Kelly gang taking a shot at Ballina races today
WHEN Gold Coast trainer David Kelly crosses the border to race his team on the Northern Rivers, it’s worth taking note.
The former champion jockey has an enviable strike rate.
Kelly has strong chances with Arena Salon and High Adversity at Ballina this afternoon.
Arena Salon, a four-year-old by Reaan, tackles the Sky Thoroughbred Central Class 2 Hcp (1300m). The gelding will be ridden by Paul Hammersley.
Arena Salon heads into the event fourth-up after good performances in his past two runs.
Second-up the gelding raced three and four wide before winning a strong 1350m maiden at Doomben on January 1.
Arena Salon then came out and led, out of character, when nabbed late, finishing one length second to Bilberry Star in a Class 1 Hcp (1400m) on the Gold Coast on January 16.
But there were excuses for the defeat, according to Kelly.
“He threw the rider on the way to the barriers then went for a bit of a gallop,” Kelly said.
“There was no pace in the race and he finished up leading, which isn’t really his go.
“He was a bit green in the straight and just got nabbed near the line.
“He’s trained well since. I’m happy with him.”
Arena Salon was given to Kelly via a deceased estate and he syndicated the gelding out to a number of friends.
“He is a big horse, around 16 hands, and is very well built,” Kelly said.
“I think he’s going to turn into a pretty fair horse. There’s still upside to him.”
Arena Salon has a win and two placings from six starts.
He jumps from barrier 11.
High Adversity lines up in the Like Us On Facebook Benchmark 55 Hcp (1600m) with Ryan Wiggins in the saddle.
The five-year-old mare is second up following a 155-day spell.
The well-bred daughter of High Chaparral resumed with an encouraging 1.3 lengths second to Moonlight Nova in a Benchmark 60 Hcp (1600m) at Ballina on January 17.
“It was a really good run first-up,” Kelly said.
“She’s trained well since.
“She’s an up-and-coming stayer. I think she’ll be thereabouts and hard to beat.”