Tellemtogo has chance at Xmas Cup
CAPABLE mare Tellemtogo should put her career ledger on a winning balance with a Christmas bonus for Grafton trainer John Shelton at the big Lismore Christmas race meeting today.
The six-year-old mare has proved an honest performer in her 40 starts for Shelton since he took her on as a two-year-old with seven wins, seven seconds and two thirds, but has a real chance of tipping the scales at the twilight meeting in the Professional Investment Services Christmas Cup (1400m).
It will be a belated package for Shelton, whose Christmas campaign was brought undone when Tellemtogo had to be content with a three-quarter-length second to Broms Girl in the Grafton Christmas Cup almost three weeks ago.
As a result, Broms Girl had Chris Munce hoisted into the saddle for a 1550m race at Canterbury last night.
Today, however, Tellemtogo will look to take advantage of a change of luck, a change of jockey and a change of fortunes to win her first race this preparation.
She has been plagued by poor barriers at her past six starts, but has drawn barrier two today, and will be ridden by Coffs Harbour’s leading Northern Rivers premiership jockey Ray Spokes, following the switch of Shelton’s apprentice stable jockey Ben Looker to Gai Waterhouse in Sydney this week.
“She’s been consistently knocking at the door, but her barriers have been letting her down,” Shelton said yesterday.
“Coupled with that her last run behind Broms Girl was far from her best, and the three-quarter length margin was probably a bit kind to her,”
Tellemtogo has previously won over 1400m at Lismore and Shelton also expects that to go in her favour.
She doesn’t mind the track, a bit different to her attitude at Ballina where an unplaced start interrupted her past two second placings.
“Anything from 1400m to 1600m is right up her alley, and today should more than appeal,” Shelton said.
But Shelton is sure Tellemtogo won’t have it all her own way with the Gold Coast trained At The Roxy expected to be challenging down the straight if she can get away to a good start from her wider 12 barrier.
At The Roxy won at Murwillumbah two starts back and has since backed that up with a third on the Sunshine Coast and comes into the race today with the advantage of 1.5kg claiming apprentice Emily Kehoe, who rode a well-judged race to win the Men of League Cup (1410m) at Ballina last Saturday on River Street.
The eight-race program today has drawn capacity fields after an extraordinary 175 horses accepted on Wednesday, ensuring plenty of pre-Christmas action for the twilight meeting that runs from 2.20pm to almost 7pm.