Sierra slams down his rivals

CHRIS and Rosemary Cook's business card for their spelling property on the outskirts of Rockhampton says it all: "We love what we do ? that's why we do it''.

Which explains why they also train racehorses and the delight on their faces after their heavily backed winner Sierra Slammer wore their red and black colours with distinction at Callaghan Park races yesterday. Enigmatic jockey Geoffrey Booth, 55, demonstrated his raceriding wiliness by making a split decision to lead on Sierra Slammer under 57kg despite the Shovhog gelding not having started for almost three months.

"I didn't really want to lead but rather than be trapped wide it is always wise to let them run along,'' Booth explained.

And run along did Sierra Slammer as punters throughout Australia rode with Booth as the winner's price had tumbled from $17 to $7.00 with bookmakers.

Although Bill Cogill's Taroom grey Check That Out ($12 to $9.00) menaced for a while, the result was never in doubt after Booth pulled the whip and Sierra Slammer extended.

Bookmaker Vince Aspinall was caught in the telephone betting frenzy for Sierra Slammer with punters wagering $5000 to $300 each-way as well as $5000 to $300 straight-out.

Another good news story raced into print when a group of racing mates from Bluff cheered home the negatively named Charlie Won't who "did'' win the Class 5 (1100m). Trained by Aaron McLaughlin and raced by a group including loyal racecaller Scott Power, old "Charles'' scorched down the outside with clear running for Anthony Merritt to win at the juicy odds of $13.00 while paying "overs'' at $21.00 on Unitab.



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