Weight not distance is Dale Healey’s biggest concern as Instrumentalist bids to give the trainer the first feature win of his fledgling career.
Healey, who took out his licence last November and has 20 horses in work at Glasshouse Mountains north of Brisbane, will send out the 59kg topweight in Saturday’s Queensland Cup at Eagle Farm.
The Listed race over 3200 metres is the longest race in Brisbane and one of a handful left in Australasia over the Melbourne Cup distance.
Formerly with the Chris Waller stable, the imported Instrumentalist won six races for Sydney’s leading trainer including the 2014 Mornington Cup.
“We got him at the Magic Millions sales in January and he is as sound as a bell,” Healey said.
“We virtually train him out of a paddock and he has stood up well. We gave him a little break in April after he ran in the Toowoomba Cup but he continues to work well.”
Instrumentalist was third in the Ipswich Cup before running fourth the Caloundra Cup last Saturday week.
“I see no reason why he won’t run a strong 3200 metres. But the thing that worries us is the weight he has been given. He hasn’t won since the Mornington Cup and there are a couple of relatively recent Sydney winners in the field,” Healey said.
“He started with a high rating here but it has been a while since he won and I would have thought his rating would have gone down.”
“But he has gone from 54 kilograms to 59 and we just have to hope the weather stays fine. If the track is wet he really has a task.”
A former rugby league player, Healey has been a regular in the winner’s circle at the provincial tracks with horses such as Our Story, Hessian and Shudaputaringonit.
“I have always had horses but my main interest was rugby league. I played a lot of Foley Shield in north Queensland before the Cowboys came along,” Healey said.
“My son is a very good show rider and he was keen to get into racing. So I took out my licence. He rides a lot of work and is a big help.”
Star apprentice James Orman will be back from a short suspension to ride Instrumentalist on Saturday.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au