Brett Bellamy cannot recall the last time he brought a horse from Coffs Harbour to Sydney and the trainer is looking forward to his first Highway Handicap experience.
Bellamy has trained out of Coffs Harbour for about 30 years and it is late-blooming unbeaten four-year-old Super Tonic who has justified the journey south for Saturday’s early-season meeting.
“I haven’t had a runner outside of the country for a long time. I haven’t had one good enough,” Bellamy said.
“I know she’s only had the two starts but she races very genuinely. When the gaps are there she takes them. She’s a little professional.”
Lightly framed as a filly, Super Tonic was held back by Bellamy until late June when she made her debut on her home track over 810-metres.
She then stepped up to win over 1012m a month later to earn the road trip.
“She’s always shown plenty of ability but we thought we’d err on the side of caution and give her the opportunity to mature,” Bellamy said.
He said the timing was spot-on to try her in the city.
“It’s not all that often you’ve got a race that suits you. Everything was there – the distance (1100m), the class,” he said.
“The Highways are generally only class one, twos and threes, I don’t expect her to be in those grades very long so we might as well go down and have a look.”
Bellamy said Super Tonic would be spelled when she heads home after the meeting, and then be prepared for a tilt at the Country Championship next year.
He also has durable gelding Star Fest making his metropolitan debut after 53 starts in the Premier’s Cup Prelude (1800m).
“He’s basically a travelling companion and he’ll probably be outclassed but there’s no weight (53kg) on his back,” he said.
“I bet he let’s them know he’s there at some stage.”