Local trainer hopes to 'Triumph' in Ballina Bracelet
19 Jul 2012 | The likelihood of a heavy track – and home ground advantage – has given local trainer John Hubbard renewed hope that the $25,000 Ballina Bracelet (1250m) on Friday is well within the reach of emerging two-year-old Aussie Triumph.
The 54-year-old trainer made Ballina his home two years ago after relocating from Wyong. He trains Aussie Triumph – a topical tip given the London Olympics are just nine days out – for his wife Sue, a group of local mates that includes Josh McIntosh, Fiona Graham and Chris Gilmore as well as a Mildura syndicate headed up by Tony Marciano.
“We’ve had horses over the years with Tony and he said to give him a yell if we ever found one we liked a bit,” Hubbard said.
The trainer found the one he “liked a bit” for just $4000 at last year’s Magic Million Sales at the Gold Coast and to date the daughter of Aussie Rules has earned $7250 despite remaining winless from four starts.
Aussie Triumph has, however, racked three consecutive seconds after finishing unplaced behind General Jackson on debut at Doomben earlier this year.
“The race in Brisbane was all that was around at the time,” Hubbard said. “She was going a little bit shinny and I wanted to give her a start before we tipped her out. She was working all right so we took her up there – she’s always shown she’s had a bit of ability.”
Aussie Triumph, with Peter Graham on board tomorrow, resumed at Lismore five weeks ago on a heavy track to finish a neck second behind Sayori. She was beaten more than a length next start on a dead track at Murwillumbah behind Casino Card then again struck a heavy track at Wyong last Friday.
The filly got within a head of Matthew Smith’s Strange Logic and Hubbard believes she was unlucky not to break through.
“She didn’t have a lot of luck and probably nearly should have won,” Hubbard said. “She got held up a little bit coming to the corner and the winner came from behind and got in underneath her. She straightened up and had to follow him through – she ran him to a head.”
Aussie Triumph proved last week that wet tracks don’t bother her – and that’s exactly the type of surface expected for Ballina Jockey Club’s big eight-race card tomorrow.
“She does get through it, but I think she’ll handle any type of track. She’s a pretty versatile little thing and nothing worries her much,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard’s wife Sue, who jokes she’s “just the strapper”, says Aussie Triumph had to be a live hope after the filly’s luckless Wyong effort.
“We would’ve liked the Bracelet to be a week later, but she seems to have come through the Wyong race – and the trip – all right,” she said. “We’ll give her this run then probably put her out – John seems to think she’ll be better as a three-year-old.”
The Hubbards also have second emergency Rodia and Sue says the filly will prove competitive if she gains a run.
“Her last run at Grafton was just as good as Aussie Triumph’s at Wyong,” she said. “She sat three-wide outside the leader – she drew 12 out of 12 – and was beaten a length-and-a-half. Her run was enormous, but whether she gets in or not is another thing.”