Oink brings home the bacon on emotional day at Doomben

Oink (outside) scores a narrow but memorable win at Doomben. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography


EMOTIONS ran high after Oink gained the judge’s verdict and defied a protest to win at Doomben on Saturday.

Oink is raced by Darren Wilson, who invited the parents of Tim Bell, Grant and Keiley, into the ownership after the jockey’s death in Singapore last November.

Adding to the emotion, Oink is strapped by Bell’s partner Heidi Whalley.

Wilson was coy on the naming of the gelding, revealing it may have had something to do with him being involved in the meat industry and Grant Bell being a police officer.

“Before Tim went to Singapore he rode him in his early work and promised he would come back and ride him when he wins his Group 1 races,” Wilson said.

“He had a good opinion of him early on and this horse will always be closely linked to Tim.”

Oink wears colours similar to Border Rebel, the horse that shot Bell to early stakes success, but they also have a distinctive purple bell logo designed by Whalley.

The final link to the emotional team is Paul Hammersley, who fought back tears after dismounting.

“Paul was the last one there at the funeral,” Wilson said. “We were all drunk at the time and we told Paul he could ride this horse when he races.”
Poignant: Paul Hammersley is embraced by Tim Bell’s dad Grant after Oink’s win. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography

It was the first leg of a big two-year-old double for trainer Kelly Schweida, who was in Rockhampton to watch Bagus claim the Capricornia Yearling Sale Classic.

Bagus looked set for a clear-cut win, but had to dig deep late to fend off 100-1 chance Uncanny Reason.

Punters’ judgment proved spot on when big market mover Reckless Abandon ($4-$2.80) proved too strong for Tan Tat Diamond over the Doomben mile and trainer Liam Birchley is now eyeing carnival races.

“The way he’s going, we can probably look at some of the lower-tier stakes races over the carnival,” Birchley said.

“His best rating actually came over 2000m, but there’s plenty of 1600m options.”

Trainer Barry Lockwood ­attributed the return to winning form for Kudero being a genuine speed.

“He was travelling all right last week, but then they pulled up and he just took hold of the rider,” Lockwood said.
Caillebotte motors past his rivals to record a convincing victory. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography



SOME long-term investments are starting to pay dividends for Murwillumbah-based trainer Matt Dunn, who is eyeing off some carnival features after his team fired at Doomben on Saturday.

A winning treble with Caillebotte, Perfect Dare and Kebete completed six metropolitan wins for the week for Dunn in a career best.

“We’re in a better spot than we’ve ever been going into a carnival,” said Dunn, who attributed a big portion of the success to his bloodstock agent Neil Jenkinson and being prepared to pay more for yearlings.

“Perfect Dare and Kebete will be joined by Dram Of Red and Madotti, so we have good depth for the three-year-old races. Every year we have stepped up and spent more money, which isn’t easy.

“You have to put your balls on the line to do that. I don’t have a client that can go out and pay big dollars for a horse, so you have to back yourself to sell them.

“It’s nice to see the results coming through now.”

Kebete is being aimed at the Queensland Oaks, while Perfect Dare is Queensland Guineas-bound. Dunn said Caillebotte may have a good race in him after he went past his rivals like they were tied to the fence on Saturday.


Story courtesy Nathan Exelby – The Sunday Mail (Qld)


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