By Geoff Newling
Fresh from their New Year's Day Cups triumphs at Inverell and Wallabadah, Tamworth trainers Troy O’Neile and Craig Martin are preparing, and hoping, for more success at their home track on Friday.
O’Neile believes he was proven wrong after Try “N” Run Amuck led all the way to win the $35,000 XXXX Gold Inverell Cup (1400m). It was the six-year-old gelding’s seventh race win in 40 starts and took his prizemoney to just over $156,000 for his Tamworth owners Dave and Gwen Bastable.
Dave, a former publican of long standing, is also a committeeman on the Tamworth Jockey Club. It was also the gelding’s second Cup win after he won last February’s Walcha Cup.
“He’s been knocking on the door for a while,” Troy said. “He just got beat at Kempsey the other day.” He said he thought his gelding “was a miler (1600m)” but now believes the 1400m might be his pet distance given the strength of Tuesday’s victory
He had told young apprentice Kyle Wilson-Taylor to “make them run you down”. Wilson-Taylor did just that, rating the gelding son of Pure Theatre to perfection.
O’Neile has entered unraced juveniles Fields Of Red and Onemorechoice in Friday’s Blake Tickell 2YO Maiden Plate (1000m). Fields Of Red has drawn barrier 4 and Onemorechoice jumps from 11.
Craig Martin, meanwhile, has Vineyard and Louisiana Man engaged Friday after he annexed Tuesday’s $10,500 Manuka Chaff Wallabadah Cup (1500m), his first Wallabadah Cup win, with Cricklewood.
Cricklewood’s Wallabadah Cup win turned the day around though and gave Martin his first win in the iconic race. It was also a good result for his four-kilogram claiming apprentice Sophia Thatcher, in a cup race traditionally kind to apprentices. “She finished the day off well too, had a full book of rides,” he said.
Another apprentice, Grace Willoughby, riding on-loan with him has the chance to continue the stable’s success at Tamworth on Friday. She will ride last start Moree winner Louisiana Man for Craig Martin while Ben Looker rides Vineyard, both drawing well.
Vineyard has drawn barrier two in the Hawkesbury City Slicker Appeal Benchmark 66 Handicap (1200m) while Louisiana Man has drawn five with Willoughby on board. Friday’s meeting is also highlighted by a heat of the Rising Star series for apprentice jockeys.
2018-19 HUNTER & NORTH-WESTERN RACING ASSOCIATION PREMIERSHIPS
TRAINERS: 18 Kris Lees, 15 Sue Grills, 11 Stirling Osland, 10 Paul Perry, 9 Brett Cavanough, Cody Morgan, 8 Angela Davies, 7 Allan Denham, Melanie O’Gorman, Peter Sinclair.
JOCKEYS: 34 Greg Ryan, 20 Josh Oliver, 16 Andrew Gibbons, Ben Looker, 13 Grant Buckley, 10 Chad Lever, 8 Peter Graham, 7 Vad Bolozhinskyi, Darryl McLellan, Geoff Snowden.
APPRENTICES: 14 Wendy Peel, 9 Louise Day, 8 Mikayla Weir, 7 Reece Jones, 6 Cejay Graham, 4 Leah Kilner, Grace Willoughby, 3 Simone Vella, Sophie Wilcock, Kyle Wilson-Taylor.