By Doug Ryan
Taree hobby owner-trainer Robert Barnes is hoping to give local apprentice Madeline Owen a win on his eight-year-old mare Lobban Hood at her first race ride at Manning Valley Race Club’s TAB meeting at Taree on Monday.
He told the daughter of the club’s vet, Adrian Owen that he had promised the aspiring jockey her first ride in a race and “I hope she is a winner.”
Barnes was tickled pink with her nearly eight-length barrier trial win on New Major, owned by a big contingent of owners headed by the River Street Fishing Club, for local trainers Joel and Wayne Wilkes at Taree’s last meeting on November 16.
He said she had passed her ticket to ride and is on loan from Sydney trainer Peter Robl for the big moment, she taking a four-kilo claim off the well-performed mare.
Lobban Hood accepted for two races but was scratched from the Horsepower F&M Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1250m. Lobban Hood is recognised as a 'youngster’s horse', with apprentices having been on top to register four of its seven wins, the mare also having another 15 placings, in a total of 50 starts and winning $136, 570 prizemoney.
Barnes said Lobban Hood’s last at its previous start could be forgotten as she was hemmed behind a line of horses and couldn’t get a run. The mare won over 1100m at Port Macquarie two starts back and five of her wins have been at Taree over sprint distances.
“I think one of her best races was a photo finish second to Gold Bracelet over 1250m at Taree (August 23)”, but he has opted for the shorter race. She rates a big hope in the TAB.Com.Au Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1000m, but the one to beat could be local five-year-old gelding Fair Dinkum, trained by Ross Stitt.
It got caught in “hopeless going” on the fence last start and should be ready to add to its two wins from its past five starts.
A firm track and the claim for dashing Newcastle apprentice Dylon Gibbons brings the gelding well into calculations. “He worked very well on Tuesday and is better suited at home,” Stitt said.
One thing about Lobban Hood it has a good weight advantage over Fair Dinkum. The race should be a beauty with so many last start winners and placegetters engaged.
Port Macquarie trainer Allan Kehoe has two last start winners accepted in seven-year-old gelding Tikkitala and Bangalley Lad. Kehoe has been having a good trot of late and is confident of a big show from last start Grafton winner seven-year-old Tikkitala which will have the services of promising 2kg-claiming apprentice Georgina McDonnell.
“He is a big horse with speed and has won three races for me,” Kehoe said. And wins by eight-year-old gelding More Patasi, trained at Wauchope by Colt Prosser, and four-year-old gelding Spirit In The Sky, trained at Port by John Sprague, wouldn’t surprise.
Prosser has had More Patasi for three runs since leasing it from trainer Julie Hodder, who is having a break from the profession, it showing its hoof was right on the till with a good second over 1000m at Kempsey last start.
Sprague said Spirit In The Sky won two races for him, had a throat operation and was ready to win again at its third run since. The rail being out 3m for the entire circuit could suit gallopers which are handy early, the track is likely to be perfect with good weather forecasted.
RACE 1: Every Effort 1, She’s No Princess 2, The Irish Rover 3.
RACE 2: Always On Show 1, Under The Pump 2, Miss Twenty Twenty 3.
RACE 3: Right Bower 1, From The Hip 2, So Commanding 3.
RACE 4: Miss Kojiki 1, Empowerment, Rhianna Belle 3.
RACE 5: She’s Independent 1, First Sight 2. Oh So Hot 3.
RACE 6: Thiswilldous 1, Elusive Eagle 2, Deep Dream 3.
RACE 7: Fair Dinkum 1, Lobban Hood 2, Tikkitala 3.