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Star three-year-olds face hefty test
Leading trainer Roy Chillemi is warning punters the handicapper could well have the last say with his crack squad of three-year-olds at Cluden Park tomorrow.
Chillemi was forced to scratch the brilliant Higher Realm (63kg) from the TAB 3yo Hcp (1200m), but such is the stable’s firepower, he will still saddle up the classy Tennessee Boy (63kg) Robig (61kg) and Waterway (56.5kg) in the QTIS feature.
But Chillemi said the good horses were being penalized with huge weights in the north.
“Both Higher Realm and Tennessee Boy were given 63kg, which is 9kg over the minimum. I think 61kg is enough for a three-year-old to carry,” Chillemi said.
“They’re being aimed at the Townsville Dollars but the way the weights are I might have to look at open races against the older horses.
“The Cleveland Bay Hcp is an option but we’ll see how they perform.”
Chillemi scratched Higher Realm because of a minor injury and will save him for a three-year-old set weights race in May.
He has booked top senior rider Brad Pengelly to handle Tennessee Boy with his 63kg and has engaged 2kg claiming apprentice Marnu Potgieter for Robig who will carry 59kg.
Waterway will carry a luxury weight of 56.5kg in comparison, with Scott Sheargold in the saddle.
Chillemi is leading towards Robig but has a healthy respect for big race specialist Tennessee Boy.
“It’s a good field and there are other solid chances in the race. If the track is wet I’d lean towards Robig. The wetter it is the better he goes,” Chillemi said.
“Waterway missed a race in Cairns when they abandoned the meeting there and he’s probably more a 1400m to 1600m type, but I never underestimate Tennessee Boy.
“He’s my giant killer. He beat Higher Realm in the 2yo Classic in Townsville and knocked over Derulo in the Cairns Guineas.
“The 63kg is a big steadier but you can never under-estimate him.”
While Chillemi is set to play a big hand, the race is shaping as the best quality 3yo event at Cluden this season.
His opposition includes the promising Cracker Essgee who comes off a last start win over Robig a fortnight ago, the smart Cleaver Greene, and last start winners Deadly Diva and Delago’s Girl.
Chillemi’s other three-year-old Mystery ’N’ Magic will be on trial for a possible Guineas start when he tackles older horses in the Benchmark 60 Hcp (1609m).
He’s also upbeat about the chances of filly Husette who will chase her third win from five starts against the Fred Wieland trained Eternal Bean in the Diageo 2yo Hcp (1200m).
Pictured: Giant killer Tennessee Boy with Wanderson D’Davila in the saddle after winning the Northern Classic 2yo Plate over Higher Realm last year. The star three-year-old will have to carry 63kg to win today. Photo courtesy of Mike Mills Photography.