MILESTONE: Jockey Ben Looker rides Belflyer to victory in the Caloundra Automotive Open Handicap on Saturday, the win taking the gelding's gross earnings past $1 million.
MILESTONE: Jockey Ben Looker rides Belflyer to victory in the Caloundra Automotive Open Handicap on Saturday, the win taking the gelding's gross earnings past $1 million. GRANT PETERS

Champion CQ-owned race horse tops $1m in earnings

HORSE RACING: Central Queensland-owned racehorse Belflyer cracked the magic $1 million mark in gross earnings at the weekend.

The seven-year-old gelding charged home to win the 1400m Caloundra Automotive Handicap by half a length on Saturday.

The win was worth $42,700, which takes Belflyer's total earnings to $1,003,005.

The horse is owned by Thangool's Rodney Rideout and his partner Gail Anderson, Ian and Janet Hogan and Troy and Sheree Hogan.

They hit the jackpot last month when Belflyer won the inaugural $1.3 million The Kosciuszko at Randwick to claim the $685,000 first prize.

Adam Hyeroninmus rides Belflyer to victory The Kosciuszko at Royal Randwick Racecourse on October 13.
Adam Hyeroninmus rides Belflyer to victory The Kosciuszko at Royal Randwick Racecourse on October 13. SIMON BULLARD

Rideout was track-side on Saturday to watch the race, only the second time he had seen Belflyer run live.

"It was really exciting and it probably meant a little bit more being there,” he said.

"He tailed off at the start and was second last and as usual he just made a heap of ground up in the straight.

"He won by half a length but he was going away at the line.”

Rideout said it was brilliant that Belflyer had now earned more than $1 million, given the Thangool syndicate bought him as a tried horse in April 2016 for just $15,000.

Trainer John Shelton with Belflyer.
Trainer John Shelton with Belflyer. Adam Hourigan

Belflyer is by Bel Esprit, the sire of Black Caviar, and his mother is a half sister to Better Loosen Up and is trained by John Shelton in Grafton.

"I never thought $1 million would be possible but we made up a lot of ground pretty quick when we won $685,000 for that big race,” Rideout said.

"He's now had 56 starts for 14 wins, six seconds and eight thirds.

"He's won prize money every two starts - that's a pretty good strike rate.”

Rideout is unsure where Belflyer will start next, but believes he's earned a crack at another big race, possibly a group race in Brisbane or Sydney.

"He's not overly big but he's full of heart. Every time he goes out he gives you 100 per cent, and he's seldom run a bad race,” he said.



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