Brisbane jockey Micheal Hellyer will be hoping that two promising rides this weekend can set him up for a big Queensland Summer Carnival, as Better Golightly and Far Too Easy are aimed towards the Magic Millions meeting on the Gold Coast in January.
Well known for his contribution and association with David Vandyke’s mare Baccarat Baby, Hellyer will be looking to add another Listed win to his resume when he partners Far Too Easy in Saturday’s Gold Edition Plate (1200m) at Eagle Farm.
The David McColm-trained three-year-old has won four of his five career starts and is currently an $11 chance in the $2 million Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) on January 15.
Coming off a dominant win at Doomben in the Winning Rupert Plate (1200m), Hong Kong interests have since offered Far Too Easy’s owners $800,000 for the horse, with all offers being rejected.
Hellyer will replace the suspended Brad Stewart aboard the four-time winner, and he hopes to pay back the owners of the horse for entrusting him with the ride.
“I don’t think it even took me a second to say ‘yes’,” Hellyer told HorseBetting.com.au.
“I’ve been riding for David for years; we’ve had a good association since I met him when I was in Murwillumbah, so going back probably 12 years ago.
“Every time he brings a horse up, I seem to ride it.
“This horse here, Chris Caserta did a lot of work with him; I’ve obviously liked the horse from day one when I saw Chris riding him.”
Far Too Easy was a dominant winner first-up at the Gold Coast over 900m on November 20, but Hellyer had already been booked on another runner for that race.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t ride it and Jason Taylor got the ride and it won,” he said.
“David always said if the opportunity comes, he’ll do his best to try and get me on.
“As fate has it, I was able to get back on.”
Although Hellyer has not been locked in for the ride aboard the Magic Millions Guineas fancy yet, he hopes that a win on Saturday could see his name pencilled in for the January feature.
On Friday night, the talented hoop will partner Danny Bougoure’s unraced prospect Better Golightly in a 1000m 2YO Handicap at the Sunshine Coast, with that filly coming into the race off two trial wins.
The daughter of Better Than Ready was heavily backed before being scratched behind the barriers a fortnight ago, and she now gains a start as first emergency at Doomben on Saturday in the Listed Calaway Girl.
“I’m riding a really nice two-year-old tomorrow,” Hellyer said.
“Win or lose, I’m not sure that’s one I’ll be able to stick with, but I’ve been really fortunate the last few weeks to ride some really nice horses, I just haven’t been able to stick with them, unfortunately.
“I’ve watched its two trials, and obviously the horse has got quite a bit of potential there.
“It’s a horse I haven’t had much to do with, so tomorrow will be the first time I jump on board.
“I’m really excited about it; it looks like it’s got quite a lot of potential there and its trials have been really good.
“The stable seem to be very confident with it.”
Better Golightly has drawn a touch awkwardly in barrier nine in what is a very competitive affair to kick off her racing career, but Hellyer is hopeful that the forgiving track at Corbould Park can make his job easier.
“We’re drawn a little bit awkward, but being Caloundra, there’s only one turn, so it’s just a matter of keeping her comfortable, get her balanced and see what she can do down that straight,” he said.
Although unraced, Better Golightly is a well-fancied $51 chance with online bookmakers for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in a market dominated by Gimcrack Stakes-winning filly Coolangatta.