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Beau Strikes a Blow for the Battlers
The Orange army of the Roy Chillemi stable was dominant with a Cluden treble on Saturday, but the win of honest galloper Strike A Beau in the last was a story for the battlers.
Strike a Beau ended a frustrating quest for his first TAB victory at Cluden with a heart-stopping win for trainer Bonnie Thomson and jockey Stephen Wilson in the closest of three-way finishes.
The win landed Wilson with a welcome double and provided jockey-trainer Thomson a timely tonic in her long haul back from injury caused in a fall last year.
“It was great to win for Bonnie. She’s stuck solid with me over the past 12 to 18 months and it was good to get back on Strike A Beau.
“He’s an honest horse who always runs well but he just hasn’t had a lot of luck.
“Even the last time I rode him here he almost got put through the fence - he should have won that day.
“You’d like a stable of horses like him - he’s so honest.”
Strike A Beau, the $3 favourite, showed his customary fight and strained every sinew to land the Happy Birthday Andrew Peel Class 6 Plate (1400m) in the finish of the day.
He scored by a short head from Arise My Son with Townsville Cup placegetter Play Me Now resuming with an eye-catching third a short half-head away.
The win gave Wilson his second for the day after a front running win on Boomed for his boss Roy Chillemi in the QTOA QTIS 3yo Hcp (1200m).
Chillemi sealed a winning treble with Love Is Blind, ridden perfectly by apprentice Rachel Shred in the Roses Are Red Open Hcp (1200m) and Smarty Lee with Frank Edwards in the saddle in the C.U.B. 0-58 Hcp (1200m).
The number 1 rider for the Chillemi stable, Wilson said the team would soon be back to full strength with a number of top carnival contenders back in work.
“It was a good day at the office for us. We’re obviously all happy when the stable is firing and you know there’ll be plenty more winners with all of the better horses coming out of the paddock,” Wilson said.
“They’ll all be getting ready for carnival and we’ll have a big team to attack with.”
Wilson said he was especially looking forward to the return of highly regarded two-year-old Missile Thunder who won the Pallarenda Stakes for colts and geldings by four lengths at his only start in October.
“He’s a very exciting horse and if we can keep him in one piece I think we’ll have a lot of fun with him,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s double on Saturday took his Cluden tally to nine winners in the jockeys premiership.
Brisbane-based hoop Nathan Day landed a winning double of his own on Danger One in the Maiden Hcp (1000m) and Triptonic in the Hygain 0-58 Hcp (1300m).
Day is now sharing the lead in the premiership race with Lacey Morrison on 16 wins, with Graham Kliese on 12.
Triptonic, trained by Jared Wehlow, was one of five heavily backed favourites to win on the seven race card.
Pictured: Beau is best. Jockey Stephen Wilson with a beaming Bonnie Thomson after Strike A Beau’s brave win in the last race at Cluden on Saturday.
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