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Jamie Primed for Master Class in Cleveland Bay
Rockhampton trainer Graeme Green has sent an ominous warning that star galloper Master Jamie is back in town even stronger for his title defence in the TAB Cleveland Bay Hcp at Cluden tomorrow.
Green is confident his free-running six-year-old can become the first horse to notch successive wins in the north’s biggest sprint since Sea Zulu in 2006/07.
“He’s bigger, he’s stronger, faster and a lot fitter than how we had him last year,” Green said.
“The horse had a checkered run up to the Cleveland Bay last year after he copped some trouble in the Stradbroke but this year he’s come through unscathed and he’s on top of the world.”
A dominant winner of the Rockhampton Cup over 1600m on July 9 with 59.5kg, Master Jamie cemented his place at the top of Cleveland Bay markets after drawing ideally in gate 2.
The 61kg top weight holds no fears for Green, who said his only concern was the drop back to 1300m.
“The weight doesn’t worry me because he’s carried big weights all of his life. With the quality handicap conditions they actually come back to him in weights.
“If it was a straight out handicap he’d probably get 67kg.
“It’s unusual I know, but he’s actually performed better with big weights than he has with light weights.
“Coming back from 1600m to 1300m – that’s my only concern. But he’s freshened up lovely and when he’s bouncing like he has for the past few days you know he’s on his game.
“I’ve actually only had three starters in Townsville and they’ve all won – Master Jamie, Ahooshu and Taraki. Hopefully we can keep it up on Saturday.
“Winning these major provincial races mean everything. For country trainers like me they’re better than a win in the city.”
Master Jamie, with jockey Les “Bubba” Tilley aboard, will face a rematch with last year’s runner-up Dr Zous who showed he was in peak form with a brilliant last-start win in the Rockhampton Newmarket (1300m).
The Darryl Hansen-trained Dr Zous will be ridden by Brad Stewart and will carry 58kg from an ideal draw in barrier 5.
He meets Master Jamie 1.5kg better this time around.
Mackay trainer Olivia Cairns, who prepared Sea Zulu for his two Cleveland Bay wins, will chase a third victory with Battle Of The Bush winner Ammoudi Bay.
Dio D’Oro will fly the flag for the local ranks and has pleased his trainer Matthew McGuire since two impressive lead-up wins.
Marway (16) and light weight hopes Cracker Essgee (18), Palencia (17), Montenegro Man (15) and Cabalo Escuro (21) add to the mix but have to contend with wide draws.
Pictured: Master Jamie streaks away with last year's TAB Cleveland Bay Hcp. The Rocky galloper is fighting fit for his title defence tomorrow.
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