By Doug Ryan
A rare visit by one of Rosehill trainer Gerald Ryan’s gallopers could pay dividends in the feature $32,000 Winning Post Function Centre Hopkins/Livermore Cup (1400m) at Taree for the $172,000 second day of the Taree Cup Carnival on Friday.
The horse is Rosettas Whey, bred by Gerry Harvey, and owned by a syndicate with some of its members having an association with the Taree district. Ryan said he was tossing up whether to personally be at the eight-race TAB meeting, having visited and marvelled at the Bushland Drive Racecourse several years ago when he had a starter.
Ryan said the five-year-old mare had been knocking on the door for a win and should gets its chance from its ace barrier with Adrian Layt on board. “She had no luck at Hawkesbury when fifth last start and has been consistent, honest with no winning luck. She likes it on top of the ground and has trained on well,” he said.
In six starts at the distance she has had a win and three placings, her most recent starts resulting in seconds at Newcastle and Wyong and a third at Newcastle. The capacity field has plenty of depth and a lot depends on how fit is Newcastle five-year-old, lightly raced mare Fleeteor, from the stable of premier provincial and Mid North Coast Racing Association’s leading trainer, Kris Lees.
The MNCRA’s leading jockey for last season, Andrew Gibbons from Newcastle, takes the mount and that is a guide to her strong chance. Fleeteor was nominated for Taree’s last TAB meeting after winning over 1350m on the Beaumont track on July 27 but didn’t accept, preferring to be kept for here.
Newcastle trainers have a strong hand with Alan Scorse securing Australia’s most winning jockey, 59-year-old Robert Thompson, fresh from winning a cup at Cairns last Saturday, to ride his Nadacheva.
Scorse said the galloper’s last run should be erased as it had no luck but finished close after Thompson won at its previous start: "Fast run races suit my horse,” said the trainer.
Fellow trainer Benjamin Smith has seven-year-old gelding Anecdote sparking on all cylinders with two wins at Muswellbrook at its past three starts. “He only had one bad race at the start of its campaign at Hawkesbury and its runs since have been good, even when up close at Coffs Harbour in between the wins,” Smith said.
And the form of Wyong trainer Damien Lane and his six-year-old gelding All But Gone can’t be denied. The galloper was second at Grafton during its cup carnival and then a close second to Taree mare Shotgun Roulette in the Daniel Baker Spring over 1200m at the Coffs Harbour Cup Carnival on August 3.
Others in the mix include eight-year-old gelding Randiki, trained at Gosford by Kylie Gavenloch, Wyong’s Can I Have, trained by Allan Denham and local mare Mosgiel Ruby from the Taree stable of Matthew Robinson.
A Mid North Coast galloper should be in the mix to win the Taree Leagues Club Melbourne Cup Eve Calcutta Benchmark 60 Handicap over 1000m. Hardest to beat could be Laurentian, trained by John Sprague and again to be ridden by his in-form apprentice Cejay Graham.
She was on board when Laurentian scored by just over 3.5 lengths over a 1000m at Port Macquarie last start. The galloper’s record at Taree is six starts for two wins and three placings and at the distance it has had 15 starts for four wins and five placings. Sprague was going to sell Laurentian when its form dropped away last campaign but in four starts this preparation its form reads 3,2,2,1.
Port Macquarie trainer Neil Godbolt won three races in seven starts with four-year-old mare Dreamalina last campaign and it resumed for a handy third to in-form Coffs Harbour gelding Elite Dubleo at Coffs last start. Also in the mix is eight-year-old gelding Bierbower, trained at Grafton by Morgan Butler, it having a second to Bonne Cheval at Coffs, the winner having another since.
SELECTIONS RACE 1: Tarlee Lane 1, Serious Star 2, Princess Lottie 3. RACE 2: Eagleworks 1, Tipsy Choice 2, Syrah 3. RACE 3: Oh No Lot Again 1, Zoeasy 2, Natural Image 3. RACE 4: Suggestapartner 1, Atlantic Edge 2, Star Fest 3. RACE 5: Tuivasa 1, Lucky Starlet 2, Celtic Trail 3. RACE 6: Boncosta 1, Western Saga 2, Capital Magic 3. RACE 7: Rosettas Whey 1, Fleeteor 2, Nadacheva 3. RACE 8: Laurentian 1, Dreamalina 2, Bierbower 3.