By Doug Ryan
The stage is set for another clash between the first two placegetters last year in the $25,000 Wingham Services Club Wingham Cup over 1600m at Bushland Drive Racecourse, Taree, this Friday.
Last year’s winner, six-year-old Who Is Game, trained at Taree by Michael Byers, won by a lip from Port Macquarie six-year-old gelding Star Of Legs, trained by Tas Morton. It was a busy finish with Who Is Game just getting up in the shadows of the winning post, but this year the nominations may have more class which augurs for another great race.
Twenty nominations for the cup are among a mammoth 180 for the Taree Wingham Race Club’s TAB meeting. The cup nominations include gallopers from not only Port Macquarie and Taree but also from Newcastle, Cessnock, Wyong, Scone, Tamworth and Kempsey.
Who Is Game showed she will again be hard to beat with an honest third behind Newcastle three-year-old gelding Fratellino, one of three winners for trainer David Atkins, over 1412m at Taree’s last meeting on May 15.
Fratellino franked the form with another all-the-way win over 1400m at Newcastle last Saturday. The mare is tough when right and showed her will with some good races in Sydney prior to last year’s cup win.
Star Of Legs will be ready for the distance after a solid half-length second to Hirokin over 1600m in the Gooree Cup on May 17.
Prior to that the gelding wasn’t disgraced with a third to Beretta, a race rival from the Kris Lees yard at Newcastle, over 1550m at Canterbury a month before.
Port trainer Marc Quinn was disappointed with the run of six-year-old gelding Explosive Scene behind Fratellino here last start but is confident of an improvement with a senior jockey. It won over 1510m at Port five starts back and has been just behind the winners at Kempsey, Mudgee and Newcastle prior to that run.
An interesting nomination is Wauchope five-year-old gelding Allzin, trained by Graham Hoy, a winner at its past two starts at Newcastle and in a $40,000 race at Tamworth during its cup carnival on April 30.
It is getting ready for the big cup races for the Grafton Carnival. Acceptances are taken at 9am on Wednesday for which should be a great cup day with the track rated as good.