Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

{WIDE BARRIER IRKS SHELTON} {John Carlton Cup Favourite Has Rivals on Alert}; but News Alert Camp Confident Ahead of John Carlton Cup

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

{WIDE BARRIER IRKS SHELTON} {John Carlton Cup Favourite Has Rivals on Alert}; but News Alert Camp Confident Ahead of John Carlton Cup

Article excerpt

Byline: TONY WHITE RACING REPORTER sport@dailyexaminer.com.au

TRAINER John Shelton's dream of starting smart galloper Innocenttassie in next Wednesday's $130,000 WHK Ramornie Handicap has all but been shattered by the push of a button.

The five-year-old gelding, owned by Pat Bramich, drew horribly in barrier 15 for today's $15,000 John Carlton Cup (1200m), a race he virtually needed to win to ensure a Ramornie start.

"The barrier? Yeah, terrible, heartbreaking," Shelton said yesterday.

"The John Carlton was the race we picked out for him to get him into the Ramornie.

"Gee, it's a hot field and even the barrier draw has conspired against us.

"Everything was going good until we saw the draw. Pat (Bramich) was pretty disappointed. What can you do?"

In 2004 the same combination won the John Carlton Cup with Sir Dan, which went on to finish third in Takeover Target's Ramornie and third the following year behind King Rex and Mastermind.

Prior to the draw and seeing the quality of the line-up, Shelton was confident Innocenttassie could figure in the finish.

"He's third-up and ready to peak," Shelton said.

"Brilliant Prince will go forward, we've just got to hope we can come across with him and hope not too many push up inside.

"He'll be ridden for luck."

Brilliant Prince's trainer Terry Commerford said his five-year-old gelding was 'going better than he's ever gone for me'.

"He should have won at the Sunshine Coast (June 28) last start instead of finishing second. His jockey (Nathan Thomas) dropped the whip at the 300 metres and Brilliant Prince virtually went to the line under his own steam," Commerford said.

"He's a horse that always responds, finds a few lengths under the whip.

"I'm very happy with the horse. This is his third preparation for me and it's the first time he hasn't had a cough. …

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