Hansen hopeful of Cleveland Bay success despite horror draw

Caloundra trainer Darryl Hansen remains hopeful Doctor Zous can overcome a horror barrier to give him his first Cleveland Bay Handicap winner at Townsville’s Cluden Park on Saturday.

Doctor Zous – Nathan Day mount – drew barrier 18 for the $100,000 North Queensland feature, which is regarded as the Stradbroke of the North.

Hansen has been a regular visitor to the TAB Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival over the past 20 years.

He has won has four Rockhampton Newmarket's, a Mackay Cup and a Townsville Cup, while Day won last year's Cleveland Bay Handicap aboard Deadly Choices.

"We have to cop the barrier on the chin but he does come in a few spots without the emergencies," Hansen said.

"It'll need a peach of a ride from Nathan to win from out there but the horse is going well."

Doctor Zous, who was originally trained in Sydney by Bjorn Baker, is coming off a last start fifth to Last Chance in the Rockhampton Newmarket on July 9.

"He didn't let down in the Rocky Newmarket last start and was getting over a virus," Hansen said.

"I've done a blood count on him since and he's fine now."

Doctor Zous finished tenth in last year's Cleveland Bay after winning the Rockhampton Newmarket and failing in the Mackay Newmarket over 1300 metres.

"I decided to bypass the Mackay Newmarket this year and go straight to the Cleveland Bay," Hansen said.

"I think the Rocky Newmarket last year took the edge off him for the Mackay Newmarket and Cleveland Bay.

"That's why I decided to skip Mackay this year and go straight from Rocky to Townsville for the Cleveland Bay."

Hansen has tried to win the Cleveland Bay several times but his best effort was with Luxford, who finished second to Strictly Smart in 2003.

Hansen is delighted with Doctor Zous since he arrived in Townsville and is hopeful he can overcome his barrier woes.

"He's settled in really well since he's been here in Townsville and he's eating well," he said.

"If he runs well, he might stay on the for the Cairns Newmarket."

Rival trainer Graeme Green isn't concerned with barrier 14 for Master Jamie, who will be seeking redemption following his last start second to Last Chance in the Rockhampton Newmarket on July 9.

"He's drawn 14 but there doesn't look to be any speed so he should cross them easily," Green said.

"His last run was enormous when he was attacked in front all the way and a lot of his opposition look to be get back horses."


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