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Love Is Blind All Set for Hot Date at Cluden
The winners may not have flowed like they normally do in recent months for premier trainer Roy Chillemi, but that may pick up in pace at Cluden Park tomorrow.
Chillemi will saddle up two strong chances – Love Is Blind and Boomed – in a bid to boost the stable’s slow start to the season with just four Cluden wins.
The Tolga mentor, who has won the Townsville premiership 16 times, is looking forward to a change of fortunes as the stable emerges from an annual summer slowdown.
A number of the team’s ‘A Graders’ are back in work and expected to hit the track in weeks ahead.
“We always cull our team over the slack (summer) to avoid the heat and for staff to go on holidays, so it’s our quietest time,” Chillemi said.
“The good ones go out and we keep the slower ones going to pick up a race or two with them.
“We’ve only had the four winners (at Cluden) but we’ve been unlucky not to win a few more.
“Things are picking up in the stables again, though, with our carnival horses coming back. Palencia, our good two-year-old Missile Thunder, and Willigood are all back in work and they’ll be back racing very soon.
“Racing’s taught us old fellas that you have to be patient. We’ve got some chances tomorrow and with a bit of luck we should be competitive.”
In what looks the best Valentine’s Day omen tip around, Love Is Blind is Chillemi’s biggest chance in early markets in the Roses Are Red Open Hcp (1200m).
The five-year-old son of Love Conquers All has returned from a leg injury with two wins and a strong second to in-form mare Let’s Go Bobby over 1200m at his most recent run on January 22 with 59.5kg.
Chillemi has booked 3kg claiming apprentice Rachel Shred to reduce the gelding’s weight burden to 57kg.
Boomed, who will be ridden by stable jockey Stephen Wilson, has raced without luck in recent starts and will line-up against smart Rockhampton galloper Magnetic Drive in the QTOA QTIS 3yo Hcp (1200m).
“Love Is Blind is holding up pretty well this time-in and it looks a good race for him. We have to keep a close watch on his leg and so far so good,” Chillemi said.
“I was always going to go with Rachel’s claim to give him some weight relief. His last run was very good with the big weight.
“We’re restricting him to 1000m and 1200m just to keep him ticking over through to the carnival.
“Boomed has had no luck but he’s his own worst enemy. He can miss the kick and over race but if he puts it together he’s a genuine chance.”
Chillemi will also saddle up the luckless Soul Surfer in the MM Gold Coast March Sale 2yo Hcp (1000m) against the Sarah Acornley-trained pair of winners Altar Boy and Red Hot Poker.
Soul Surfer struck significant interference at his most recent start behind Baby Guiness on January 28 and has drawn nine out of 10.
The stable’s only other runner is Smarty Lee in the C.U.B. BM 58 Hcp (1300m).
The seven-event card kicks off at 1.08pm and winds up with the last, race 7 at 4.56pm.
Pictured: Jockey Stephen Wilson and Love Is Blind time their run perfectly to win at Cluden in December. Love Is Blind will be chasing his third win in four starts this preparation at Cluden Park.
See the racing calendar for upcoming race day