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Harrovian Team Aims Up for Cluden, but Straddie Beckons
It’ll be all hands on deck for in-form Cairns trainer Stephen Massingham at Cluden Park tomorrow with five strong chances.
But hardly a mouse will be stirring at his home base next week when the stable team descends on Brisbane to cheer on their cult horse The Harrovian in the $1.5 million Stradbroke Hcp (1400m).
While The Harrovian races in the Tom Hedley colours and is more closely associated with the leviathan owner, there’s a band of loyal Massingham family and supporters who also share in the ownership.
“People who have been involved with our stables for years are in the ownership of The Harrovian so you can understand how excited we all are,” Massingham said.
“It’s created a headache for me actually. I have three or four that could go around at Cluden on Stradbroke Day but most of us will be in Brisbane and the horses will probably stay home.
“You only get one crack at a Stradbroke and he’s in it with a big chance.
“The horse is having his last piece of work on Saturday, probably between races at the Gold Coast, and I’m thinking of making a quick trip down to watch it.”
Along with Tom Hedley and Jeannine Cooke, Massingham, his partner Tina Clark, brothers Warren and Col, niece Danielle, and mates Trevor Braund, and Ian Johnson are all having the ride of their life in the ownership of The Harrovian.
The now rising eight-year-old has won 14 races for them including the Townsville, Cairns and Cairns Amateur Cups triple crown, two listed races in Brisbane and ran a fighting fifth in the All Star Mile in Melbourne and third in the G1 Doomban 10,000.
Massingham trained The Harrovian in 12 of his wins before the gelding was transferred to Toby and Trent Edmonds at the Gold Coast.
As the Stradbroke excitement builds for the team, Massingham said the stable team was doing their best to stay focused on the task at hand tomorrow.
Massingham, who like Roy Chillemi, trains almost exclusively for the Hedley syndicate, is fresh from his first winning treble at Cluden last week.
He will saddle up five runners today – Deluze Rocker in the Class 6 Plate, Dunatun in the Open Hcp (1400m), Nebaraz in the Class 1 Hcp (1000m), and Aroha Te Mana and Viscosity in the Jim Farrell Memorial (1200m).
“Everything broke right last week and we landed our first winning treble at Cluden. I think we’ve got some good chances again tomorrow,” Massingham said.
“Deluxe Rocker is in a winnable race and drawn well, and so is Dunatun who has been a bit one paced and should be suited by the 1400m.
“I think Nebaraz was good first up and should prove handy and the last two – Aroha Te Mana has both got the form to be in the finish and Viscosity is a new one with good form over longer down south.”
Massingham has engaged in-form jockey Chris Whitely to ride Deluze Rocker, Dunatun and Viscosity while apprentice Marnu Potgieter will claim on topweights Nebaraz and Aroha Te Mana.
Meanwhile, the Townsville racing community will recognise the late Jim Farrell tomorrow with the naming of the last race after him.
Farrell, a former trainer, was a popular, larger than life character who was well known in the racing industry throughout the north.
See the racing calendar for upcoming race days.