Friday, 20 July 2012
: Veteran Taree trainer Jim Delaney has his sights set on a second north coast feature win in seven days at Coffs Harbour on Sunday with his prolific winner Universal Belief.
Delaney has been around thoroughbreds for most of his 70 years and says the deeds of Universal Belief – likely favourite for Sunday's $25,000 Tarraray Pet Retreat Sawtell Cup – never cease to amaze him.
The six-year-old, owned by Delaney, his wife Celia and good friends Athol and Avril Miller, has won six races this preparation including the Tamworth Cup, Casino Beef Week Cup and last Sunday's Maclean Cup at Grafton.
“He's just a marvellous old horse," Delaney said of his stable star.Universal Belief
is a racing conundrum. The rising seven-year-old smashed a knee finishing third in a race at the Grafton carnival three years ago, an injury that would have ended the career of many horses.
“It happened at the start of the race but he went the whole journey and was still finishing over the top of them with a broken knee,” Delaney said.
Universal Belief underwent surgery, had three screws inserted in the smashed knee and was sent bush for nearly three years.
“He was out for two years and eight months and when he came back I had him in work for 24 weeks before I even barrier trialled him,” Delaney said.
Universal Belief made his comeback in early March and the patched-up gelding has since gone from strength to strength – crook knee and all.
Port Macquarie hoop Peter Graham has been with him every step of the way and again partners Universal Belief on Sunday.
“Peter's only missed one ride on him this preparation. That was when he won at Wyong with apprentice Sam Clipperton on,” Delaney said.
"It's a great result for Jim," Graham said after last Sunday's Grafton win.
"He does a great job with only a small team of horses.
Universal Belief rises 2.5kg on last Sunday's win to the topweight of 59.5kg in the Sawtell Cup and will concede 5.5kg to all but one of the other 15 acceptors.
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