FEW AND FAR BETWEEN: Magic Merle has been sparsely run since her first up 3YO Maiden win at Coffs Harbour in December, 13. Jockey Raymond Spokes has ridden all eight of the Brett Bellamy trained five-year-old’s starts and will once again be in the saddle in race four at Clarence River Jockey Club today. PHOTO: LEIGH JENSEN
FEW AND FAR BETWEEN: Magic Merle has been sparsely run since her first up 3YO Maiden win at Coffs Harbour in December, 13. Jockey Raymond Spokes has ridden all eight of the Brett Bellamy trained five-year-old’s starts and will once again be in the saddle in race four at Clarence River Jockey Club today. PHOTO: LEIGH JENSEN Leigh Jensen

Bellamy confident of Magic Merle track comeback

IT'S BEEN a long wait but the Brett Bellamy- trained Magic Merle finally makes it back to the racetrack at Grafton today.

Magic Merle has been sidelined for almost a year - 323 days - but according to Coffs Harbour based Bellamy is "ready to roll" in her comeback.

The four-year-old daughter of Hidden Dragon, bred by Bellamy, steps out in the Frisco View @ Tomorrows Farm Benchmark 60 handicap over 1006m.

In a limited career spanning eight starts, Magic Merle has shown above average ability, registering four wins and a third from eight starts.

She is a daughter of Merlean's Magic, also bred and raced by Bellamy.

"I've had the dam, grand dam and great grand dam," Bellamy revealed. "I know the family very well.

"Unfortunately none of them have ever lived up to what they've been capable of through injury and what not.

"Merlean's Magic was the same. She had issues, bowed a tendon and we never got to see how good she really was. At least they have all won races and so far Magic Merle has been kind to me prizemoney wise."

Magic merle has returned $35,855.

Bellamy said the long lay-off was brought about by a combination of things.

"There were no races about for her so I sooked up and put her in the paddock," Bellamy added. "As most people know there has been a problem getting grass tracks at Coffs Harbour but just when I had her ready to resume she slipped on the sand track and tore a muscle over her hind quarter, which set her back."

Magic Merle has had the benefit of one trial, an effort Bellamy described as "very good.

"She led in the trial. She's a mare that as a rule shows speed which should suit her at Grafton.

"She's going good. She looks good and has worked good. She's well and happy in herself.

"She's about as well as I can get her, about 80 to 90 per cent, not far off the mark.

"I'm hoping she can benefit from the run and be right on for a Benchmark 70 handicap at Ballina on their cup day (September 10)."



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