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Cup The Next Target For In-Form Ballina Stable

By Geoff Newling

Stephen Lee won a third Rousillon at Lismore last Thursday with Spiral, had a 'Pleasing' success at Grafton in the first race today and could be chasing a Community Cup with Voltaire Lumiere at Ballina this Sunday.

The Ballina trainer has nominated seven-year-old gelding Voltaire Lumiere for Sunday’s feature race at Ballina when Ballina Jockey Club returns to racing with a seven-race program headlined by its 1400m Community Cup. The club received 122 nominations for the TAB meeting today, including 16 for the Community Cup and 30 for a 1300m maiden handicap.

Voltaire Lumiere in winning form at Grafton. Picture by Adam Hourigan

Voltaire Lumiere has won seven of his 38 starts and the chestnut son of Not A Single Doubt could continue Lee’s winning run following the successes of Spiral and Pleased.

Spiral handed Lee his third Rousillon in the main support race to the Lismore Cup last week while Pleased won today’s Winning Edge Presentation Rising Stars Class 3 Handicap (1620m) at Grafton.

That good win, with Cejay Graham aboard, could earn the five-year-old gelding son of Street Cry, a crack at a good race at the rich and imminent Port Macquarie Cup meeting.

In the meantime, Voltaire Lumiere could be headed to Sunday’s 1400m Community Cup on a track where he has won four of his six starts, the first of which was as a two-year-old back in June 2014. He has won seven races all up for $120,120. Pleased notched his fourth success when he had his 21st start at Grafton today.

“The stable is going good,” said Ballina Jockey Club secretary-manager Matt Bertram. “His horses are racing well.”

Bertram was delighted with the nominations for Sunday’s seven-race TAB meeting, 16 of which were for the Community Cup: “We’ve got a good spread of nominations,” he said. “It looks like being a nice meeting, hopefully, the noms will hold up. We are getting plenty of winners from our local trainers.”

Fellow Ballina trainers Robert Pilling and Stephen Phelps also have Community Cup nominees, Pilling with Happy Room and Phelps with My Cousin Jackie.

Casino mare Traconi (Stephen Bennett) is also nominated for the Community Cup along with Rousillon placegetters Queen Of Kingston and Anne Bonny. Anne Bonny is trained at Lismore by Owen Glue and she will be chasing her first win at Ballina if she backs up in the Community Cup.

Daniel Bowen prepares Queen Of Kingston at Lismore and she was a little unlucky when second to Spiral in the Rousillon when tardy at the start. She is one of three horses from Daniel Bowen’s stable nominated for the Community Cup, joined by stablemates Watched and Water Boy.

Belflyer, who will contest the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko next month and was named the Northern Rivers Racing Association Horse of the Year at Lismore’s Cup meeting last Thursday, won last year’s Community Cup for Grafton trainer John Shelton.

View the nominations with full form & race replays for Ballina here

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