle.
Despite the sprinter’s age and health concerns, Soden believes Whitsunday Express can power on yet. “He’s ready to comeback,” he said. “He had a little bit of a break with a pulled muscle but he’s ready to go.”
Whitsunday Express’ return will start today in Townsville, when he takes on the 1000m KONAMI Handicap worth $13,000.
Whitsunday Express will be ridden by Graham Kliese from barrier six in a field of seven.
FIRST PAST THE POST: Whitsunday Express claims a race in Townsville in May. Here he is ridden by jockey Graham Kliese. Photo by Mike Mills Photography - Townsville.