Rocky Trained Namazu Takes the $150K Townsville Cup

Published 8 August 2022

Rocky Trained Namazu Takes the $150K Townsville Cup

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Rockhampton trained Namazu ($8.00), the biggest horse in training at Callaghan Park matched his stature with a giant-killing win in the $150K Townsville Cup (2100m) last Saturday.

Ridden by Brisbane lightweight apprentice Alex Patis, the Ricky Vale trained Namazu led most of the way to hold off fellow Rocky trainer Jared Wehlow’s Quality Asset (Nathan Day, $15.00) by a length. Race favourite, Lindsay’s Hatch’s recent Mackay Cup winner Sayil (Robbie Fraad, $3.20) came from last to be a nose back third.

Raced by Pav and Saiar Cheimardinov, Peter Radford and Ravi Ramswarup, the Townsville Cup win was a highlight for the group. “It’s my biggest win in racing for sure. It was a memorable day as Stubai ran a great second at Doomben earlier in the afternoon and nearly made it a double for us”, Pav Cheimardinov said.

Stubai like Namazu, a six-time winner for Vale, had won seven races for the trainer before only recently being transferred to Will Hulbert in Brisbane to contest middle distance races.Both horses were purchased much earlier in their careers from the stable of James Cummings in Sydney where Namazu had been a Canterbury winner. 

Vale heaped praise on Namazu’s owners for allowing him to plan the program for the horse.“I thank them for showing faith in me and allowing me to pick his path on the way to this (Cup) win. We have had plenty of little issues with him this prep but it has all come together with this win”, Vale said. The trainer was also full of praise for Alex Patis who ends her indentureship to Gold Coast trainer Angela Plumb in September.

“To the super jock Alex Patis what a ride. She hasn’t done a thing wrong with this horse since she got on his back and this (win) has confirmed why we were happy to stay loyal and keep her on”, Vale said. Patis was having her fourth ride on Namazu on which she had previously finished third in the Mackay Cup.

“He’s the biggest horse I have ever ridden, so much so he has to have a barrier extension fitted (to the length of his barrier stall),” Alex said. This is a rarity and is used when horses are too big and long preventing the gates on the standard barrier stall to be closed.

The irony is that while Namazu was the biggest Cup runner dwarfing his 15 rivals, Patis at 49kg was the lightest jockey.The victory had special significance for Alex being her 101st winner. Future plans have not been set in concrete for Namazu but Patis holds a precautionary $150K Cairns Cup booking should Vale decide to press further north.

“Not sure if he will go to Cairns at this stage. He (Namazu) pulled up a treat and licked his dinner out. He was still a run short for the 2000. Scary to think if we go to Cairns what he can do”, Pav Cheimardinov said.

It would not surprise if Jared Wehlow takes up the Cairns Cup option with runner-up Quality Asset given the strength of his fine effort. Earlier during the Townsville card, the Wehlow trained Louis January (Ashley Butler, $3.40) scored an ultra-impressive win under 62.5kg in the Up-and-Coming Stayers BM 65 (2000m). It was Wehlow’s third win with Louis January, a former member of SEQ trainer Kacy Fogden’s team while she still retains managing ownership. 

Louis January would also slot in nicely to a Cairns Cup (2100m – August 27) or Cairns Amateur Cup (2100m – September 10) campaign. 

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