Ten-year-old working like a 3-year-old
By GRAHAME TIMBRELL
BOB MILLIGAN reckons there is some life left in the old boy yet and he's talking about his 10-year-old iron galloper Carael Boy.
"I think there are more feature wins in him," Milligan said.
The horse is now after the XXXX Gold Lismore Cup tomorrow to add to his impressive portfolio.
Milligan is upbeat about the horse's chance in the cup.
"His work has been fantastic and his trackwork rider reckons he feels like a three-year-old," the Taree-based Milligan said.
"This is the first time we have not had problems with his front foot.
"I am sure he would have won a lot more races if it had not been for that.
"I don't know how but suddenly the problem seems to have rectified itself and you can see the change in the horse."
Carael Boy, getting close to the magic million dollar mark in prize money ($964,169), broke back into the winners circle at Taree last Saturday.
He was ridden by Milligan's talented apprentice Vicki Schubert, who retains the ride in the Lismore Cup.
"I was very impressed with the way the horse won and the way Vicki rode him," Milligan said.
"And it was the first time in his career he has raced without that front foot being bandaged.
"It's like he has been given a new lease of life. Finally he is also getting down in the weights to a level which he can win at again.
"I think he is fairly weighted in the Lismore Cup with 57kg and Vicki's 2kg claim will help further."
Last Saturday Carael Boy, one of the most versatile of gallopers, scored his first win in 15 months.
His previous win was over 2000 metres at Randwick in August last year.
His record of 20 wins boasts an impressive list at distances from 1200m to 2400m, including the 2005 Wyong Cup (2100m), dead-heating with High Cee in the 2005 Newcastle Cup (2400m), the 2005 Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill, the 2004 Liverpool City Cup (1200m) at Warwick Farm, the 2002 BTC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben, the 2001 Villiers (1600m) at Randwick and the 2001 Hawkesbury Cup (1600m).
Milligan said Carael Boy would be back racing in Sydney as soon as the quarantine restrictions are lifted.
"I was not going to take him to Randwick this Saturday and have to leave to him there for two weeks," Milligan said.
"Lismore was a nice alternative."
The Lismore Cup top weight Precise Timing (Robert Thompson) will also be back in Sydney when restrictions are lifted, with trainer Ross Stitt abandoning his plan to take the horse to Tasmania in a bid to win another Launceston Cup.
"He would have to go into quarantine before he left and again when he got to Tasmania," Stitt said.
"We would lose too much time."