Weights declared on Cup starters
By GRAHAME TIMBRELL
THERE was satisfaction in two Taree stables and disappointment in a Ballina stable after weights were yesterday released for Saturday's XXXX Gold Lismore Cup.
Trainers Ross Stitt (Precise Timing) and Bob Milligan(Carael Boy) both said they were pleased with the weights their horses had been given.
Precise Timing, last year's Lismore Cup winner, has 60kg and Carael Boy, which has a Wyong cup and half a Newcastle cup to his credit, has 57kg.
But there were long faces in the Danny Bowen stable at Ballina yesterday with the trainer forced to abandon his Lismore Cup plans with Special Voyage.
The former Victorian trained six-year-old, bought specifically for the Lismore and Ballina cups, had a slightly elevated temperature after a disappointing gallop yesterday morning.
"It is very disappointing but the welfare of the horse has to come first," Bowen said.
"We were really looking forward to the cup because we thought we could win it.
"There is no suggestion it is anything more than a slight cold but there is no point in persevering.
"These things happen in racing."
Special Voyage, fourth in the Ballina Cup after being forced to race wide for much of the trip, had 58kg.
Stitt, often a critic of the handicapping system, said he was satisfied with 60kg.
"I think that's a fair weight given the quality of the field and he will start," Stitt said.
Milligan said he had been in two minds on whether to start Carael Boy until he had seen the weights.
"He will go to Lismore for sure," Milligan said.
"This horse has suddenly turned his form around and is really starting to feel good again.
"This is the first time in his career we have not had problems with one of his front feet."
Carael Boy won the 2005 Wyong Cup then dead-heated for first with the Bart Cummings-trained High Cee in the Newcastle Cup at his next start.
He lost form for a time but returned to the winners circle at Taree last Saturday.
Milligan's talented apprentice Vicki Schubert, who won on Carael Boy last Saturday, has retained the ride in the cup.
Milligan will also start Centre Fire in the Workers Club Rousillon Hcp after he received 58kg but the trainer has yet to decide on a rider.
The former Graeme Rogerson-trained sprinter Sydney Symphony, now prepared at Ballina by Gary Nielsen, has top weight of 59kg while the John Shelton trained Lord Nediym, the winner of his last starts at Ballina and Grafton, has second top weight of 58.5kg.