By Glenn Davis
Rockhampton trainer Ricky Vale has 100-thousand reasons and more to chance backing-up Cleveland Bay Handicap winner Mr Attitude in the Newmarket Handicap in Cairns on Saturday.
The Newmarket Handicap (1400m) is the fourth leg of the five-race Northern Crown series for sprinters which attracts a $100,000 bonus to connections of any horse which wins three races in the series.
The bonus jumps to $150,000 if one of the races includes the Far North Queensland Amateur Cup in Cairns on September 14.
Vale landed his biggest win in his 12-year training career when Mr Attitude won the Cleveland Bay Handicap (1300m) in Townsville on July 25.
Mr Attitude previously won the Newmarket Handicap (1300m) in Mackay two weeks earlier which at the time was Vale’s biggest victory before taking out the Cleveland Bay.
Mr Attitude has paid the penalty for his rise through the ranks during the northern winter carnival after being allotted second topweight with 60kgs in the Cairns Newmarket.
Vale expected Mr Attitude would receive around 58.5kgs, one kilo more than he lumped to a last stride win over fellow Rockhampton sprinter Ozark in the Cleveland Bay Handicap.
“Backing up is our biggest worry with him as he’s been in work for 12 months,” Vale said.
“He’s got a bit more weight than I expected but he’ll race well again.
“I think Ozark who we just beat in the Cleveland Bay will be the hardest to beat again.”
Vale has done a magnificent job with Mr Attitude who has won nine of his 13 starts since leaving his previous trainer Neville Petersen in Toowoomba after failing at the Sunshine Coast in September last year.
The key to the five-year-old’s form turnaround was the cure for a chronic worm complaint.
“When he first came to me, he seemed to have a back problem but it turned out to be a large infestation of worms,” Vale said.
“His previous trainer worked it out but he didn’t treat him with a high enough dosage.
“The worms affected the blood flow to his muscles and back but once we got on top of it, he was right.”
Mr Attitude is raced in a syndicate of seven headed by breeder Wayne Twigg who runs an exhaust business in Rockhampton.
“He started his career in Brisbane with Lawrie Mayfield-Smith and was very consistent but he wouldn’t settle in his races,” Vale said.
“He used to jump and run for Lawrie who wanted to step him up in distance but since he’s been with me, I’ve kept him to sprints.
“If he wins the Cairns Newmarket and pulls up well there’s every chance he’ll go on for the $150,000 bonus in the Amateur Cup in five weeks.”
Racing Queensland webnews July 31