HORSE RACING: Belflyer is out to create history in today's Warwick Cup.
The six-year-old gelding won the race last year for trainer Kath Carroll, however he has since shifted stables.
Now trained by John Shelton at Grafton, the talented gelding is favoured to become the first horse to win back-to-back Warwick Cups for different trainers.
Shelton said he had been performing extremely well since making the switch.
"The Queensland owners moved him to New South Wales to run for better prize money,” he said.
"He's a nice little horse. I thought he'd win a couple of lesser races, but he's just continued to get better and better.
"He hasn't drawn the best and has a big weight to carry, but he has been racing really well.
"His last win at Ballina was pretty impressive, and he won this race last year as well.”
Since changing stables, Belflyer has claimed the Community Cup at Ballina, the Moree Cup and a BM65 at Grafton.
In fact, his only start out of the placings was in a Saturday metropolitan-grade race at Ipswich last month.
On the local front, trainer Norm Hilton has Kid Cruize engaged for the Warwick Cup, his only starter for the day.
"I think he's a good chance. He's won well over the 1500 metres at the track before,” Hilton said.
"He's going good. He's fit, ready to go, and has drawn well.
"Kenji Yoshida rode him when he won at the track, and he is a jockey with a lot of experience at Warwick, which will help our chances.”
Apprentice jockey Michael Schrapel, who created his own slice of history at his last visit to Warwick when winning the Allora Cup twice in the same calendar year, pilots Congelator in the big race.
"He's a rough chance in the race, but we know he'll give everything,” Schrapel said.
"He's suited to the distance, and has won over the trip before.
"The horse has had two good lead-up runs and I'm not too fussed despite drawing a bad barrier.
"Hopefully I'll be able to slot him in mid-field and knock them off.
"The wet weather won't be a problem.”
Schrapel has seven rides on the eight-race card, and rates one early in the day as one of his best.
He also links up again with Drum Master, who provided him with his historic Allora Cup victory at Allman Park last month.
"Red Monkey in the third is a real good chance,” he said,
"I've ridden him three times for two seconds and a third, and he's unlucky not to have broken his maiden yet.
"I've also got Drum Master in the Newmarket. He's drawn a bit awkwardly, but hopefully we can get an easy lead.
"It helps when you know the horse.”
Racing in the region received a huge boost on Thursday, with the announcement of an eighth race for the Warwick Credit Union Warwick Cup program today.
After 35 nominations were received for the Gross Wholesales Maiden over 1100 metres, Racing Queensland opted to split the race, a strong indicator of the support the meeting has received.
Warwick Turf Club president Phil Grant said the club was happy with the response.
"We always seem to have better than average nominations and acceptances,” Grant said.
Currently the track is in the lower soft range, with more showers forecast for today. Despite the outlook from the weather gods, Grant is confident the track will continue to hold up for all involved.
"The track has held up alright. On Thursday it was close to a soft 7, but if the weather clears hopefully we can get it down to a 5,” he said.
WARWICK CREDIT UNION WARWICK CUP UBET ODDS (correct as at 9am, 13/10/17)
Rhyme Nor Rhythm $3.30
Zip To The Moon $7.00
On Demand $7.50
Just As Loyal $9.50
Kid Cruize $13
Leprechaun Lad $16
Try 'N' Catch Me $26
Our Clarky $35
Bernie Of Babylon $61
Safety Peg $126
Legs Unbarred SCR