WET SUCCESS: Trainer John Shelton celebrates winning race 5, The Kosciuszko, with Belflyer at Royal Randwick Racecourse, in Sydney on Saturday.
WET SUCCESS: Trainer John Shelton celebrates winning race 5, The Kosciuszko, with Belflyer at Royal Randwick Racecourse, in Sydney on Saturday. Mark Evans/Getty Images

Wet track helps local trainer John Shelton to share of $1.3m

AS WET weather played havoc with events around the Clarence Valley, it was playing into the hands of the region's number one thoroughbred trainer, John Shelton.

His battling seven-year-old Belflyer had won a place in the $1.3 million 1200m race, The Kosciusko, at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

As the rain tumbled down on Friday night the omens were good.

Shelton was having a quiet drink at the racing fraternity's watering hole, the Doncaster Hotel, where he bought a winning ticket in the meat raffle.

"It all starts from here," the grinning trainer said to his entourage.

The reigning Northern Rivers Racing Association Horse of the Year was given an outside chance at best, but that did not seem to deter local punters who were able to get 65-1 odds, from bookies seemingly unaware of his liking for a wet track.

It all went to plan with Belflyer battling through the slush giving a local trainer and his jockey, Adam Hyeronimus, a fairytale weekend.

For more on the big race turn to the back page. And to catch up on the latest weather news, turn to page 4, for analysis of Grafton's storm record.