Bolton targets ‘double ton’ in Top End

Caption: Young trainer Steele Bolton is on target to reach his season goal of 200 winners in the NT. (Photo: NT News)

MIKE HILL tracks the multiple winning trainers across Australia

DARWIN’S Steele Bolton is heading for his best-ever year as a trainer and is well on target to eclipsing his season goal of 200 winners.

Bolton was given a massive boost in late May when he produced a career-best seven winners at an eight-race Sunday meeting in the Top End.

It’s been a big year so far for the young trainer in his mid-20s.

Last month with more than half the year’s racing still to come, Bolton (103 winners) was well and truly on target to break the 200 mark.

And in a major achievement, he was sitting in fourth place on the Australian trainers points table with 1558 behind Andrea Dailly (2598), Anthony Bullock (1824) and Mark Delbridge (1754).

His tally also included 88 seconds and 88 thirds.

Bolton, a full-time electrician, is based at the Winnellie Park complex after beginning his training career at his parents’ property at Howard Springs.

He has been the leading trainer in Darwin for the past two years – rugging up 189 winners in 2020 and 190 last year and currently has 41 dogs in work.

“I set the same target – 200 winners – for myself last year and fell agonisingly close,” Bolton said last month.

“Had it not been for track repairs mid-year, I’m sure I would have cracked the double ton.”

The Winnellie Park circuit was out of action for six to seven weeks in 2021 while the club carried out a major upgrade.

Steele says he is very lucky that he has a dedicated team headed by former Victorian trainer Jason Nibbs.

“Without Jason’s help I wouldn’t be having the success I am,” said the young trainer.

His recent success includes the seven-win haul, a ‘big five’, a four and several winning trebles.

“Winning seven on an eight-race program was by far my best ever training effort,” he said.

His winners included Bailing Out ($1.70 fav), Freddie Loco ($3.80), I’m Not Leaving ($3), Arnhem Axel ($9), On Pursuit ($3.40) Pepperberry ($5.30) and Get A Shout ($3.80).

And he also landed three quinellas as well.

Bolton said it was getting harder to win races in Darwin.

“The quality of dog coming here has improved greatly in the past 12 months.

“The standard is definitely lifting.”

But even so he said there was still a big gap between NT and southern dogs.

He took one of his kennel stars, Myrtle Monelli, to Victoria in May.

“She’s one of the top three sprinters racing in Darwin, but she was well beaten in a fifth grade at The Meadows after finishing third at Traralgon,” Bolton said.

“She’ll have a few more runs in Victoria and then come back for the Darwin Cup (in late July).” 

A handful of trainers across the nation led in four or more winners at their local tracks in recent weeks.

Leading Victorian conditioner Andrea Dailly rugged up a winning five at Ballarat, equalled by Ken Boody, who also prepared a ‘four’ – both at Rockhampton.

Top NSW trainer Jodie Lord landed a quartet of winners at Wentworth Park early last month and repeated the feat at the same track a week later, while Robert Camilleri had a big day in late May when he was successful with a ‘four’ at Geelong and a double at Horsham.

Cyndie Elson also produced a ‘four’ at Albion Park.

A host of trainers had winning trebles across the country.

NSW: Frances Goodwin (at Nowra), Patrick Lavis (Casino, Grafton), Justin King (Richmond), Fiona Geary (Grafton), Barry Gibbons (Richmond), Rob Tyler (Richmond), Jason Mackay (Gunnedah), Pamela Braddon (Dubbo) and Peter Sims (Temora).

SA: Nicole Price (Gawler, twice), Lauren Harris (Angle Park, Murray Bridge), Clint Trengove (Angle Park, twice), Tony Rasmussen (Angle Park), Ben Rawlings (Gawler), Steven Brook (Murray Bridge), Jack Trengove (Gawler), Neville Lenehan (Mt Gambier), Matt Payne (Murray Bridge), Tracie Price (Mt Gambier) and Mark Roberts (Mt Gambier).

Victoria: Andrea Daily (Sandown Park, Ballarat), Lindsay Fulford (Sale), Brian Brown (Bendigo), Jessica Sharp (Traralgon), Scott Stefanos (Shepparton), Jeff Britton (The Meadows), Rebecca Gibbons (Shepparton), Mark Delbridge (Ballarat), Tim Britton (The Meadows), Marcus McMahon (Traralgon), Garry Selkrig (Healesville) and Greg Berry (Horsham).

WA: Ben Maclean (Cannington), Lewis Clay (Mandurah), Krystal Skinners (Cannington), Chris Halse (Mandurah), Sarah Appleton (Cannington), Christine Robartson (Cannington), Cosimo Dagostino (Cannington), James Jeffries (Mandurah) and Peter Brown (Mandurah).

Queensland: Cyndie Elson (Albion Park twice), Darren Taylor (Bundaberg twice), Brad Belford (Townsville), Pauline Byers (Ipswich), Lawrence Wode (Townsville), David Plummer (Bundaberg), Ken Boody (Rockhampton), Andrew Wooler (Townsville), Jeanette Cauchi (Ipswich), Dallas Beckett (Rockhampton), Glen Olsen (Townsville) and Paul Graham (Ipswich).

NT: Robert Brown (Darwin), Steele Bolton (Darwin twice) and Adam Poulter (Darwin, three times).

Tasmania: Anthony Bullock (Hobart, twice, Launceston).

 

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