Colin Bell has his hopes on ‘Ask Me Mate’ Friday at Callaghan Park

Published 8 November 2023

Colin Bell has his hopes on ‘Ask Me Mate’ Friday at Callaghan Park

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Keeping up the namesake of others before him, Gracemere owner Colin Bell has his hopes pinned on Ask Me Mate winning Friday’s $47,000 TAB Breeders 2YO C & G Plate (1050m) at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse.

” Ask Me” has been a popular inclusion in the name of horses owned by Colin and earlier by his late mother the “Galloping Grandmother” Iris Bell down through the ages so to speak in Rockhampton. 

Iris Bell’s Pride Of Kellina gelding Don’t Ask Me (1986) was a beauty winning races galore in Rockhampton and rising to be among the best and most popular sprinters of his time in the city in the late eighties. 

Colin, a chip off the old block followed suit when it came to his choice of names as in 2016, he registered his Hidden Dragon filly as Now Ask Me which won four races at Callaghan Park.

It didn’t stop there as along came among others including Ask Me Tomorrow, a winner of $130,000 in stakes as well as Ask Me Later.

Now there is the Better Than Ready youngster Ask Me Mate, a $62,000 purchase by Colin at the 2023 Magic Millions March Yearling Sales earlier this year.

Colin Bell is enthusiastically confident that Ask Me Mate on Friday can go one better than his Red Dazzler youngster Ask Me Tomorrow did in 2019 when runner-up to the Tom Button trained Irish Ring Kicker in the Breeder’s Plate of that year at Callaghan Park.

Colin explained that it was a family tradition in keeping the “ask me” in the names of the horses he races. 

“It’s all about keeping the family tradition alive. Mum started it with Don’t Ask Me about 40 years ago. He was a top horse for her winning a lot of races including a Rockhampton Lightning I believe. I know Don’t As Me (a grey) won a race for Mum at Eagle Farm in Brisbane and Graham Watson rode him”, Colin said.

Then it was on to the latest – Ask Me Mate.

“I’m confident he will win or at least be very hard to beat. Kevin Hansen, his trainer knows a good two-year-old when he sees one and he reckons he (Ask Me Mate) can win”, Colin declared. 

Bell hit the mark in relation to his trainer Kevin Hansen who trained that brilliant Real Saga young filly Sweet Dolly which won among others won the Aquis Jewel at the Gold Coast in March 2021.

Ask Me Mate looked very impressive in winning a 2YO barrier trial over 900 metres at Callaghan Park on October 23 when it went to the finishing line untouched scoring in 56.91 seconds.

The youngster was ridden by Justin Stanley that day but in the Breeders on Friday, Stanley has been engaged for the Clinton Taylor trained trial winner Astapor which ran fractionally faster. 

Stanley does a lot of riding for the big Clinton Taylor stable so loyalty could be a big part in his decision to opt for Astapor.

Another rival will be Graeme Green’s Astra Star, which also won a trial heat the same day in 56.64. 

Forewarned is forearmed, as the Ryan Tyrell Gold Coast trained Invading Jilly, showed dashing speed and was close-up when unplaced at the Sunshine Coast on October 22 and it has drawn the rails.

Race experience is gold in early season juvenile races. 

Adam Sewell has the engagement on Ask Me Mate, which demonstrated brilliant gate speed from the barrier in the trail win.

However, Ask Me Mate will have to fly the barriers as he has drawn the outside at barrier six.

Old timers would always reason that barrier two in a two-horse race was bad news. 

It poses the question, can Ask Me Mate do the trick for Colin Bell and win. 

That can be answered by asking him shortly after 1.34pm race starting time on Friday.

 

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