Slim pickings for locals

THE 2010 Newmarket Handicap is likely to be devoid of local runners with the Stephen Lee-trained Mister Celestial set to be withdrawn.

Mister Celestial continued his bad luck at the barrier draw when he drew gate 10 and Lee is likely to set him for a handicap race at Doomben on Saturday.

“He would get caught well wide from 10 I'd imagine,” Lee said.

“So I think we will save him and take him to Brisbane.”

That leaves nine runners in the mad dash over 1000m and one has a name that is sure to attract plenty of cash from the locals.

That horse is the Hunter Kilner-trained Bangalow Boy.

Kilner doesn't have a lot of confidence in his runner but knows it will have support.

“He will need all the help he can get,” Kilner said.

“I don't know if the locals cheering him on will be enough though.”

Bangalow Boy, trained in Grafton, got his name from Bangalow-based owner Brian Grant.

Grant applied for six names which got rejected before Kilner applied with the one that stuck.

“He was bred at lot 1, Pacific Highway, Bangalow,” Kilner said.

“So he sure is a local.”

Rated a benchmark 44, and coming up against horses rated 61-78, Bangalow Boy might be out of his depth.

But bad luck has forced Kilner to take any run he can get.

“He's been balloted out six times this preparation and missed a couple of runs when he did get in the field and it rained at Ballina,” he said.

“He is in because he can't get a run in his class.”

“He may be out of his depth but as the old saying goes ‘you gotta be in it to win it'.”



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