By Geoff Newling
Perfect Times benefitted from a perfectly-timed rails run by her young jockey to win Monday’s $20,000 Hope Fuel Gunnedah Cup Day Sunday May 27 Maiden Handicap (1400m) at Gunnedah and set up a possible Gunnedah Cup day return to Riverside.
The four-year-old daughter of Tamworth stallion Ready As was having her 10th start for owner/breeders Kym and Peter Mills. Peter Mills also trains the mare and was delighted with the effort from 4kg-claiming apprentice Quin Yong, who overcame a wide barrier to claim a maiden win with the mare.
“He’s quite a talented kid,” Peter Mills said. “He’s with Brad Widdup and hopefully be right to ride her again at the Cup.”
Mills has just two horses in work, Perfect Times and Azzies Ready. Both are by Tamworth stallion Ready As, who finished second in two Tamworth Cups, one of them to Gold Buckle, a great galloper Peter trained to win two Tamworth Cups. He has nominated Azzies Ready for this Saturday’s $150,000 Ortensia Listed Stakes (1100m) at Scone.
Friday’s Scone Cup day attracted just over 200 nominations (209) for a day including the $200,000 Darley Scone Cup (1600m) while the second day of the carnival had 161 nominations for a meeting highlighted by the $400,000 Scone 3YO Guineas (1400m).
The Ortensia Stakes is part of the huge stand-alone metro meeting and Azzies Ready was one of 25 nominations for that Listed race after running a gallant second at the Tamworth Cup meeting last Sunday: “It’s way above his class,” Peter Mills said. “And too far for him. I have nominated for a benchmark 80 at Scone.”
Obtaining a run at Scone will be the hardest part although that’s part of the changing racing landscape in NSW: “They (Racing NSW) have done a wonderful job to have the prizemoney where it is and to be organised so well. I’ve only got a couple of horses in work but its great for me.”
The Scone Carnival is an outstanding two-day carnival he said, while the upcoming Gunnedah Cup meeting is also a Showcase meeting, offering $30,000 a race as well as a $32,000 Lightning and a $40,000 Hope Fuel Gunnedah Cup (1600m).
Gunnedah Jockey Club secretary, Mark Storey, said his club is preparing for massive Cup day after Monday’s Somerton Cup Memorials meeting.
“It was a good day's racing,” Mark Storey said. “Hopefully we will get good noms, I think we will being a Showcase meeting and where we are positioned in the calendar. Previously when we raced on Mother’s Day we were too close to a lot of other meetings like the Scone Cup.”