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Cluden Park
Willygood and Wily Hoop All Class in Flying Win

Willygood and Wily Hoop All Class in Flying Win

23rd July 2021 | By Tony Wode

Premiership leading jockey Graham Kliese needs no convincing bonny mare Willygood is top shelf after the pair stole the show at Cluden Park yesterday.

Willygood and Kliese produced a Houdini act to land a breathtaking win in the Brown Brothers WFA (1200m) and book a berth in the Cleveland Bay Hcp (1200m ) on August 7.

Kliese was stopped in his tracks and looked hopelessly snookered on Willygood at the 200m, but flashed late from last in the six horse field to win.

It was Kliese’s second win for the day and lifted him one win clear in the jockeys’ premiership with 23 wins.

A winner of three Cleveland Bay Hcps – two on Ladretto and another on Easy Dancer - Kliese gave Willygood a big thumbs up.

“It was a super win. If the ride comes up (In the Cleveland Bay ) I’d like to ride her,” Kliese said.

“She was exceptional. I was bolting, almost touching heels and the gap just wouldn’t come. 

“If the run comes she streets them and I’m a genius, if it doesn’t and I stay in there I’m a mug.

“She had to win that to get into the Cleveland Bay and I had to have a dig.

“I had to pull her out sideways, wait for the widest horse to go and then start up again. She just flew .”

Willygood’s trainer Roy Chillemi has used the WFA race successfully in the past on the way to claiming the Cleveland Bay Hcp.

He won the race in 2018 with three-year-old Grey Missile before the gelding went on to win the north’s richest sprint.

“She wasn’t entitled to win from there. Graham persevered and it worked out,” Chillemi said.

“I was going to run her in the Class 6 Bracelet for mares if she didn’t win today, but she would have got a lot of weight. 

“She’s in the Cleveland Bay now. She’ll do her best- whether that’s good we’ll just have to wait see – but she’s in great form.”

Willygood has soared through the restricted classes with five wins from her past six starts, rising from Class 2 company in April to knock over open grade yesterday.

She scored by a half-length from Funky Music. Chillemi’s 2018 Cleveland Bay winner Grey Missile was a length away third and is on track for another tilt at the big race.

Willygood was the first leg of a race to race double for Chillemi who also won with Waterway, ridden by Chris Whiteley, in the following race.

He has an unassailable lead in the Townsville trainers’ premiership with 29 wins, clear of Stephen Massingham on 14 wins with Sharlee D’Avila, Bill Kenning and Georgie Holt on 12 wins.

Whiteley was again in white hot form also landing a double. As well as saluting on Waterway, he won on Live The Moment who secured a ballot free run in the Townsville Cup with a win in the C.U.B. Open (1609m).

Pictured: Willygood and Graham Kliese pull off a miracle win at Cluden yesterday to clinch a start in the Cleveland bay hcp.

See the racing calendar for upcoming race days.