Michelle Teale wishes she could have a stable of horses just like Taliano.
The eight-year-old is as honest as the day is long, starting 54 times for five wins and 17 places, earning over $135,000 in prize money.
“He’s just so nice to have around,” Teale said.
“He’s hassle-free and puts 100% effort into his track work; I can never fault the horse.
“If I had ten in the stable just like him, I’d be more than happy.”
The Equiano gelding is no spring chicken, but the Gundagai trainer explained that he has developed into an outstanding country-graded miler.
“He does take that little bit extra now to get up and going, and he doesn’t have that sprint in him like when he was younger, but he is a nice miler and can probably get 2000m,” Teale said.
Taliano is a last-start winner, with Richard Bensley riding him to a good victory in the 1600m Benchmark 50 Handicap at Tumut on Boxing Day.
The old stager was strong to the line with 59kg on his back, and Teale hopes he can make it two wins on the trot in the Tumut Mile on Saturday.
“I set him up for that race, and what happened is that I went on a holiday cruise with the kids, and he stayed in and worked with one of my workers and had a couple of fitness runs, so he held his fitness,” Teale said.
“I am confident he can do the same on Saturday, but he goes up in weight.
“Don’t get me wrong, he can carry weight, but I sometimes find when you ask him to sprint and pick up speed, he can labour under the bigger weights, but he’ll give 100%, and we’ll see how he goes on Saturday.”
While Taliano will be Teale’s only runner at Tumut on Saturday, there will be a good sprinkling of Gundagai trainers taking on the five-race non-TAB program.
Teale’s father, David Blundell, will have Sharp Noise in the 1000m Benchmark 58 Handicap and Magpie in either the 1200m or 1600m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
Jim Scobie also makes the trip with Wild Buckeroo, which will contest the Tumut Mile.
Turf club to go troppo for good cause
Tumut Turf Club will go tropical on Saturday, with the club set to host a Hawaiian-themed Ray White Mile meeting.
Racegoers can expect an ‘aloha’ of a greeting, and the first 100 people through the gates will receive a free lei (garland) to wear throughout the five-race non-TAB program, which will be headlined by the Tumut Mile.
It’s a different look to the club’s January meeting, with the TAB race day moving to February 10 to complement the Tumut Cup program.
Tumut Turf Club’s event coordinator, Siana Lucas, believes the theme change will allow people to enjoy a relaxed day at the picturesque Tumut racecourse.
“We’ve got a buck’s party coming in from Holbrook, and there will be 21 of them, and they usually like a bit of a dress up, and to go with that and the warm weather, we thought we’d make it a casual day with Hawaiian attire,” Lucas said.
“It will give it that festive feel, which ties in nicely with our recent Boxing Day meeting and in the lead-up to our citrus hues for our Tumut Cup race day next month.”
The January meeting can be hit-and-miss for Tumut Turf Club, but Lucas is keen to make the day a success, with the club looking to give back to a charity close to the administrator’s heart.
“We do know this is our smaller meeting, and the club has tried family day before, and it just hasn’t been profitable, but we’ve made this one a charity meeting,” Lucas said.
“We’ll be giving a percentage of what we make on the day to Ronald McDonald House in Wagga, which will mean a lot to people.
“I know we’ve used Ronald McDonald House a couple of times, and those in our friend group have, and it is nice, especially after a couple of successful race days, to give back to something so important.”
On what should be a good day at Tumut Racecourse, gates open at 11.30 am, and there will be entertainment by Dan Whiting along with a bar and canteen.
The party will continue at the Oriental Hotel that night, with Jack Maguire and Infamous on deck from 9 pm until late.