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Kelly Eyeing Country Championships With Camillo

Trainer David Kelly has always had a high opinion of Camillo and expects the promising four-year-old to have a class edge on his rivals at Grafton on Tuesday.

An easy first-up Maiden winner over 1106m at Grafton on September 14, Camillo lines up in Tuesday’s Class 1 Hcp (1410m).

Kelly, who recently relocated back to his home town of Grafton after training on the Gold Coast for about 15 years, is confident Camillo will be too strong again.

“He’s a horse I’ve always had a good opinion of. He’s very promising and I think he’ll have too much class again on Tuesday,” said Kelly.

“He’s done very well since his first-up win which I really treated as an 1100m barrier trial for him.

“The step up to 1400m on Tuesday can only be an advantage. I’d be very disappointed if he didn’t take care of that field.”

Kelly had such a good opinion of Camillo, a four-year-old son of 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking out of the Strategic mare Rixi, that he threw him in the deep end at just his second race start earlier this year.

After a debut fourth at the Gold Coast on April 22, Kelly decided to run him in the Listed Queensland Day Stakes at Doomben on May 13. He finished last behind the good Sydney galloper Good Standing but jockey Robbie Fradd said he failed to handle the track conditions.

“Unfortunately at his first two starts earlier this year he ran on rain-affected tracks and the track at Doomben that day was like quicksand. Robbie said he travelled well in the run but just didn’t let down in the conditions,” he said.

“I’ve no doubt he’ll eventually measure up to that level, especially when he gets up to a mile and beyond.

“I’ve trained this family – horses like Garozzo, Giorgio and Lady Belladonna who was a winner up to 1800m. Camillo should develop into a nice 1600m-2000m horse.

“We’ll get Tuesday’s race out of the way first, but I may look for a suitable race in Brisbane for him shortly and we might look at next year’s Country Championships.”

Fellow Grafton trainer Greg Kilner, who won Saturday's Lightning Bend (1000m) at the Bowraville Cup meeting with Charlee Bear, will saddle up her half-sister Bearly Thinking in Camillo’s race. Both Kilner gallopers are out of the Lucky Owners mare Baby Angel.

View the fields and form for Tuesday's Grafton meeting here.

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