By Geoff Newling
Peak Hill ($2.70 favourite on TAB fixed odds) likes Ballina and might continue that racing success in Monday’s $22,000 Tweed Heads Bowls Club Benchmark 66 Handicap (2650m) at the Northern Rivers track.
The five-year-old gelding son of Rip Van Winkle has had three starts there for two wins, including the Lismore Cup Prelude over 1900m there back in early September.
Last time out he was second to Clever Dolly at Grafton over 2350m and chases a sixth career win at start number 27.
He’s also won $83,280 in prizemoney for his owners, Gunderoo Stud, and can add to those statistics when Matthew McGuren jumps aboard.
They go from barrier one as well in a small seven-horse field that includes four Queensland-prepared stayers and last start winner, Loving Home.
Tess Wilkes prepares at Taree and she hopes to add to the nine-year-old’s prizemoney of $408,842.
He’s won eight times and been placed another 19. He also has a weight pull over Peak Hill (61kg) and carries 2.5kg less with Jason Taylor jumping him from barrier three.
Daniel Bowen believes Peak Hill can return to the winners list despite his big weight.
“He does like Ballina,” Daniel Bowen said. “Won a Lismore Cup prelude there and run third in the Cup (at Lismore) over 2100m.
"I took him to town after those runs and they were better runs than they looked.”
Daniel then headed to Grafton last start but the jump from the 1800m of his previous Brisbane run to 2350m at Grafton might have been too much on a day where he made two runs in the Grafton race as well.
“Matty’s back on him at Ballina too,” Daniel said. “He’s won on him twice. I know he has got a big weight (61kg) but if he can get a nice track into the race I’m pretty confident.”
Daniel also has Locust ($21) in the final race of the day and thinks she is a chance as well.
She had her first run for him at Lismore and believes if she can “get across into a forward position” might figure as well.
He doesn’t have any runners at the NRRA Melbourne Cup meetings at Murwillumbah and Coffs Harbour but has “two or three in at Grafton” on Wednesday.