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The Hoffa Shows He’s Best with Powerhouse NQ Cup Win
Popular Townsville trainer Alby Molino is growing in confidence for the major cups after Best Hoffa demolished a quality field at Cluden Park yesterday.
The veteran galloper showed he was right on track for the big winter features with a barnstorming win in the NQ Cup (1609m).
Best Hoffa, with regular rider apprentice Marnu Potgieter in the saddle, carried top weight of 60kg to a ¾ length win over Cleo’s Poet with Tunero a slashing third 13/4 lengths away third.
Molino, who watched the race from home, said the gelding was going better now than he was when he bolted in in the Mackay Cup last year.
“He’s a lot better than last year. We’ve been able to sort out his racing pattern and he’s going great,” Molino said.
“I couldn’t be happier with him. Today the speed was on and although he was a fair way back early I knew he was going to be hard to beat when he came out wide and was only two lengths off them on the corner.
“Marnu rides him really well and I don’t need to tell him anything. He’ll go right through the cups with him.”
Best Hoffa will next start in the H.L. Black Memorial over 1800m in Mackay on July 16 before the defending his Mackay Cup crown on July 24.
But redemption on home turf in the Townsville Cup on August 4 is also a big goal for the Molino camp after Best Hoffa’s luckless fifth in the big race last year as favourite.
Best Hoffa capped a big day for Tom Hedley and his co-owners after Full Recognition, with Chris Whitely riding, came from last to win the Cluden on Facebook Open Hcp (1200m).
The win earned Full Recognition ballot free entry into the Cleveland Bay Hcp (1300m) on August 4.
Trainer Stephen Massingham said he and the owners would weigh up their carnival options.
“We can either run in the Cleveland Bay or the Lightning which is a great position to be in,” Massingham said.
“Chris said he didn’t know if he could get the 1300m but I’ll talk it over with Tom about which way we should go.
“In the back of my mind is the fact that he won over 1300m in NSW before we got him.
“He got the job done today and had to come from last with no pace in the race. He’s got a very good turn of foot and that’s what gets him there.”
Earlier in the day, bold front runner Cleaver Greene breezed to a win that was all class in the Sky Racing Townsville Dollars (1400m).
The Rodney Miller-trained gelding went into the race a hot favourite after two dominant wins in three-year-old company and made the Dollars a procession.
He won by 41/4 lengths with 60.5kg and has raised the prospect of a tilt at bigger winter races in August.
Pictured: Cluden trainer Alby Molino is delighted with how his star galloper Best Hoffa is building up to the rich winter races after a blockbuster win in the NQ Cup.
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