Blue crew have head start in battle to rule the Brisbane Winter Carnival   Leave a comment

Blue crew have head start in battle to rule the Brisbane Winter Carnival

Jockeys Tim Bell and Jim Byrne show their true colours at Doomben on Tuesday.

Jockeys Tim Bell and Jim Byrne show their true colours at Doomben on Tuesday. Source: News Corp Australia

THEY are the dirty words no Queenslander has heard since the turn of the century.

But a NSW whitewash, last seen when the Blues marched to a 3-0 State of Origin series sweep in 2000, is a real possibility in the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

NSW horses have won the first three Group 1s of the carnival with Pornichet (Doomben Cup), Hot Snitzel (BTC Cup) and Boban (Doomben 10,000) flying the flag for the Blues.

And things won’t get any easier for the Queenslanders in the five remaining Group 1s of the carnival, including Saturday’s Group 1 Oaks, which has no Queenslander in sight at the top of betting markets.

To make matters worse, even champion local jockey Tim Bell is turning blue.

Tim Bell and Jim Byrne face-off at Doomben on Tuesday. The pair will clash again on Satur

Tim Bell and Jim Byrne face-off at Doomben on Tuesday. The pair will clash again on Saturday in the Queensland Oaks, with Bell on Anaphora and Byrne on Exquisite Jewel. Source: News Corp Australia

Bell, who last year won the Brisbane jockeys’ premiership in his first full season as a senior hoop, calls Queensland home but was raised in Tamworth in country NSW.

Bell has a NSW Origin tattoo and on Tuesday enjoyed a bit of good-natured push and shove with proud Queenslander and fellow jockey Jim Byrne.

“I might live in Queensland but I’m really a NSW boy,’’ Bell grinned. “I’m not a traitor. Once NSW is in the blood, it’s in the blood.’’

Bell rides Victorian filly Anaphora in Saturday’s Oaks while Byrne, a multiple Brisbane premiership winner, rides Kiwi Exquisite Jewel.

With apprentice Luke Tarrant suspended, Byrne (54 wins) and Bell (48 wins) look set to fight it out for this season’s Brisbane jockeys’ title.

Pornichet struck early blow for NSW after winning the Doomben Cup. Picture: Jono Searle.

Pornichet struck early blow for NSW after winning the Doomben Cup. Picture: Jono Searle. Source: News Corp Australia

Byrne, who has been a mainstay in Brisbane’s top riding ranks for more than two decades, is convinced the Maroons will win Origin I on Wednesday night and is hoping for a Queensland strike during the winter carnival.

Bookmakers have the Maroons as warm favourites in the series opener but predict the Queenslanders will continue to struggle to make an impact in the winter carnival.

“It has been slim pickings for the Maroons so far this Winter Carnival,’’ UBET’s Gerard Daffy said. “Apart from a big upset in the other Group 1s, it appears as though Blueberry Hill ($6 favourite for the Group 1 J.J. Atkins on June 6) will be the one ray of hope for Queenslanders for the rest of the carnival.’’

Originally published as Blue crew have head start

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Posted May 27, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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