News

That's close

Toolbag, ridden by Terry Treichel, on the outside beats out Just So Bruno (centre) and Outrider in the XXXX Class 1 Hcp (1000m) at the Grafton races. Photo: Adam Hourigan
Toolbag, ridden by Terry Treichel, on the outside beats out Just So Bruno (centre) and Outrider in the XXXX Class 1 Hcp (1000m) at the Grafton races. Photo: Adam Hourigan

AN UNEXPECTED phone call in May proved the catalyst to Gayna Williams gaining the best-bred galloper to enter her stables - yesterday's Grafton winner Toolbag.

The son of super sire Redoute's Choice from the Strawberry Road mare Strawberry Girl is a full-brother to Gai Waterhouse's star galloper Strawberry Boy.

Toolbag, bred by John Singleton's Strawberry Hill stud, was raced previously by Patinack Farm under trainer John Thompson, winning one of 12 starts.

"Out of the blue I got a call and the voice said, 'you probably don't remember me, it's Bob Dawson. I heard you were training out of Grafton and I'd like to find you a horse to train,'" Williams said.

"I did recognise the voice. Bob and I go back a long way."

Williams, when based at Bathurst, got now Sydney-based Dawson his first horse, which won on debut and was later sold.

Dawson contacted Vin Cox from Magic Millions and with Kim Regler they formed a syndicate to race the beautifully bred gelding.

"He was due to go through the Patinack Farm dispersal sale but had a bout of colic at the time and the boys got him later privately," Williams said.

Ridden by in-form Terry Treichel and arriving in the nick of time out wide, Toolbag beat Just So Bruno and Outrider in the XXXX Class 1 Hcp (1000m).

For a staying bred horse to win first-up over an unsuitable distance earmarked his promise.

"I was worried the 1000 metres might be too short," Williams admitted. "Kim (Regler) rang before the race and said Bob Dawson was overseas.

"He reckoned every time he or Bob are away they win a race."

The unusual omen proved fruitful.

Toolbag entered Williams' stables in July.

"He's a lovely big horse with quality but he's had two knee operations," she said.

"Because of that I treat him with kid gloves. He doesn't take a lot of work.

"He gets a lot of bush walks and has got residual fitness."

As for the five-year-old's future, Williams remains upbeat.

"If he stands up he's got a good future, definitely," she said.

Queensland jockey Michael Palmer made a successful hit-and-run visit, winning aboard Sophia's Son for Gold Coast-based trainer Darryl Caldwell.

Caldwell, who grew up with respected Melbourne trainer Robert Smerdon at Ballarat and later worked with the multiple Group One-winning mentor, dabbles with a couple of horses.

However, his main income base is from selling horses to Hong Kong and Singapore.

Sophia's Son was actually sold to Singapore clients after trialling but later failed the vet test.

The well-backed three-year-old led throughout to win the L J Hooker Maiden (1400m), beating Connolly and Train Robber.



5 big issues confronting council

One measure the contractors are using on the council depot site to combat asbestos contamination.

Several major items on agenda for first meeting of 2017

FROM ZERO TO HERO: Barilaro on a mission to earn trust

GETTING GRANULAR: Deputy premier John Barilaro speaks with local people at a lunch held at the Crown Hotel on his tour of the Clarence Valley.

"My job over the next two years is to reconnect with communities"

Another victory in our on-going ice battle

DRUG BUST: Detective Acting Inspector Bernadette Ingram provided details into an ice bust in Woodburn during a press conference.

More arrests a possibility as investigations continue

Local Partners

Bishop's ordination to be streamed across the globe

THE world will be watching when the Catholic Diocese of Lismore welcomes its new bishop this week.


Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Share a cuppa coffee with a cop

Coffee and conversation go hand in hand in the Clarence whether you like it or not.

Chance to come along and meet your local police officers

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

MACKAY will play host to one of the world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John later this year.

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Robert Irwin introduces Jimmy Fallon to wild guests

Robert Irwin introduces Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a cuddly sloth.

ROBERT Irwin continues Steve's legacy.

MOVIE REVIEW: Trespass Against Us a 'tender' crime film

Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson in a scene from the movie Trespass Against Us.

Tough British film about criminal clan proves touching

Crocodile, hippo fears as I'm A Celeb filming hit by flooding

Flooding hits the set of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Fears crocodiles and hippos could infiltrate I'm A Celeb camp

Small screen users make switch to smaller screens

In this photo taken Oct. 16, 2013, a girl plays Supercelll's Hay Day game on an iPad. The Finnish 'Clash of Clans' mobile game maker Supercell said Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, it plans to launch its third game next month on a tide of soaring revenues and profits. The new game, 'Boom Beach,' will be launched in March. It's been tested in Canada and Australia, ranking fifth in both countries' iPhone app store lists, according to the company. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Milla Takala)  FINLAND OUT

The digital age generation makes the switch

Nadia visits Coast to escape Married At First Sight drama

Married At First Sight's Nadia Stamp takes a breather from the show's drama at Mooloolaba.

MAFS bride unwinds on the Coast ahead of commitment ceremony

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Living with river view

LABOUR OF LOVE: Peter and Narelle Cauldwell are selling Bemuda Estate in Great Marlow (pictured below).

A rare opportunity to own a luxury estate

Clarence River island paradise selling for $5M

Former Ballina councillor Margaret Howes is selling her island getaway.

GALLERY: Tropical getaway with beaches and airstrip put on market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!