Bell doubts win can compensate for closure

Trainer Darren Bell has continued his winning run since returning from a strangles outbreak in his stables but doubts he will ever recover from the impact of the decision to close his business for months.

Bell’s gelding Sagamama ($5) gave him his 12th winner since returning in April from the closure when he won the Pool Pro Handicap (1200m) on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

But it is not enough for the popular trainer to be anywhere near square.

Strangles is a highly contagious upper-respiratory infection and caused Bell’s Caboolture stables to be shut for four months on Racing Queensland’s orders.

He has never been paid compensation for the closure.

“”My bookkeeper reckons it cost me about $120,000 and I will never make that up,” Bell said.

“When you are at my level you just don’t have the horses to win that type of money.”

Bell said his team had been racing well and he hoped it continued.

“Sagamama was actually one the horses which did have strangles but he has come back well after a good break,” Bell said.

“He is capable of winning better races.”

Bell repeated his warning that a proper scheme to handle a strangles outbreak needed to be put in place.

“If it happens at Eagle Farm we are in real trouble. But as far as I can tell nothing has been done,” he said.

Credit: AAP

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