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Meteor Set To Light Up The Sky At Ballina

Consistent Northern Rivers sprinter Lucky Meteor looks poised to maintain his healthy winning strike rate should connections decide to run him at Ballina on Friday.

Lucky Meteor - winner of 10 of his 32 starts - will carry 59kg after apprentice Jarrod Woodhouse's 2kg claim in the Furnaces@Aquis Farm Ballina Sprint (1005m).

However, Grafton trainer John Shelton said owners Brian and Betty Paine were still considering saving the six-year-old for a race at Doomben (1200m) on Saturday.

"The Ballina race looks a very winnable race for him with three runners (Hydrazine, Powerful Saga and Excalibrator) already scratched," said Shelton. "On his A-game you'd think he'd win this race over the 1005m.

"But there's a chance he may run at Doomben instead. I'll talk it over with his owners later today and we'll make a decision in the morning on where he starts. He has won over 1200m (of the Doomben race) but it's definitely as far as he wants and he's better suited over the 1000m."

Lucky Meteor has won one race at 1200m - his other nine wins coming over 1000m to 1110m. The sprinter has been a great peformer for the Paines, who paid a mere $3000 for the son of Northern Meteor at the 2011 Magic Millions sale.

The sprinter has so far returned $188,952 in prizemoney from 10 career wins and nine placings. His wins have been spread over six different tracks, including back-to-back wins at Doomben over 1020m and 1010m back in September 2014.

Those two Brisbane wins came in the middle of a winning sequence of six straights wins Lucky Meteor put together between July 6 and September 27 that year. Lucky Meteor's current campaign has been dogged by wet tracks and Shelton is delighted to have the gelding racing back on top of the ground.

Lucky Meteor followed placings in heavy going at Port Macquarie on June 18 and Kempsey on June 30 with a last-start luckless seventh behind Johnny Roo Boy in the $51,000 Sir James Kirby Quality (1000m) on a good 4 at Grafton on July 13.

"This run of wet tracks we've had hasn't suited him at all and his run back on the firm track in the Kirby the other week was a terrific effort as he had his head over into the next stall when they jumped and he missed the start," said Shelton. Lucky Meteor rattled home from back in the field to be beaten just over a length.

Gold Coast trainer Helen Page will be represented in the Ballina race by Star Stiletto, to be ridden by Queensland's leading rider Jeff Lloyd. The Matt Dunn-trained Red Bowers drops back in distance in the Ballina Sprint but also enjoys a a huge class-drop.

A Murwillumbah Open Hcp winner over 1200m on June 4, Red Bowers was then 'thrown in the deep end' at his most recent start in the Llisted Ramornie Hcp (1200m) at Grafton on July 12 where he finished down the track (beaten 7.5 lengths) behind Calanda.

The rail for the eight-race Ballina meeting will be out 1.5m from the 1000m to 300m (cutaway applies). The track on Thursday morning was rated a good 4.

View the final fields with full form & race replays for Ballina here

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