By Doug Ryan
Wauchope Jockey Club’s free entry TAB meeting at Warwick Park Racecourse, Kempsey, on Monday has received more than 120 nominations from many districts. One of the most interesting races is the Benchmark 65 Handicap over 1450m where some winners on the track will be out to perform the deed again.
One of them is six-year-old mare Pomme Petite, trained by Barry Ratcliff on the track, which has had two wins and a second from five outings on her home surface. Five-year-old mare Wonderful Thing, also trained at Kempsey by Hilary Dew, has had two wins and two placings from seven starts at home.
A most interesting runner is six-year-old gelding Dixie Lad, trained at Port Macquarie by Neil Godbolt, it trying to rekindle the form which led to seven wins and 13 placings from 38 starts. The horse has had two wins at the distance but in two starts at the track it hasn’t placed.
Hard to beat will be six-year-old mare Mosgiel Ruby, trained at Taree by Matthew Robinson, the galloper nearing a win after scoring three wins from its last four starts before a spell. The mare is ready to win again at her third run back. Last season’s leading Mid North Coast trainer Kris Lees has several gallopers entered and they appear ready to keep his winning streak going.
Another good race is the Class 2 Handicap over 1250m where two last start winners are nominated. They are six-year-old gelding Bluemoon Dream, trained at Taree by Ross Stitt, and three-year-old gelding Zioptimus from the Wyong stable of Alan Kehoe.
Secretary of the Wauchope Jockey Club, Debbie Prosser, said a decision to make the meeting free entry was to attract patrons who normally didn’t attend Monday meetings. It was a chance for them to enjoy the outdoors and watch the spectacle of racing up close.
The club had its Wauchope Cup meeting at Port Macquarie Racecourse but rain created heavy conditions and the big card left its mark on the new surface. Meetings since have been conducted with the rail out to allow regrowth.
Port Macquarie Race Club is gearing up for its three-day cup carnival later this month and in October. The cup race has been increased in value for the Country Showcase TAB meeting, it now worth $150,000, and the 2000m event is bound to attract gallopers from many districts.
Mrs Prosser said she could understand the Port Club wanting to have its track in tip-top condition for the carnival which is bound to attract big crowds: “Kempsey Race Club looks after us and we are happy to go there,” she said.