Hello Al a good doer

TRAINER Barry Lockwood hopes to continue a long winning association with Sydney owner Barry Garforth when Hello Al lines up at Grafton today.

“Barry has had horses with me for some time. I normally get the second stringers not good enough for Sydney but we’ve had some luck together,” Lockwood said.

The Magic Albert three-year-old will have his second start for Lockwood’s Tamworth stable in the Blanchard Family Fall Of Autumn 3YO Country Plate (1100m).

The gelding will be ridden by champion apprentice Timothy Bell.

Hello Al made its debut for Lockwood over 1000m in a Class 2 event at Walcha on February 11 finishing third to Sugera, beaten 2.8 lengths.

“I’d had him for about three months before Walcha. The run was okay,” Lockwood said. “The winner was way too good but I was happy enough with his effort.”

Hello Al won its maiden over 900m at Cessnock in August and was beaten only 2.6 lengths in a Class 1 race at Hawkesbury behind Valour before transferring to Lockwood.

Lockwood describes Hello Al as “very compact, a good type and good doer”.

“He’s got his fare share of speed but I think, when allowed to settle in his races, will be even more effective over 1200 metres.

“He just couldn’t keep up at Walcha, was under-riding all the way but still stuck to the task against older horses.

“Back to his own age group at Grafton will suit him better.”

Since Walcha, Hello Al has continued to please Lockwood, who has returned home after stints in Sydney including one as foreman for Paul Sutherland when he ranked as one of the leading trainers at Rosehill.

“The run under his belt has certainly helped,” Lockwood added. “He’s done good, looks a treat and has worked well.

“It’s a long way to go to Grafton, we’ll (trainers) all be working for the petrol companies if the fuel price keeps rising, but I wouldn’t be going unless I though it was a suitable race for him.

“He’ll be very competitive.”

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