By Doug Ryan
Long-time mate jockey Robert Thompson has been labelled 'urgent' by local trainer Ross Stitt to turn around the fortunes of four-year-old gelding Fair Dinkum to try and win at Manning Valley Race Club’s eight-race TAB meeting at Taree on Friday.
The gelding hasn’t been fair dinkum in being backed for big money on many occasions since scoring over 1000m at Kempsey in September last year.
Wide barriers, bog tracks and bad luck have played significantly in races since, but when Thompson steps in, the duo has plenty of luck scoring.
“He (RT) will ride him good,” Stitt said of Fair Dinkum’s chances in the WWW.ManningValleyRace Club.Com.Au Class 3 Handicap over 1000m.
“Fair Dinkum went so ordinary at Randwick last start (13th) but his work since has been good,” Stitt said.
Since a promising second in a Randwick Highway race after the Kempsey win, the gelding hasn’t been served well in three subsequent Highway races and will enjoy his home track and this opposition.
Hardest to beat could be improving four-year-old mare Boom Queen, now with the Taree stable of Tony Ball, which finished well for fourth here over the distance at its first local run since being bought from Sydney trainer Matt Smith for $3000.
On that occasion, Ball said the mare wasn’t wound up and the extra fortnight has her ready to produce her best. Also in the mix is Newcastle’s Deocanese which won first-up over the distance for the Paul Perry stable.
Plenty of interest despite only seven starters in the Tooheys Extra Dry 2yo Maiden Handicap over 1250m is evident with six of them chasing the BOBS bonus before the end of the season.
If ever a galloper deserves a win it is Port Macquarie gelding Bay Of Bengal, trained by Neil Godbolt which has been in the placings six times in eight starts, the latest in a $45,000 event over 1200m at Grafton.
A big watch is first-starter filly Maasi Mara, trained at Tuncurry by Terry Evans, which scored a win in a barrier trial at Taree on June 20.
Ball or Godbolt haven’t given up hope of qualifying their charges for the upcoming country cups in the Off The Track NSW Benchmark 56 Handicap over 1600m.
Ball’s Senatorial may have been ridden too close to the lead last start when ninth but has improved plenty since then, the mount going to ace country jockey Aaron Bullock.
Godbolt’s Condover Hall, a honest second last start, has won over 1800m and is adept in heavy going.
RACE 1: Bay Of Bengal 1, Saquon 2, Hinch’em Up 3.
RACE 2: Another Sonette 1, Modify 2, Lock And Launch 3.
RACE 3: Enamour 1, Lilly Pilly 2, Atlantic Lite 3.
RACE 4: Fair Dinkum 1, Boom Queen 2, Dodecanese 3.
RACE 5: Controlthewitness 1, Chosen Prince 2, Tavion Prince 3.
RACE 6: Stonecold Flex 1, Dream Song 2, Dr Copper 3.
RACE 7: Nine Not Out 1, Honovi 2, Razano 3.
RACE 8: Senatorial 1, Condover Hall 2, Men In Tights 3.