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Missile Shoots for Cluden Win as Career Winds Down
Retirement beckons for grand galloper Grey Missile, but trainer Roy Chillemi is hoping the veteran can show a flash of his old magic at Cluden Park tomorrow.
The striking grey, who was a star of Townsville racing with his 2018 Cleveland Bay win, is lining up in the Cluden Park Open Hcp (1200m) as his career winds down.
“Every race could be his last. He’s been racing ok but the older they get the more aches and pains they have. He’s a big horse and racing on the hard tracks has taken its toll,” Chillemi said.
“He’s won $390,000 in prizemoney mostly in North Queensland and any horse that earns that is exceptional.
“The year he won the Cleveland Bay he was named Queensland Provincial Horse of the Year and he’s been a terrific horse for Tom (Hedley).
“It won’t be long now before he bows out. We’ll see how he goes tomorrow and hopefully he runs a good race.
“He’s up against a few good ones but he has gate one and if he runs up to anything like his best he’d be a big show.”
Grey Missile’s last Townsville victory was in July 2019 and his most recent win was at the Sunshine Coast in January 2020 beating Dr Zous over 1200m for Toby and Trent Edwards.
Back in the north for a final crack at the North’s carnivals, the striking grey’s form has been mixed this year with one placing in seven starts.
Chillemi has engaged the softer hands of 3kg claiming apprentice Rachel Shred, who has recently joined the stable, in an effort to spark a return to form.
Fresh from success at the Cairns amateurs with Willigood and Palencia, Chillemi is already looking ahead to Grey Missile’s days after racing.
“He’s a magnificent looking horse and we’ve already had plenty of offers for him for dressage once he finishes racing,” Chillemi said.
“There’s also an offer for him as a clerk of the course so he’ll go to a good home.”
Top line Mackay sprinter Brad heads tomorrow’s field with 63.5kg along with track specialist Only Wanna Sing (61kg) and last start winner Danawi.
Only Wanna Sing has a faultless two from two record at Cluden and comes into the race off a close fourth to Willigood in the Cairns Amateurs Sprint (1400m).
Pictured: Grey Missile at his dashing best, winning at Cluden in 2019.
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