By Geoff Newling
RACE 1: BOWIE’S Boy broke through at start number 13 when he won today’s $20,000 Thread Effects Maiden Plate (1000m). The Melissa Dennett-trained gelding son of Nicconi raced outside favourite Eagleworks to the turn before surging home on his home track for a length and three quarter win from the Paul Perry-prepared favourite while the Sue Grills-trained Shiver Me Timbers was a half neck away third. Andrew Gibbons rode Bowie’s Boy and the Newcastle-based jockey was grateful for a mistake-free run from the four-year-old gelding. “He has been a bit of trouble,” Andrew Gibbons said on dismounting. Melissa Dennett laughed in agreement. “He’s got some tricks,” she said. “I just told Andrew not to let him think about it and don’t let him switch off.” Gibbons made sure Bowie’s Boy mind was on the job all the way sitting outside Eagleworks and making the favourite work. Melissa Dennett also said Bowie’s Boy also followed a good result at Quirindi recently for Coonabarabran owner Brett Bowman. “Bowman also owns and races Rubymay, which won at Quirindi. He’s been patient,” Dennett said of the owner. “My last two runners have been winners for him,” she said of stablemates Rubymay and Bowie’s Boy.
RACE 2: ADVANTAGE has been disadvantaged by self-inflicted issues but overcame those problems to win at Tamworth today. The Paul Messara-trained gelding son of Charge Forward led and won the FSDP Maiden Plate (1000m) by two lengths, too good for Jan Bowen’s Zanjan with John Bannister’s Mon Petite Fille another two lengths away third. A five-year-old Advantage had only made his debut with a half length second to Kabelo at Quirindi on August 14. Paul Messara admitted it was a relief to finally make the track with the son of Group 1 winning mare Alverta. “He’s been a slow learner, taken a long time to get right,” Paul Messara said. “He’s had self-inflicted issues. A pleasure to see him win here today.” Alverta holds a special place in the Messara family racing history. “She was our first city winner and first Group 1 winner,” Paul Messara said of a mare who has had four foals so far including a smart filly in Japan. She is now in foal to Deep Impact. Advantage, meanwhile, will take plenty of confidence out of today’s win. “He’ll keep improving,” Paul Messara said. “Little steps.” That means looking for another similar race as today’s for him next time out.
RACE 3: MISS Nellie exploded to a deserving win when she outclassed her opposition to win today’s $20,000 Coreys Catering Maiden Handicap (1400m) at Tamworth. The Greg McFarlane-trained mare, a four-year-old daughter of Shrapnel, was having her sixth race start and was able to “sneak up” on her opponents, winning jockey Ben Looker told the trainer after dismounting. “It worked out really nice,” he said of a good run from barrier four. “I was able to keep sneaking up the fence. That was a really nice win and would have given her a lot of confidence.” Greg McFarlane agreed. “She’s quite a green horse,” he said of a mare who had suffered from a virus “six or seven weeks ago”. “Hopefully onwards and upwards now,” he said of a mare he thinks will be better suited over a lot more ground. “We’ll keep her in the country for now,” he said. “See how far she can go up in distance. She is a staying type.” He has around 17 in work at Gosford at the moment but has a lot of young ones to come into work and hopes to have a 50-strong stable soon.
RACE 4: WINNER'S Lane had a much tougher assignment than his stable initially thought when he fought back to score his first win in today’s Advanced Inland Security 3YO Maiden Plate (1200m) at Tamworth. The Paul Perry-trained gelding son of Pierro was backed into favouritism and had to overcome a slow start to beat the Allan Denham-trained Bangkok by a head. Robert Thompson had revved up Bangkok on the inside and looked to have the front 100m out before Winner's Lane dug in strongly for Grant Buckley finish strongly. Winner's Lane was having his fourth start and coming off a last start seventh to Siege Of Quebec at Rosehill. “We were hoping to come here and find a weaker race for him but that wasn’t the case,” said stable foreman Nathan Perry. “He did the job both ends. He was slow to begin but kicked on with it and toughed it out.” Winner's Lane had dwelt at the start and forced Grant Buckley to change his race plan in the small field. “I had to ride him aggressive,” he told Nathan Perry. It worked out perfectly although by a narrow margin. “He’s shown a lot of promise at home,” Nathan Perry added. “I’m sure the more runs he has the better he will be. We hope he will go on with it from here but he’s a big kid. I think you will see a nice horse next time around.”
RACE 5: POLSKIE Prince earned himself a trip to Brisbane when he fought off Another Whiskey to score a surprise win in today’s $20,000 TAB.com.au Tamworth Rush (1000m). The Sue Grills-trained eight-year-old gelding fought back to beat the Darryl Ward-trained Another Whiskey by a half neck while Paul Perry’s Gendebien was a length and a quarter away third. Polskie Prince won for the seventh time at his 41st start today, his first race win in 12 months, said Sue Grills. “He won this race last year,” she said. “That was on a Heavy 10. Sophie (Young) rode him.” She said a succession of bad barriers had not helped the son of Snippetson since. “He’s just kept drawing bad barriers but running reasonable races,” sue Grills said. “I told Grant (jockey Grant Buckley) he might have been a bit lazy and cunning lately. Told him to give him a bit of rev up.” Buckley did. “Sue said to drive him. I did. Rode him positive.” He told Sue Grills the gelding is “tough” and responded when he went for him again inside the final 200m. “I thought the other one was going to get him but he fought back,” Sue Grills said. “He does like Tamworth though and it was great to win for Joe.” Joe Janiak, former trainer of sprinting great Takeover Target, owns and races Polskie Prince but is ill and recovering in Darwin Hospital. Sue Grills hopes the win is a tonic for him and helps speed his recovery. She also planned to take the horse to Brisbane on Saturday week for a benchmark 75 1050m sprint before today’s Rush. “I was going to go before this race,” she said of a Brisbane trip that is now definite and might be another boost for his owner.
RACE 6: SUE Grills made it a running double when Assurity surfed her way to victory in today’s Carlton Mid Class 3 Handicap (1600m) at Tamworth. The Tamworth trainer was ecstatic after Assurity and Polskie Prince were surprise successive winners today. “I haven’t trained a winner here since I don’t know when,” she joked as she walked to the winners stall to discuss the victory with jockey Travis Wolfgram. It was also a red letter day for Wolfgram, who rode his first winner for Grills, and “D-Day” for Assurity. “It was D-Day for her,” Sue Grills said. “We had to decide whether to keep going with her or to go to stud. We’ve decided to keep her going,” she said of a six-year-old daughter of Not A Single Doubt who posted her fourth win in 19 starts. It was also Assurity’s first time over 1600m and Travis Wolfgram believes she might even get further. He received a “bump from Bucko” but instead of that coming together knocking her out of contention it “put some fight in her”. “I was able to lay all over him and he carried me. It all worked out perfect for her.” Assurity always looked to be a wet track specialist too but she relished the bumping duel and the Good 4 track. “Her run at Grafton (on a Good 4) was good too,” Sue Grills said of a recent fifth on the Northern Rivers track. “Corey (Brown) got stuck a bit on her he said to put her over a mile. She just kept kicking today. a really tough win with a big weight. She had to go around them too and come from last.” While Polskie Prince is headed to Brisbane Sue Grills has no immediate plans with Assurity who might look for a few more metric mile or further races. “I’m just so excited, haven’t had a double for a long while,” she said.
RACE 7: RICHARD Jackson was quietly confident Quietly Confident would run a good race at Tamworth today. The Walgett owner/trainer had brought his eight-year-old gelding son of More Than Ready to Tamworth for the first time in a 33-race career after a good fifth at Gilgandra at his previous start. Quietly Confident had finished a 2.8 length fifth to Yes Zariz in a benchmark 60 1300m around the saucer-like track. “Chelsea (Ings) was confident he’d run a good race today,” Richard Jackson said of the two-kilogram claiming apprentice. “We thought he’d run well despite being a bit out of form before that.” Quietly Confident did just that sustaining a grinding surge to beat the Kris Lees-trained Little Shocker by a short half head. Ironically Lees had trained the gelding earlier in his career. Quietly Confident has now won five times and provides Jackson, who was born “back o’Bourke” with a boost. “It’s dry as chips out home,” he said. Richard Jackson said Quietly Confident will now be aimed at a 1400m benchmark 65 handicap at Collarenebri on Saturday, September 9.
RACE 8: NEW Endeavour bounced back in brilliant fashion for Armidale trainer Stirling Osland to win today’s $20,000 Allsopp Signs Benchmark 55 Handicap (1200m) at Tamworth. The Armidale-trained gelding son of Casino Prince sustained a long sprint to beat the Darrly Ward-trained Valhalla Mist with Paul Perry’s race favourite Ledecky third. New Endeavour had finished last at his previous outing, a similar benchmark 55 handicap over 1200m. However, it was a different day for a talented gelding with Ben Looker able to sit back and relax back in the field. “They went pretty quick early,” he told Stirling Osland after the win. “We were out the back and happy to be there. I was able to get to the outside.” When he did he stormed home to wipe away memories of a last start last. New Endeavour has also been something of a favourite for Stirling. “He was my first winner,” he recalled. “Won a two-year-old at Gunnedah for us and then went to Sydney and won a couple of midweek races.” New Endeavour then returned to him in Armidale and while has won since he’s taken a lot of work to find his best form. Today the race was run to suit. “Benny rode him well,” Stirling Osland said. “He can carry weight though so we can target races like this. It would have been nice to come back here in a fortnight but he’ll get four benchmark points for winning today so we’ll have to have a look for something else.” He also said Prada Miss might return to Sydney for another metro race after she carried 59kg at Rosehill last Saturday. He has the Highway Handicap Championship in mind for his talented mare.
RACE 9: THE only surprising thing about Nor Surprising’s win in the final race at Tamworth was the fact the four-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible was going home the lone winner from the Kris Lees stable. The Newcastle stable had sent a truckload of good chances to Tamworth for the nine race TAB meeting but only Not Surprising returned home with a Tamworth Jockey Club winner’s sash. Her victory came courtesy of a brilliant Andrew Gibbons ride, the Newcastle jockey able to keep main danger, Late Return parked three deep for most of the trip. It told in the end, the Brett Cavanough-trained Late Return covering extra ground and having to work harder to be beaten a neck. Miss Bunny Hop was a length away third. “He kept the main danger three deep,” stable foreman Chris Hull said of Not Surprising’s jockey. “Rode her a treat.” Not Surprising was having her seventh start and has now won twice with three placings. “She’s a lovely mare,” Chris Hull said. “She’ll go through her grades. She has been a bit of a handful but will get better with time.”