Retired Essendon stars Tom Bellchambers and Jobe Watson, and current Bomber Cale Hooker, are starting to reap the rewards of persistence with racehorse ownership.
The TCJ syndicate, managed by Bellchambers, caught the bug with slow horses, but the relationship with Michael Kent Jr, through father Mick Kent Sr, led to them landing a share in Annavisto.
Listed winner Annavisto made it back-to-back triumphs on Saturday, cruising to victory at Caulfield.
“She’s won a couple of races and looks in pretty good form, so it’s good fun,” Bellchambers said.
“We’ve been involved in a couple horses before with Mick Kent Sr and had the relationship with (Kent) Jr as well, so he’s tipped us into a good horse here, it looks like.”
The Reliable Man filly, bred to handle all conditions and get over ground, is the only horse TCJ owns currently.
But Bellchambers stopped short of declaring a buying spree on the back of early success.
“Potentially, it‘s a hard game horse racing, obviously,” Bellchambers said.
“Mick Price and Mick Kent Jr are really good trainers, in really good form, (we) got a lot of faith in them.”
Jobe Watson, Cale Hooker and Tom Bellchambers were all smiles after Annavisto’s win at Caulfield. Picture: Getty ImageSource:Getty Images
Price too was thrilled with the performance, but the astute horseman will wait to see how the filly pulls up before guaranteeing plans to head to Adelaide for the Listed Nitschke Stakes on April 24.
“If there’s enough horse there then we can go to Adelaide … that’ll do her, I’d say,” Price said.
“We never intended to go too deep into her prep and she can have a nice spell.
“The older she gets the better she’ll get.”
Price praised jockey Mark Zahra’s sense to avoid an early speed duel.
“It was a typical M Zahra ‘use your judgment’ ride,” Price said.
“He got it right because we went out there with the specific intention to lead but he made his own proper jockey decisions.”
Price deadpanned brilliantly when asked post-race about training for high-profile footballers.
“It’s about the same as everyone else,” the straight-shooting Price quipped.
It is the second time in three weeks the Price-Kent Jr team has delivered for an AFL contact.
Former Western Bulldogs Tory Dickson enjoyed a $160,000 windfall – after deductions – when Price-Kent Jr runner Fighting Harada’s Bendigo win anchored a seven-leg multi.
Sky’s the limit for Liqueuro
Compliments in the Alderson household would not get much better than a comparison to Sky Heights.
But Cranbourne trainer Cindy Alderson went there, albeit tempered, after stable star Liqueuro won the Listed Galilee Series Final (2400m) at Caulfield with authority.
Sky Heights amassed more than $4 million prizemoney for Alderson‘s father, legendary trainer Colin, winning 11 races from four at Group 1 level, including the 1999 Caulfield Cup.
While Alderson chose her words carefully, Liqueuro’s win, the Fiorente gelding’s fourth in five starts has allowed astute horsewoman to ponder what might be in the future.
“It is really exciting and I still think the best is yet to come,” Alderson said.
“He reminds me very much of Sky Heights in his early three-year-old year.
“I’m not saying he’s Sky Heights but he’s that frame and when Sky Heights filled out he was a really strong stayer.”
The South Australian Derby is an option for Galilee Series Final winner Liqueuro. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Firm favourite Liqueuro was crunched late into $1.70 after last-start runner-up Explosive Jack went to Sydney and won the Group 1 AJC Derby.
Alderson, who originally planned on targeting the St Leger at Flemington with Liqueuro, will consider a tilt at the Group 1 South Australian Derby.
“That’s obviously got to be thought about,” Alderson said.
“I don’t know how many runs he’s got left in him because he’s quite a lightly framed horse and it‘s his first preparation so will just have to have a think about that.
“Winners keep winning and he seems to be doing that. He’s making his own luck and he’s got a great set of lungs on him so he keeps on going.”
Melbourne Cup winner Jye McNeil, who has ridden Liqueuro the past two starts, endorsed the gelding’s staying potential.
“It wasn‘t the plan to go forward and lead today,” McNeil said.
“I had to go to (plan) B and C a little bit but thankfully he was able to overcome that and to me that’s the sign of a good horse.”
Horse Racing: Cascadian wins the Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on Day 1 of the Championships with Nature Strip also taking out the TJ Smith Stakes….
Horse Racing: Cascadian wins the Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on Day 1 of the Championships with Nature Strip also taking out the TJ Smith Stakes.
Originally published asExplosive Anna rewarding Bombers trio
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