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RQ Townsville Thursday Preview: 4th April 2024

3 minute read

Trainer Les Gordy is hopeful former barrier rogue Captain Bond can stake a claim for the Cleveland Bay Handicap during the North Queensland Winter racing Carnival when the four-year-old tackles the Open Handicap at Townsville on Thursday.

Picture: Steve Hart

Leslie Gordy  is already aiming stablemate Demon Award for the Cleveland Bay feature and hopes Captain Bond can give him a two-pronged attack.

Gordy's best performance in the Cleveland Bay was with his former stable star Bullion Wolf who finished fifth to Deadly Choices in the 2020 edition.

"I had Captain Bond nominated for Home Hill on Saturday as well as I was tempted to target the Battle Of The Bush in Brisbane with him," Gordy said.

"But he needs to have five starts in the country to qualify for the Battle Of The Bush and he's only had two so far, so he'll probably start on Thursday at Townsville and we'll aim for the Cleveland Bay.

"I want to try him over 1200 metres in this class then focus on the Cleveland Bay.

"It's a very strong race on Thursday and if he can beat this lot then he's definitely a Cleveland Bay chance."

Gordy is banking on Captain Bond's excellent first-up strike rate of two wins and a third from four starts to claim the sixth win of his career and his first in open company.

Captain Bond has been a work in progress for Gordy who bought him for $17,000 at an Inglis on-line sale in September last year.

The son of Capitalist started his career with Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou in Sydney before being moved on to Gold Coast trainer Peter Robl after winning two of his eight Sydney starts.

Captain Bond started only once for Robl finishing sixth at Ipswich in August last year before Gordy noticed he was for sale.

"I had to start from scratch with him as he wouldn't load in the barriers when I first got him," Gordy said.

"He had a few problems going into the barriers before I bought him that's why I got him so cheaply."

Since rectifying his banner manners, Captain Bond has proven to be a goldmine for Gordy with three wins from five starts in north Queensland.

Gordy is hopeful Captain Bond can bring an end to in-form sprinter Hurtle's winning sequence but fears former Brisbane sprinter Acrobatic may be a bigger threat.

Hurtle is unbeaten in his current campaign and is chasing his fourth straight win in the 1200-metre Open while Captain Bond is having his first start since late December when the four-year-old finished second over 1180 metres at Home Hill.

Acrobatic is having his first start for trainer Chelsea Jokic and Gordy is wary of Brisbane sprinters having their first starts in north Queensland.

"Hurtle has been racing very well and is an obvious danger but Acrobatic was trained by Kelly Schweida before Chelsea got him and Brisbane horses who only get beaten around three lengths down there seem to go well in Townsville," he said.

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