Bell heeds The Master’s advice

John Bell has taken on board advice from top trainer John Wheeler as he presses ahead with a start for Time Legend in the open sprint at Pukekohe on Saturday.

The Cambridge trainer says he was “flabbergasted” when Time Legend and stablemates Senna and D’Colletage all failed to fire at the Opunake Cup meeting at New Plymouth last month. “We went down there with three good chances and none of them performed at all,” said Bell. “They all went shockers.”

Senna and D’Colletage both finished second-last and later in the programme Time Legend, a former Hong Kong galloper who won first-up for Bell at Te Awamutu, dropped out to finish 11th, almost 16 lengths from the winner, another Cambridge galloper Khemosabi.

“I had a good talk to Wheels (Wheeler) later on and he said not to worry and that the track can trip up the best of them, especially when it’s puggy,” said Bell. “Coming from the master, it was worth taking notice. He said to forget they went around and carry on as usual.”

Time Legend didn’t help his chances in the Opunake Cup when slightly slow away, but rider Jason Jago soon had him up second behind the clearcut leader Khemosabi. “But in the straight he just stopped dead,” said Bell. “I had him and the other two vet checked and nothing was amiss. He was a bit stiff behind, but that was to do with the puggy track.”

Bell says Time Legend has thrived and he worked very well last Saturday. “Jason will ride him again on Saturday and hopefully the horse will get back on track,” said Bell. “There’s  no reason why he should be right in it.”

Time Legend will face two other Cambridge-trained horses in the Veterinary Associates Equine and Farm 1400 — Taking The Mickey and Indian Sky. Both are very adept in heavy ground and capable of being in the action this weekend.

Bell also has a strong chance to end the day on a high with Storming The Tower in the final event at Pukekohe. Storming The Tower has been eyecatching seconds in both his starts and with Vinnie Colgan aboard he should break through for a well-deserved win.