CROWD FAVOURITE: Flying filly Charlee Bear made a strong return to the track yesterday.
CROWD FAVOURITE: Flying filly Charlee Bear made a strong return to the track yesterday. Adam Hourigan

BEARBACK: Charlee returns with a fiery run

RACING: The Clarence Valley quickly fell in love with fast filly Charlee Bear last year and it was not hard to see why with the Greg Kilner-trained chance winning her first four starts, storming onto the Northern Rivers racing scene.

Charlee was at it again yesterday at Ballina, finishing a strong third place in what was her first start back after a 17-week spell.

The filly, ridden well by apprentice jockey Noriyuki Masuda, was in a photo finish for third with Danielle Cunningham-trained Aimalac Bobby, ridden once again by Grafton apprentice Carla Dougherty.

The pair finished two lengths behind another photo finish for first place between Hi Sexy out of the David Joice stable which took the race by a nostril from a charging Scott Cumming-trained Hide the Moon.

It was a strong return to racing for Charlee Bear, who made the step up in class to the Benchmark 60 despite trainer Kilner worried that the filly was slightly under prepared after only racing one trial before stepping into the barriers after her spell.

Former leading Northern Rivers jockey and Sky Sports expert commentator Gary Kliese said he was impressed with the filly's performance and said "that run will just bring her along nicely for these preparations”.

Pajados (Ric McMahon), trained by Scott Henley (Grafton) crosses the line a long nose ahead of Hope Island (Matthew Palmer) in the Class 1 Hcp (1250m) at Ballina Turf Club.
Pajados (Ric McMahon), trained by Scott Henley (Grafton) crosses the line a long nose ahead of Hope Island (Matthew Palmer) in the Class 1 Hcp (1250m) at Ballina Turf Club. Capture/Racing NSW

Pajados makes it two on the trot

EARLIER at Ballina, Pajados ($5) continued his impressive form since joining the Scott Henley stable in Grafton with a second win on the trot.

It has been a surprising turn around in form for the four-year-old gelding which joined Henley's stable late last year after departing from leading Godolphin trainer John O'Shea.

It was a clinical run from Henley's stable jockey Ric McMahon who sat well off the pace before hooking to the outside on the turn for home, settling in to a nice stride and just holding off a late challenge from Daniel Bowen-trained Hope Island ($17, Matthew Palmer).



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