Dulceria on Rocky road to second Townsville Cup bid

Caption: Matt Heilbron with Rockhampton Cup winner Dulceria. Also pictured (from left) Robert Jacobsen and runner-up Jagger Moves, Racing Qld’s Brenton Scott, Rocky vice-president Nev Jackson and Ken Boody and third placegetter Zip Stream.

Queensland Country Wrap With MIKE HILL

“YES, all going well, we’ll be heading north to Townsville to defend the cup in September,” said a delighted Matt Heilbronn.

The trainer was outlining a long-range plan for his talented sprinter Dulceria after the well-bred bitch gained a last-stride victory in the $57,500 Group 3 Rockhampton Cup (510m) in late April.

“I didn’t think she had made it,” Heilbronn said.

“I thought she had come third, but Tony (Brett, trainer of $1.65 favourite Milligan) said ‘you’ve won it’.

Dulceria, a $7 chance, had hugged the rails after jumping from the inside box and was buried in the pack behind pace-setter Zip Stream ($5) passing the post the first time.

The Heilbronn sprinter moved into a clear third place down the back straight with only the Ken Boody-trained Wildcard winner Zip Stream and recent Bundaberg Cup victor Jagger Moves ($10) in front of her.

In the straight as the Robert Jacobsen-prepared Jagger Moves made his move on the leader, Dulceria slipped up along the rails, grabbing victory by a nose from Jagger Moves with Zip Stream another length back third.

It was a powerful finishing burst by the black daughter of Zambora Brockie and Cindy Rumble, reminiscent of her victory in last year’s rich feature at Townsville.

“I’m trying to book us in now for the trip back to Townsville later in the year,” Heilbronn said.

“If she’s right we’ll go back to defend the cup.”

This year’s $57,500 G3 Townsville Cup (498m) will be run in the second-half of the year – heats on September 2 and the $40,000-to-the-winner final on September 9.

Dulceria, Spanish for candy shop, has been a wonderful money-spinner for the Raceview-based (Ipswich) trainer.

“She’s helping us pay off the house, she’s paying the bills and allowing us to get things in life done,” he said.

The Rocky Cup success took her record to 11 wins and 14 placings from 39 starts and lifted her earnings beyond $123,000.

“You only get one shot at some of these races,” Heilbronn said.

“You’ve got to go for them.

“If you don’t have a go you’ll never know.”

“She’s a bitch that needs a bit of luck and an inside draw to show her best.

“She’s from the Frank Hancock line … they like to have free running.”

Heilbronn, who only has three race dogs in work at present, has the potential to have a nice team in coming months.

“Dulceria is the best dog I’ve trained so far but there could be a couple from the next litter that might be better,” he said.

“I have 23 pups ready to be broken in including a nice litter of eight pups by Whiskey Riot from Dulceria’s mum Cindy Rumble.

“They’re 14 months old and shaping up nicely.

“The litter whelped on Valentine’s Day, 2021, includes a male pup that has a heart-shaped mark on his chest.”

Heilbronn has already named the pup Keeper’s Heart after the Irish-American whiskey of the same name.

“He can run and a little sister may turn out to be better than Dulceria,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ken Boody kennel upset the more fancied pair to win the $9800 Cup Consolation with the lucky Dixie Gambles – an $8 chance.

Dixie Gambles, originally first reserve, gained a start following the scratchings of Canary Wharf and Maddison.

The Boody-prepared sprinter proved too strong for Tony Brett’s Just A Sort ($2.25) and the Robert Ayres-trained $1.85 favourite Lucky Lance.

Clint Thompson produced Rosa’s Money Bag ($2.80) to claim the $4700 Rocky Carnival Sprint (407m) over the Ken Boody pair – Blue Jeans Talk ($6) and Zipping Gibson ($5.50) – with another Boody runner Wink At Me ($2.50 fav) fourth.

Christine Pollard’s Five Putt Cal ($1.70 fav) had a runaway seven lengths win over Prosecutor (Peta Boon) and Rosa’s Memory (Clint Tompson) in the $4700 Dinky Di Web Design 4/5 Final (407).

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ZIP Stream, the Queen of Rockhampton, has continued her remarkable start to the 2022 season.

The black daughter of Zipping Garth and Night Time Lover added yet another trophy to her growing collection with an impressive victory in the $6500 Young Guns Final (510) at Rocky’s Callaghan Park last month.

But success didn’t come easy for the Ken Boody-trained sprinter .

Zip Stream ($1.65 fav), who has a wonderful  15: 13-1-1 record for the first five months of ’22, had to battle promising kennelmate Dixie Gambles ($4) for the entire journey, eventually winning by three-quarters of a length.

Another Boody runner, Hyperfine ($13), filled the minor placing, eight lengths back, giving Boody his second trifecta of the night.

It was another big performance by the Dalma-based trainer, who led in five winners.

Zip Stream’s Rocky success followed earlier victories in the Rocky YG over 407m in February, the Townsville YG (498m) in March, the Listed Wildcard (510m) at Rockhampton and a third placing behind Dulceria in the G3 Rocky Cup in April.

The sprinter’s career record stands at 23 wins and eight placings from 45 starts with more than $67,000 in prizemoney but it’s her record so far this year that stands out.

She has an 87 per cent winning strike rate and a 100 per cent place rating.

Meanwhile, Queensland country clubs have been blessed with a host of feature racing over the past two months.

At Bundaberg, Travis Elson landed the $4700 Easter Cup (460m) with $2.40 second favourite Summer’s Queen, Robert Ayres was successful with Canya Bellatrix ($1.90 fav) in the $4700 Maiden 1000 (460m) and Ron Brook’s Easy Eddie ($8.50) landed the $2500 Anzac Day Trophy (460m).

The David Plummer-trained Fogelberg increased his lead in the club’s GOTY award with a highly impressive victory in the $6500 TAB Anniversary Sprint (460m).

Starting a raging $1.10 hot favourite, Fogelberg clocked a slick 26.20s beating John White’s Burn Out ($19) and another Plummer sprinter Jericho ($17).

The victory lifted Fogelberg’s record to 27 wins and 13 placings from 52 starts, pushing his earnings just under $52,000.

Robert Ayres’  Lucky Lance ($1.45 fav) cruised to victory in the $6500 Bundy TAB Anniversary Cup (550m).

Lucky Lance proved too strong for Barcia Bullet (Darren Taylor) and Just Ace (George Broadrick).

Darren Taylor spoilt the Ken Boody party when outsider Say Some Words ($17) shocked punters to win the $4700 Colleen Jackson Memorial Final (510m) at Rockhampton.

Boody trained the four other runners in the final and had to be content taking the minor placings with Wink At Me ($7) and Dixie Gambles ($1.20 fav).

Clint Thompson produced the well-supported $1.40 favourite Petite Olga to win the $3800 Rocky Queensland Bred 5th Grade Final  (407m).

At Townsville, Arthur Gosper rugged up What A Bomber ($3.30) to land the $4700 Easter Sprint Trophy (380m), Graham Thompson was successful with Jungle Fever ($4.80) in the $4700 Anzac Day Trophy (498m) and Laurie Wode took home the Maiden 1000 (380m) with Stressful Day ($4).

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BURDELL-based trainer Rhonda Essery has produced a couple of longshot winners in recent months.

Essery, last year’s leading trainer at Townsville, has made an unusually slow start to the 2022 season.

Although she was sitting in third spot last month with 19 winners, she was well behind premiership leader Brad Belford, who has 57 winners and well on his way to breaking the ton for the second consecutive year.

But to her credit, Essery rugged up $41 winner Endless Ability in a 3/4 Grade (380m) and a week later produced Sayaka, a novice (380m) winner at the juicy odds of $81 (fixed). And anyone who punted on the tote received the amazing odds of 126-1.

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