Belford just short of scoring ‘big six’

Caption: Leading Townsville trainer Brad Belford with one of his successful team. Photo: Louise Partland.

MIKE HILL tracks the multiple-winning trainers across Australia

BRAD Belford thought he was about to land his first-ever ‘Big Six’ when sprinter Margaret led the field into the straight in the penultimate race at a Townsville meeting last month.

Belford, who has led in more winners than any other trainer at the track so far this year (his tally last month stood at 119), had already rugged up five winners for the night as well as a winning trifecta. He had produced the three placegetters in the opening event – the 380m maiden.

Margaret, the $2.30 favourite in race 11, looked like she was going to make it a winning six on the corner.

\”She had missed the kick from box one, but had pushed up along the rails to grab the lead,\” the trainer said. \”It would have given me my first-ever winning six.

\”However, they got her in the last 10 metres or so … she just couldn\’t hold on.\”

It was the fourth time in his career that the Gumlow-based trainer had prepared five winners at a meeting.

\”I\’ve done it three other times, but I\’ve never landed six, \” Belford said.

He admitted he had told someone before the meeting that he thought Margaret was his best winning hope on the night after a recent victory and drawing the inside box.

Disappointingly, it didn\’t happen for him.

Still, he had a big night – five wins, a second and four thirds. His winners were Cape Lodge ($4.20), Mahogany Row ($2.30), Ebony Jay ($5.50), Battle ($2.80) and Epiphany ($10).

Any punter lucky enough to have had an all-up on the five winners would have collected $1487 for a dollar investment.

Team Belford put the writing on the wall seven nights earlier when the kennel produced three winners, four seconds and two thirds.

The trainer, who has 22 dogs in work, said he was happy with the way things were going.

And he plans to kick off the new year by taking a team of chasers to Brisbane for several weeks.

\”It\’s something I\’ve been thinking about for some time,\” Belford said.

And after his wife Jackie said \’just do it\’, he announced it was a definite goer.

\”I plan to take a team of 12-16 dogs down to Brisbane at the end of January and stay two-three weeks,\” he said.

\”I\’ve just got to find suitable kennels. We\’ll race somewhere (Albion Park, Ipswich or Capalaba) every day.

\”It\’ll be great for the dogs and they\’ll benefit from a change of track and scenery.

Meanwhile, it was a huge month for the powerful Andrea Dailly team.

Dailly, the leading Victorian trainer, rugged up six winners at two meetings at The Meadows, she produced five winners at two Ballarat meetings and at Geelong, had a winning quartet at Geelong (twice), and winning trebles at Ballarat and The Meadows (twice).

Victorian-based Calven Russell had a day to remember when he led in six winners – three at Healesville and a treble later in the day at Geelong.

The Rasmussens – Tony and Lisa – combined to lead in five winners at Angle Park (Tony three, Lisa two), then the roles were reversed the following day at Murray Bridge when Lisa rugged up a treble and Tony a double.

A large group of trainers led in winning quartets across the country including Jamie Marsh at Mandurah, Matt Clark (Sale), Jack Trengove (Mt Gambier), Troy Murray (Gawler), Nathan Gittus (Launceston), Andrew Bell (Dapto), Steele Bolton (Darwin), Jason Sharp (Cranbourne), Ben Rawlings (Gawler) and Andrew Bell (Richmond).

And trebles came thick and fast:

NSW: Tomas Rees (Gosford), Gregg Mills (Wagga), Andrew Bell (Richmond), Peter Sims (Temora), Merle Clarke (Moree), Allan Woods (The Gardens), Pat Lavis (Lismore twice), Charlie Northfield (Casino), Jason Mackay (The Gardens), Evelyn Harris (Grafton), Ron Marsden (Richmond) Joshua Hall (Bathurst) and Steve Lang (Potts Park).

Victoria: Ricky Coleman (Geelong), Jeff Britton (Geelong), Angela Langton (Ballarat), Donna Beasley (Healesville), Elaine Johannsen (Cranbourne), Ricky Coleman (Geelong), Adele Powell (Healesville), Des Douch (Warragul) and Jason Sharp (Geelong).

Queensland: Brad Belford (Townsville four times), Rhonda Essery (Townsville twice), Amber Boody (Rockhampton three times), Tom Tzouvelis (Ipswich), Darryl McGrath (Albion Park), Cyndie Elson (Albion Park twice) and Travis Elson (Albion Park).

SA: Troy Murray (Murray Bridge), Paula Hearnden (Gawler), Scott Fetus (Mt Gambier), Tracie Price (Mt Gambier), Tony Rasmussen (Murray Bridge), Lisa Rasmussen (Gawler), Jack Trengove (Mt Gambier) Matt Payne (Murray Bridge), David Peckham (Mt Gambier) and Lauren Harris (Gawler).

WA: Enzo Crudeli (Cannington twice), Ben Maclean (Cannington), Barry McPherson (Cannington), Glen Price (Cannington), Damien Crudeli (Mandurah), Chris Halse (Mandurah, Cannington), David Hobby (Mandurah twice), Brad Cook (Cannington) and Steve Withers (Mandurah).

Tasmania: Robin Grubb (Devonport), Anthony Bullock (Launceston twice) and Lynden Nichols (Launceston).

NT: Graeme Ferns (Darwin), Andrew Lasker (Darwin) and Adam Poulter (Darwin).

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