By Tony Megahey
Former Central District’s champion apprentice Claire Nutman continues her comeback at Saturday’s Bathurst TAB meeting, and her most devoted supporter, grandfather and retired greyhound broadcasting great, Paul Ambrosoli, typically will be trackside.
Claire rides dual recent Bathurst placegetter Dungannon, co-owned by Paul and his wife Pat, along with Claire’s parents, Bernadette and Richard Nutman. Dungannon, trained by Bathurst’s Peter Stanley, contests a Bathurst RSL, BM 55 1200m, with 56kg reduced by Claire’s half kilo claim.
Claire also rides Stanley’s outsider Destiny Hasselhoff in a Town and Country Class I (1400m). “Claire was injured a while back, but she’s a really capable, confident rider on the way up again; we’ve had success over the years and I’m happy to keep supporting her,” Stanley enthused.
“We’ll be competitive too with the mare Dungannon. We’ve been unlucky enough to strike a couple of really smart types from Bjorn Baker’s stable with Greg Ryan on.”
Baker and Ryan combined for five wins at the latest Bathurst meeting, and five more previously. “You know those city horses will take an awful lot of beating in country grade. So with Dungannon, although she’s only won the one race, she’s placed twice to really promising types.”
Baker’s Magic Missile and Mad For Art started short-priced favourites, and were impressive, while Dungannon held her ground well. “She’s certainly back to an easier race, and I think we’ll be hard to beat.”
Destiny Hasselhoff will be lengthy odds in the fifth event after being unplaced several runs this prep, but Stanley remains positive: “I’ve freshened him up to bring him back from longer races, but he’s ready to improve and show something this prep.”
Warwick Farm trainer Matthew Smith and Greg Ryan have several strong contenders. Bathurst has had some welcome rain, with a track rating of a soft 6 at present.