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Trainer Brett Bellamy believes a step up to 1600 metres at Ballina on Saturday will work in favour of the consistent War Machine.

The four-year-old gelding, a Matthew Bennett mount, tackles the Byron Shire News Class 1 Hcp (1610m).

War Machine has been placed in four of his past five starts.

“He just keeps running into one better,” Bellamy said.

“He’s a horse that always puts in.

“Indications are he wants a mile (1600m).

“It should be right up his alley.

“While he hasn’t won, his form’s been strong and the form around him has been good.”

In 21 starts, War Machine has registered just one win but recorded eight placings. He has previously failed twice over 1600 metres but Bellamy said there were genuine excuses on both occasions.

Last time out the gelding was beaten three-quarters a length when runner-up to Kevejon over 1400 metres on his home track on May 11.

Bellamy said since issuing a change in tactics – riding him quieter – the gelding, owned by long time stable supporter Ray Fitzgerald from Bowraville, has raced more genuinely.

“We’ve been riding him a bit quieter lately, he’s responding,” Bellamy added.

“He loves a heavy track which he’ll get Saturday and tries hard every time he goes around.

“I’ve been happy with his work this week, he’s drawn good (barrier 4) and we’re hoping Saturday is his day. He certainly deserves it.”

The Ballina meeting, transferred from Lismore, also enhances Bellamy’s chances of extending his lead in the Northern Rivers trainers premiership.

He leads with 39 wins for the season over Danny Bowen (26) and Gordon Yorke (20).

AAP TURF

 
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