Weight cools off favourite
By TONY WHITE
A BIG weight and wide barrier has cooled local trainer John Shelton's hopes for possible Ramornie contender Sircolo at Grafton today.
The five-year-old gelding resumes in the Grafton Carnival July 6 to 16 Open Hcp (1000m) with leading North Coast jockey Peter Graham in the saddle.
Graham has ridden more than 120 winners this season to be second on the country jockeys' premiership behind Greg Ryan.
Sircolo has to lump 59kg from barrier 7.
"He's certainly weighted up to his best, he's resuming and hasn't won over 1000 metres," Shelton said.
"It hasn't made his job easy.
"But he looks well, has done well and he's got to start his campaign off somewhere."
Shelton said the Ramornie Hcp during the July carnival, a race he won with Mother's Gift in 2000, was the long range plan for Sircolo.
"It's in the back of my mind," Shelton said.
"Sircolo has jumped up the bar every time I've asked him.
"He's improved each preparation, but he'll have to improve a touch, and if he can, then the race would not be out of the question.
"It will be up to the horse."
Sircolo, a multiple winner in Brisbane, hasn't raced since winning an Open Hcp over 1100m at his home track on October 11 last year.
By Piccolo, Sircolo has won eight of 31 starts and it's worth noting, while he hasn't won over 1000m, the gelding has three wins and three second's from seven starts at Grafton.
Shelton will saddle up several other runners including Innocenttassie, (Mr. Innocent -Moss Stopper) a half-brother to Shelton's twice Ramornie placegetter Sir Dan.
Two-year-old Innocenttassie makes its debut in the Maclean Cup Day Hcp (1200m).
"We're hoping he can win races," Shelton said.
Sir Dan was sold to race in Macau after being banned by Queensland stewards late last year.
"He's been over there (Macau) for about five weeks," Shelton said. "He must be just about ready to race.
"I'd just love to see him win a race or two over there. We've got a couple of other horses from the family."