TOO STRONG: John Shelton's Tarbert (1) edges All Stand in the opener at Clarence River Jockey Club yesterday.
TOO STRONG: John Shelton's Tarbert (1) edges All Stand in the opener at Clarence River Jockey Club yesterday. Mitchell Keenan

Tarbert on target ahead of huge Kosciuszko test

RACING: Tarbert is on target. That was the message from the seven-year-old gelding when he rounded up a small field to win yesterday's topically named $22,000 Tarbert for the Kosciuszko Open (1020m) at Grafton.

The John Shelton-trained son of Red Element was back near the tail of the seven-horse field but finished strongly down the middle of the track to beat All Stand, with General Nelson third.

Adam Hyeronimus rode Tarbert yesterday but will ride stable mate Belflyer, the horse he famously won the $1.3 million race on, when the pair contest the October 19 Kosciuszko at Randwick.

"It was good hit-out, he needed that,” Hyeronimus said.

"He's right on target.”

He said Tarbert "jumped well” and while there wasn't as much pace on as he thought there would be, he travelled well and "it worked out well”.

Shelton, who won last year's inaugural Kosciuszko with Belflyer, was delighted with Tarbert's effort.

He said the big weight (63kg) and unsuitable distance (1020m) made the win more impressive, believing the run at Tarbert's home track was an important part of his preparation for a race in which he would have two good chances.

"Both are similar horses,” Shelton said of Tarbert and Belflyer.

"Both are good on big tracks and both go into the race in good shape.”

Tarbert and Belflyer, who was to trial after today's final race at Grafton, are rated $15 chances in the October 19 Kosciuszko, with favourites Victorem and Noble Boy on top.

KOSCIUSZKO MARKET: $4 Victorem, $4.60 Noble Boy, $8 Notation, Handle the Truth, $11 Star Boy, Bobbing, $15 Awesome Pluck, Benflyer, Don't Give a Damn, Up Trumpz, Tarbert, Luna Mia, $26 Suncraze, Press Box, $51 Syd's Footprints.



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