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Kliese chilled going in to Classic day
Veteran jockey Graham Kliese couldn’t be more relaxed at the prospect of landing his third win in the $100,000 2yo Classic at Cluden Park on Saturday.
He keeps it simple. Races are races, big or small, all to be won.
Saturday will be no different when he legs up on one of the leading chances, the Roy Chillemi-trained Palencia.
A two time winner of the 2yo Classic – in 1998 on Mr Marumo and 2005 on the sensational Sea Zulu back when it was known as the Parry Nissan Great Northern - Kliese is taking Saturday’s assignment in his stride.
“It’s no different to any other day. Whether it’s a race in the Towers or a race like this. I’ve got a passion to win everything,” Kliese said.
“I know it’s part of the game, but I try not to get caught up in any of the hype.
“Palencia is a nice ride. He’s unbeaten and this will be his third run which should have him spot on. But there’s plenty of other good chances in the race.
“Roy’s got a few good back-ups don’t worry. Boomed goes good and Husette is smart and she drops a massive amount in weight which makes her a big hope.
“There’s other strong local hopes and there’s the visitors from Rocky. Fred Smith’s horse (Kashkar) is unbeaten in three starts and the Rocky Classic winner Valley Rattler is in there.”
Palencia caught the eye with a runaway win at Cluden Park on debut over 1200m on May 6 and immediately attracted a substantial offer from Hong Kong.
The son of Palentino then stepped up in class to beat stablemate Boomed in the Classic Prelude over 1200m on May 27.
Along with Boomed and top filly Husette, Chillemi and owner Tom Hedley are set to play a major hand in the Classic, a race they have won a number of times including with last year’s Stradbroke Hcp winner Tyzone in 2016.
Hedley will be in Brisbane on Saturday with fellow owners to cheer on The Harrovian in this year’s edition of the Stradbroke Handicap.
But you can bet he will be tuning in to watch his youngsters chase the money in Saturday’s Classic, a race he loves to win.
Pictured: Graham Kliese lifts Palencia over the line to win last month’s Classic Prelude at Cluden. Photo courtesy of Mike Mills Photography.
See the racing calendar for upcoming race days.