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Wilson up for Big Day as Cup and Premiership Goals Loom
Leading jockey Stephen Wilson will have two major missions on the line at Cluden Park tomorrow.
Wilson has a great chance to increase his slender lead in the battle for the Townsville jockeys’ premiership with just two race meetings left in the season.
But he’ll be equally anxious for his tough gelding Tunero to seal a guaranteed run in the Townsville Cup with a win in tomorrow’s C.U.B Hcp (1609m).
Wilson has had a resurgence of form this season as number one rider for leading trainer Roy Chillemi and heads the premiership with 22 wins, one ahead of Graham Kliese and Chris Whiteley on 20.
“I spoke to Roy at the start of the season and said I’d really like to have a crack at the premiership,” Wilson said.
“Roy has given me a serious amount of support. It really all depends on what we have in the stable and this year we’ve had a lot of good young horses come through.
“I’ve got a strong book of rides and hopefully we can get a few home.”
Wilson will be aboard Boomed in the Cluden Park 2yo Hcp 1300m, gallant grey Grey Missile in the Brown Brothers WFA (1300m), Robig in the Hygain 3yo Hcp (1300m), Higher Realm in the Sky Racing Open Hcp (1000m) – all for Chillemi.
He will also ride Strike A Beau for Bonnie Thomson in the TAB BM65 Hcp (1400m).
Wilson considers Higher Realm his best ride and expects 2018 Cleveland Bay Hcp winner Grey Missile to appreciate a big weight drop in the WFA which offer free entry into the Cleveland Bay Hcp.
It will be a busy day for the Irish born hoop and dual licensee who will also saddle up the tough Tunero in a key Cup lead-up.
Tunero showed he was on track to redeem his narrow second in last year’s Cup with an eye-catching third to Best Hoffa and Cleo’s Poet over 1609m at Cluden on July 6.
“I’m expecting him to run a very big race. His last run was huge and I think he would have won it if he hadn’t missed a run a few weeks back with a bruised heel,” Wilson said.
“He came up just before the Cup last year and went very close. This year he’s acclimatised and had a steady campaign and I don’t think he’s looked better.
“I’ve been very mindful of not overtaxing the horse before the Townsville Cup. After this run he’ll run in the Winter over 2000m on Saturday week and then straight into the Cup.”
Tunero will again be ridden by Wilson’s fiancé Rachel Shred and faces a strong line-up including Fortification, Loud Enough, the free running Fly For Yulong, Buxton, Cleo’s Poet and Live The Moment.
The race provides the winner with a ballot free entry into the Townsville Cup on August 7.
Pictured: Tunero winning with Rachel Shred in the saddle at Cluden earlier in his campaign. The tough gelding is a big chance to push his Townsville Cup prospects at Cluden tomorrow.
See the racing calendar for upcoming race days.