Track specialist draws well for Cleveland Bay Hcp
- Second favourite draws well for the $100k race
- Seven-year-old shooting for eighth track win
Track specialist Windmill Lane has drawn gate four in the feature race to be run on Thursday at Townsville and left trainer Ricky Ludwig with a big chance of taking out his first major event.
The Written Tycoon gelding has made Cluden Park home after winning seven of his ten starts on the Townsville track.
The seven-year-old has opened as second favourite for the $100K race, currently $6.50 with Sportsbet.
He comes into the big handicap winning his past two starts, both of which were on the Townsville track.
In-form rider Amanda Thomson remains aboard where she boasts a solid record with the gelding having ridden him nine times for five wins and two second place finishes.
The speed map has him sitting in pride of place, just behind the early speed, and avoiding any trouble on the turn, he looks a solid chance to give trainer Ricky Ludwig his first major race win.
Ludwig has been left on a high as stablemate Palladian also fared well at the barrier draw, being allocated gate five.
The Northern Meteor gelding also has a liking for the Townsville track, winning two of his three starts there.
The five-year-old, currently $19 with Ladbrokes, is on a five-day back-up and will find the 1300m more to his liking after finishing unplaced in last Saturday’s Lightning Hcp over the 1000m sprint.
Last year’s winner Grey Missile has struck form at just the right time, producing a whirlwind finish to take out the Hygain WFA (1300m) two weeks ago.
Jockey Brad Pengelly has ridden him six rides now and that was his first win on the four-year-old grey.
‘The Missile’ has won five of six at the track and trip which keeps him well in contention for this and sits on the third line of betting at $7.50 with Sportsbet.
Race favourite Ozark has also drawn well, coming up with barrier two and has opened at $3.30 with Neds.
Nicely bred, by Lonhro out of a Canny Lad mare, the gelding comes into the race with just one start after a 35-week absence, which was a comfortable win at Mackay in a Class 6 over 1100m.
Formerly with the James Cummings stable, he is now with Rockhampton trainer Jared Wehlow and will line up in his first 1300m race, having never raced beyond 1200m before.
Victorian jockey Noel Callow will make the trip north to ride the five-year-old, having just returned from suspension.
The local three-year-old sensation Dalon, sits as the third emergency for the event and drew barrier 18 which puts a dampener on his chances, should he gain a start.
The Falvelon gelding is currently a $17 chance with Sportsbet.