Widely travelled five year old Fab’s Cowboy might have covered 15,000 km on the road since November last year but he will be facing his toughest distance test when he tackles the 2000m of the $100,000 Mater Townsville Cup at Cluden Park in Townsville on Saturday.
Fab’s Cowboy has won fifteen of his thirty-four starts from 1000m to 1650m but will be stepping up to the 2000m of the Townsville Cup for the first time.
Miles trainer Beavan Johnson is prepared to take his horses all over Queensland to race and since November, Fab’s Cowboy has travelled to and won at Charleville, Roma, Bluff, Gladstone, Barcaldine, Emerald, and Bundaberg.
Johnson even arrived at Doomben in March and while Fab’s Cowboy couldn’t beat the city slickers, he put in a handy effort to finish one and a half lengths behind the winner Counter Meal in a 1350m NMW Handicap on a heavy track.
Johnson’s wife Mel says the trick to successfully travel your horses long distances all around the state is to give them a break along the way, usually at five hour intervals.
“Everyone is surprised how well our horses travel,” Mel told The Courier-Mail.
“We look after them on the road and never travel for more than five hours at a time. It’s more time consuming, but it’s worth it in the long run.”
Beavan Johnson used to mix rodeo riding with his horse training but these days concentrates on the horses, doing his own shoeing and riding a lot of his own trackwork.
“He shoes every horse in the stable and also rides a lot of them in trackwork. He used to ride rodeos and train horses,” Mel said.
“In the end, he got a bit older and worked out he could make a better living from training racehorses than he could from riding bulls.”
Jockey Robert Faehr has ridden Fab’s Cowboy on three previous occasions for two wins and a third and got the call up again for the Townsville Cup.
Fab’s Cowboy will carry the equal second top weight of 56kg and could jump from barrier five with two of the five emergencies drawing inside of him.
The Barry Baldwin trained Flying Light has been allocated the top weight of 60kg.
Fab’s Cowboy is the winner of four of his last five starts and is chasing a hat trick following his last two wins at Charleville and Bundaberg.
Johnson will be chasing a feature race double and will also saddle up Blue Jest in the feature sprint of the Townsville Cup carnival, the $100,000 Cleveland Bay Handicap (1300m), with Faehr also taking the mount.
Blue Jest will need plenty of luck after drawing barrier sixteen in the original draw but could jump from twelve in the final sixteen horse field with four of the five emergencies drawing inside of him.