By Geoff Newling
Traconi chases a third successive win at an unexpectedly good home venue for the Casino-trained mare in tomorrow’s $10,000 Evans Head Cup (1400m).
The Stephen Bennett-trained mare, a six-year-old daughter of Nicconi, was to have been running over the 1516 but an early morning explosion at the track severely injured Lismore Turf Club secretary manager Scott Jones.
He was taken to Lismore Base Hospital and then transferred to Royal Brisbane where he remains in intensive care and an induced coma. He was having skin graft surgery today after receiving burns to 45 per cent of his body.
The Lismore Turf Club will be doing whatever they can to help Scott, his wife Liz and three children and have received support from Racing NSW as well other clubs in the Northern Rivers Racing Association.
Tomorrow’s Lismore meeting was transferred to Casino but the December 22 Lismore meeting is most likely to return to Lismore.
Stephen Bennett had no inkling why the Lismore was transferred to Casino.
“I thought something must have happened to the track,” Stephen Bennett said.
“I just received a message to say the meeting had been transferred.”
He was, like all racing people, stunned and shocked by the accident and hoped the young LTC secretary manager makes a full recovery.
The Casino butcher was hoping to race Traconi at Lismore in the Evans Head Cup to see if she could handle the rise in distance – from 1400m of Tabulam to the 1516m at Lismore.
“I think it would have been ideal for her, the step up in distance,” he said.
“I think she will get it (the longer distance)”
Traconi had returned from a spell to win over 1400m at Casino before winning the 1400m Tabulam Cup second up.
She has drawn barrier five in the field of seven with veteran jockey Cyril Small to climb aboard again.
“Cyril’s had three wins on her now,” Stephen Bennett said.
“She’s done well and has a good weight. The track is a Good 4 but we’ve had rain through the eek and we might get a storm this afternoon the way its is building up.”
He hopes Cyril might have his mare poised just off the speed to make a winning run as they turn for home.
“It’s a hard testing run in,” he said
Stephen Bennett also has Would Be a Bonus in tomorrow and hopes he also runs well at home.
“He’s just back from a spell,” he said.
“I’m just hoping we win the Cup.”
Meanwhile, Ballina Jockey Club is prepared for a big Monday meeting.
It has 85 acceptors for the seven-race TAB meeting featuring the $20,000 Spill The Beans @ Aquis Farm Open Handicap (1260m).
Ballina-trained Aquajewel, like Traconi, is striving for a third successive win. She has won her past two on heavy tracks at Ballina and has drawn barrier one for Ballina trainer Steven Phelps in the 1260m Open.