STUNNING WIN: Belflyer, with jockey Adam Hyeronimus on board, races home to win The Kosciuszko at Randwick last year. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty Images
STUNNING WIN: Belflyer, with jockey Adam Hyeronimus on board, races home to win The Kosciuszko at Randwick last year. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty Images

CQ-owned race horse back for Kosciuszko defence

HORSE RACING: He won last year in spectacular fashion and now CQ-owned Belflyer is back to defend his title in The Kosciuszko.

The eight-year-old gelding will be one of 14 horses to greet the start line in the 1200m race at Randwick on Saturday, October 19.

The $1.3 million Kosciuszko is the world’s richest race for country-trained horses.

Belflyer started at 70-1 last year and stormed home to win by half a length, delivering $685,000 in prize money to owners Rodney Rideout and his partner Gail Anderson, Ian and Janet Hogan and Troy and Sheree Hogan.

The CQ syndicate is hoping he can do it again in a fortnight’s time.

Belflyer will go into the race fresh, coming off a three-month compulsory spell after injuring his front tendon in a race in Brisbane.

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“To win it again would be magnificent,” Thangool-based Rideout said.

“We would have liked him to have had a run before this but he’s going in first-up.

“He always performs pretty well first-up and we know he’ll be in it.

“As they say, you’ve got to be in it to win it and we’re lucky to get another go at it.

“We’re there now and we just hope he performs at his best. We know he’ll put up a good fight.”

Beflyer Belfyer got his start in The Kosciuszko this year courtesy of slot winner Matthew Turner, a 29-year-old from Narrabri whose uncle used to be a trainer.

He will be ridden by Adam Hyeronimus, the same jockey who piloted him to victory last year.

Rideout said Hyeronimus rode Belflyer in an official trial in Grafton earlier this week and was happy with how he went.

“Adam said he felt good and he wouldn’t swap him for anything else,” Rideout said.

Belflyer has 14 wins from 57 starts and amassed just over $1 million in prize money.

It has been an amazing ride for the owners, who bought him for just $15,000 in April 2016.

The majority of owners will travel to Sydney for the race but Rideout will watch it on television at home.

Last year, he had to fire up his generator after a storm knocked out the power just 45 minutes before the race start.

While he could do without that drama, he will no doubt be hoping that lightning does strike twice at Randwick.