By Tony Megahey
Mudgee’s recent multiple city winning trainer Cameron Crockett continues his love affair with Coonabarabran racing and has rejuvenated outsider Ricci Royal primed for Monday’s TAB $45.000 Bowling Club sponsored Cup (1600m).
The nine-year-old gelding has had an injury plagued career but has found form with a recent win at Mudgee and an unlucky second placing at Orange.
The Crockett stable is flying with numerous regional successes and three successive metropolitan wins by the Hugh Bowman ridden Nictock, who has been set for a race at Royal Randwick on Cox Plate day.
But for now, young Cameron is concentrating on a far lesser profile stable-mate, in an historic race, for attractive prizemoney. “I was lucky enough to win the “Coona” Cup two years ago in record time with Are You Sure; I love the track, fantastic, long straight,” Cameron enthused. “This old fella was originally with the Aspros stable, I’ve only had him since last year. He’s been hard work but he’s finally found confidence and decent form.”
Ricci Royal carries 54kg for Mathew Cahill and the “Coona” Cup field sees several runners and trainers seeking compensation for the disappointment of the recent Coonamble Cup washout.
“It’s his first time out to a mile and in open company but at Orange he raced like he was crying out for it and his Mudgee win was really strong. “Orange is a tight tricky track and when they sprinted he was left flat footed but he was really grinding to the line and the big straight will suit him with a light weight. “And so will the rain up here and a likely soft track for those old joints. I’d nominated for an easier race but he had 60kg. While this is a really strong country Cup field, he’s way down in weight from what he’s been used to carrying. He’s getting around five kilos off the main chances Brazen and Present Sense and we’re going to find out if he’s up to them.”
Brett Cavanough’s top weight Brazen won last month’s in-depth Dubbo Cup and was a photo placing in another strong Port Macquarie Cup ($153,000). Craig Martin’s Present Sense missed a run at Coonamble but was placed in the Narromine and Gunnedah Cups, before winning the Barraba Cup.