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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Top Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie has five horses nominated for the lucrative Weetwood Handicap on his home track on Saturday ... a race that Currie won last year when his charge Col ‘N’ Lil dead-heated with the Michael Nolan trained Jumbo Prince. Currie gave HRO the inside view of his 2018 Weetwood nominations.


“He has been set for the race. He is obviously an improving horse who has had a good record since he has come to us.

“I think his first up win was super. He just got held up a touch. Then, when he got the gap, he just burst through. He is a little winner.

"I think he is going to get in with a light weight. The alley is probably going to be important for him. If he can draw a gate he is the sort of horse who can just take a trail behind the speed which I think could be quite strong this week. That would give him a good advantage. He is also a winner on the track. He is trained on the track which is another plus for him.

“Coming into his last run last prep he had probably had enough. We then identified the Weetwood as a race we’d like to win. We knew we would probably have to win first up to get the points to get into the Weetwood. He got the job done there. He still had a bit in the tank though. The Grand Final is Saturday. I’m pretty confident going in. I wouldn’t want to be swopping him. He fits the profile of a horse coming through so we haven’t got to the bottom of him yet.

“As I said, I think he’s got an advantage ... a winner on the track and the way he races. He is going to give himself every chance. He puts himself there and fights.”


"Again he has been super ... without luck. He probably should have won the Goldmarket which is a good lead-in to the Weetwood. Sat three deep outside a hot tempo and the two inside him finished at the rear of the field while he battled on.

"He was still with the winner at the furlong when he was not really entitled to be anywhere near him and in the end he was only beaten a length-and-half, two lengths. He should have definitely won. It was not even a risk. I reckon he was clearly the run of the race going forward.

"Even leading into that ... the Malvern Estate and all that sort of form has been solid. He’s been right around the mark with a lot of good horses. Probably the only thing with him going into the Weetwood is that he is a bit one dimensional. Obviously you can’t restrain him too much so he has just got to run. I think if Mr Marbellouz doesn’t get a run in the race ... which is how it is looking ... it probably helps him because it is going to find the lead.

"I think he runs a strong 1200m around there. Again, he is trained on the track. He makes his own luck. He is going to get out and give you a sight. He’ll give a run. He is tough. He is fit. He is sound and he tries his guts out so he is going to run a race.

"It is just about the tempo with him. You know if he goes too hard there are a couple of others who could get the drop on him. He doesn’t need everything his own way but he does need the right tempo ... and a gate would help.

"If he draws badly it could be the same story again as in the Goldmarket. If he draws a gate though he’ll land on the bunny in front and he then he would take some catching.”


“Probably won’t get a run. I’d say he will end up in a Class 6 ... but again he is going good.

“Mr Marbellouz beat us the other day. The way Doomben played was very on pace and we had to ride my bloke a bit upside down just to give him some hope. Obviously he is more of a get back, run on horse ... but if we had snagged him out of the gates it would have just been a one act affair for the winner, so we tried to be as close as we could be but, by doing that, we probably rode him out of his comfort zone. He was niggled at all of the way. I thought his effort was good.

“Obviously in a Weetwood the tempo is different. We can ride him back and just let him hit the line. He has been very, very dominant in all of his wins in Toowoomba so if he gained a start I think he would be a good chance. I think a Weetwood would suit him a lot more so than say a Mr Marbellouz and that’s why I think he could turn the tables if they both got a run. If Mr Marbellouz got a run he would probably be one of the favourites so, back at Toowoomba and with a different tempo, you would have to give my bloke a chance.”


“He’s flying. He is set for the race. Obviously gets a run. He is a high rater. He beat Voodoo Lad down the straight which is good form for a Weetwood.

“We got him at the end of the last preparation. He was sort of thirteen, fourteen runs into a prep and we took him on. Had no luck first run for me and then ran second in the Bernborough first go at the mile which was a good showing.

“He’s obviously had a spell. He’s fresh. He has had three jump-outs. He is wound right up to win. Lloyd on. He is going good.”


“She had just one of those runs the other day ... things didn’t pan out the way wewould have liked. She had to go back from a bad gate and, as I’ve said, it was a very on-pace dominated meeting.

“She does love the track. I think she is unbeaten at Toowoomba. I think she is three from three. She is also three from four second-up. She is a stakes winner in her own right. Another one who needs a gate. If she gets a gate she can stalk a hot speed and finish. At her best she has won a Silk Stocking which obviously lines up well for a Weetwood.

The final word

“They are all live chances in their own right. You can make a case for all five. Now we just to get them all in and then get a couple of good draws. They not all going to draw well but if we can get a few good gates that would help.

“I do feel that there is probably a bit more pressure associated with this year. We’ve probably been a bit more dominant as a stable here in Toowoomba over the last twelve months so obviously people look to you on the big day in your home town so that does bring some pressure but I certainly wouldn’t want to change the hand I’ve got.”

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