Queenslanders to the fore again

Image: Bruno Cannatelli

Baller continued the success of Queensland-trained horses at the start of the Melbourne Spring Carnival

Fit horses who competed during the Brisbane Winter Carnival continued their run in Melbourne with a double at Flemington.

Leading trainer Robert Heathcote and Tony Gollan, along with Steven O’Dea and Matthew Hoysted, produced a steady stream of winners from limited numbers during the late winter and into the spring carnival.

O’Dea and Hoysted got the ball rolling with Uncommon James in the Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield on August 13 before Shooting For Gold won for the pair at The Heath, also at Caulfield, on August 27.

Heathcote sprinter Rothfire beat Gollan’s Zoustyle in the McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 3 before the Queenslanders had a double at Flemington on Saturday.

Scallopini won for O’Dea and Hoysted in the Listed The Sofitel (1400m), while Baller won the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Stakes (1200m) for Gollan.

Hoysted said Scallopini had done enough for his campaign and was heading back to Brisbane to prepare for January’s Magic Millions carnival on the Gold Coast.

“He had a long campaign, he campaigned through the winter,” Hoysted said.

“He’s done a really good job so I think he deserves a little break now and we can get him home and get him ready for the Magic Millions.”

Baller will remain in Melbourne and is likely to be seen back at Flemington on October 1 to contest the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) which leads him into the Group 1 Sprint of Champions (1200m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup. Carnival.

$21 Outsider Baller provider Mark Zahra third leg of treble with his short half win from Rocha ‘N’ Horse ($15) with three-quarter length favorite Swats That at $4.80.

Baller began his career with Anthony Cummings before moving to Chris Waller and then Gollan last year.

Co-owner Clive McKerr said Baller has always shown plenty of ability.

“He’s always shown a lot right from the start, but since Tony and I got up north, he’s just gone to another level,” McKerr said.

“We’ve had a few leg problems with him over time, but Tony and his team have vindicated him and we just couldn’t be happier.

“It’s his first time here with him and it’s a good start for the Queenslander.

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