Feature racing in far north Queensland continued last Saturday with the running of the Tablelands Fertilizers Mareeba Cup.
The five event card was conducted on a rating 3 good track.
RACE 1, P.I.M.S. QTIS MAIDEN PLATE, 1123 metres.
Frank Edwards jumped Not a Tully straight to the front and rode a perfectly judged race to lead all the way. The galloper is trained by Melanie Chillemi who is the daughter of multiple premiership winning trainer Roy Chillemi. This was Melanie’s fourth winner since obtaining her training license twelve months ago.
RACE 2, GRAHAM HOTEL BRACELET CLASS 3 HDCP., 1210 metres.
Bolt from the Blue, trained by Bruce Hunter and ridden by Nor Bin Yadi stormed down the centre of the track to score an impressive win. The former Toowoomba galloper has now amassed in excess of $50,000 prizemoney since being purchased by Hunter twelve months ago.
RACE 3, WAREHOUSE DESIGN AND PACKAGING CLASS B, 1010 metres.
Dart Head saluted, ridden by a legend of the far North, Ron Ryan, who piloted the Ad Valorem gelding to victory for his wife and trainer Janel Ryan. Dart Head was the $3 favourite and jumped from barrier one.
RACE 4, SAMSONS FRUIT AND VEGES OPEN HDCP., 1123 metres.
The Ron and Janel Ryan combination scored again, this time with Ready to Rise. Doubles were the order of the day as the More Than Ready gelding also provided a double for Atherton hydroponic farmer John Micallef who is part owner of Ready to Rise with Janel Ryan.
This win was Janel’s fourth in seven days, having been successful in the previous race and with Cheval Argente and Darvelon at the Cairns Amateurs a week earlier.
RACE 5, TABLELAND FERTILIZERS CRT MAREEBA CUP CLASS 6 PLATE, 1500 metres.
The Roy Chillemi trained Major Rocketman (pictured) produced a brilliant finishing burst to win by a length and a half. Rothschild finished second with a further half length to Grand Silence third. Tolga based Chillemi has been on a roll lately, with wins in the Mount Garnet Cup, Oak Park Cup, Cairns Amateurs Cup and the Mareeba Cup.
Major Rocketman began tardily from the barriers. However, Wanderson D’Villa drove the Flying Spur gelding up to fourth position on the rails before exploding to the lead at about the 250 metres mark.
‘’Had the horse not drawn well, that tardy start may have been curtains,’’ Chillemi said. ‘’However, once he got into a good position, he travelled kindly and produced a very good finishing run.’’
Chillemi is the first to admit that the past twelve months have been pretty tough.
‘’I just didn’t have the horses but things have been pretty good lately,’’ Chillemi said with a smile.
Racing in the far north moves to the picturesque Morrow Park racecourse at Tolga this Saturday for the running of the Barron Valley Hotel – XXXX Castlemaine Atherton Cup.
There are 12 nominations for the 2000 metres event which carries impressive prizemoney of $16,000. Roy Chillemi has Major Rocketman and Common Objective in the race.
Story by Bill Hourigan, photo courtesy Mike Mills.