Home track hero yet to miss
COLLOQUIALLY speaking, five-year-old Innocenttassie could well be described as a 'homebody.'
When it comes to racing on his home track at Grafton, the John Shelton-trained gelding boasts a 'Bo Derrick' perfect record - 10 runs for 10 placings.
ON Sunday Innocenttassie tackles the $25,000 Maclean Bowling Club Maclean Cup (1400m) with star apprentice Adam Hyeronimus in the saddle.
“He's never been unplaced at Grafton, he certainly loves racing at home,” Shelton said.
“He's just a consistent racehorse. Never puts in many bad ones.”
Innocenttassie's Grafton record reads: five wins, three seconds, two thirds and $74,000 earnings from a 32-start career.
And the versatile son of Mr. Innocent, purchased for $30,000 as a yearling at the Magic Million sales, has scored over distances ranging from 1000m to 1600m.
Shelton is comfortable with his and owner Pat Bramich's decision to bypass last Wednesday's $130,000 WHK Ramornie (1200m) following the gelding's cracking second to News Alert in the John Carlton Cup.
“Pat left it up to me basically,” Shelton said.
“While News Alert didn't win the Ramornie, he got galloped on, with the turnaround in the weights from the John Carlton I didn't think he could win.
“I think he can win the Maclean Cup.
“The extra few days has helped him. He's done nice, worked well and the bit of fast work he's done has been pleasing.”
Innocenttassie will carry 57.5kg.
“He's starting to sneak up in the weights, paying for his consistency,” Shelton argued.
“When you look at a horse like Centover (56.5kg), who's won more prizemoney and probably raced in better races, he's not that well in but we all know he puts in every time.
“The barrier (10) isn't good, you never like drawing wide at the 1400 metres.
“He's got good gate speed though and should probably park outside the leader or close up and Adam can put him to sleep and get him to relax.
He's good like that.”
Shelton said future plans include a possible trip to Brisbane for a non-metro win event and the $70,000 Coffs Harbour Cup (1600m) on August 6.
Grafton will also be represented in the Maclean Cup by Running Rich (Paul Richardson) and Diamond And Ice (David Campbell).
Shelton's highlight of the July Carnival - "We've won a couple of races. but backing Timmy's (trainer Tim Martin) horses, definitely the highlight.”
Martin, who stables his team with Shelton, won four successive races on Wednesday and backed up with heavily supported The Mikado in the Southern Cross Ten Plate on Thursday.