Cleary, McIntyre a perfect double act
Raiders chairman John McIntyre. Photo: Stuart Walmsley
Frank Cleary is hoping for two things at Queanbeyan on Tuesday: a good showing from Gypsy Jack and God's Reward, and for part-owner John McIntyre to see both of them run.
That wasn't the case two weeks ago when the Canberra Raiders chairman fell ill and was taken to hospital before he got to see Gypsy Jack run.
He did get to back a winner before he left, with God's Reward saluting in the opening race of the day - a benchmark 60 handicap (1600 metres) - before he went to Queanbeyan Hospital as a precautionary measure and missed Gypsy Jack's run.
Cleary was hoping two wins would be the only eventful moments in McIntyre's day this time out.
The pair have been mates for years, playing rugby league together and now combining in horse racing.
McIntyre's father Les, who founded the Raiders, was like a second father to Cleary and was team manager when the latter played for NSW country.
Cleary and McIntyre have been involved in a couple of horses together over the years, with Wayne's Bid probably the best. Wayne's Bid won the group 1 AJC Galaxy in 1976.
''We've been life-long friends, we've been mates since we were kids,'' Cleary said.
''With our horses we go back 40 years.
''When I first started training Les gave me a horse called Queanbeyan Blue to train, that was our first horse and he won a couple of races for us.
''Then John took a share in Wayne's Bid, who has probably been one of my best horses, and we've been together in the racing scene together ever since.''
God's Reward is in fine form, winning four of his last nine starts and being placed twice.
On Tuesday the son of God's Own is in the benchmark 67 handicap (1600m) at Queanbeyan.
Gypsy Jack is running in the benchmark 50 handicap (1100m), while Cleary has one other runner for the day, Enjoythegoodtimes, who will race in the three-year-old maiden plate (1100m).
Cleary also nominated Hawaiian Heart for the same race, but has had to scratch the Lion Heart filly due to a fetlock problem and she will go for a spell.
''[God's Reward's] form is impeccable,'' Cleary said.
''You look at his last seven or eight runs it's win-win-third-fourth-win-win, he's just in terrific form and he's held his condition well so I'm expecting him to race well on Tuesday.''