Local four year old Celtic Dancer showed his liking for his home track when he fought out a tight finish to take out the Listed $175,000 Carlton Draught Prime MInister’s Cup (1300m) at the Gold Coast today.
Top apprentice Tim Bell put the happenings of the past week behind him to work hard on the Noel Doyle trained gelding to regain the lead from race favourite Mid Summer Music over the final stages to score in a close finish.
Bell who had been stable rider for the powerful Patinack Farm stable, was sacked earlier in the week and had to see the Nathan Tinkler colours win the first three races on the card.
The talented young jockey jumped Celtic Dancer out of the barriers quick and shared the lead with Listen Son until the home turn.
The Peter Moody trained Mid Summer Music joined the leaders on the home turn and looked to have the better of Celtic Dancer who found plenty under the hard riding of Bell.
The Jason McLachlan trainer Phellan Ready ran another good race to finish hard for third, but is struggling to find the winners stall and hasn’t won since taking out the 2009 Golden Slipper.
Doyle would like to run Celtic Dancer in the Group 1 $1m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 but said he might struggle to get into the field.
“This time in his preparation every step he has taken he’s improve every time,” Doyle said.
“From the alley today and with the light weight, I said if he could get a good run in the race, which he did, and Timmy rides him well, we’re in with a big chance.”
“He’s in the Stradbroke but whether we get a run is another thing. I hope he does, 1400m at Eagle Farm will be nice for him and a soft track will help.”
Bell was reasonably confident going into the race even though Celtic Dancer was at big odds and was relieved to ride a winner to keep his momentum going.
“I needed that winner here today with the prospects of the last week and its good to back in the winner’s stall.”