By Doug Ryan
Any one of a select field of 1600m specialists from Wyong to Murwillumbah could win the $32,000 Bakewell Haulage Cup at Manning Valley Race Club’s TAB meeting at Taree on Friday.
There may be only eight runners but punters should obtain good quotes about their fancies. The winner could rely on track advantage and the only galloper from Taree is 6yo gelding Editors, trained by Ross Stitt and to be ridden by NSW's premier jockey Andrew Gibbons from Newcastle who regularly is in the winner’s stall at the club’s meetings.
Editors has had 14 starts at Taree for three wins and two placings and has won and placed at the distance in compiling nearly $150,000 in prizemoney. Stitt believes his gelding shines at home on a good-rated track and should get a “cosy” run from its barrier.
He said his charge was unlucky last start when it had a bad barrier, was second last at a vital stage, before being beaten 1.67 lengths when fourth over 1526m in the Lismore Cup. Editors won over 1450m at Kempsey on September 7 when the gelding responded well to the urgings of Gibbons.
Stitt has won the cup with Stop A Punch, Our Ambition and Gilded Blue, and he thinks Single Spirit also saluted first.
Port Macquarie trainers have a strong hand this year - Tas Morton saying: ”It will take a good one to beat him” when assessing the chances of 6yo gelding Mister Smartee. It was the Smart Missile’s first run for about six weeks when most unlucky not to win (beaten 1.95 lengths) the Hastings Cup over 1500m at Port on Port Macquarie Cup day last Friday.
Jockey Jeff Kehoe gave the gelding a beautiful ride in a trailing position but then couldn’t find a gap when full of running.
“The jockey was standing up in the irons trying to get a run,” Morton said. Mister Smartee enjoys taking “a sit” in races and the Port run “got rid of the cobwebs.”
A big run in the same race was that of 7yo O’Driscoll, trained by Jessica McCusker, the horse being posted very wide throughout before running ninth and only beaten about three lengths.
“My horse covered plenty of ground, but he always tries hard,” she said.
Trainer John Sprague was happy with 5yo gelding Chamisal’s third in the same race won by Chalmers: “The small field will suit him and he has pulled up very well,” he said.
City form with two thirds and a fourth in January and February at Canterbury signalled the top form of Coffs Harbour gelding Fabricator, trained by Donna Grisedale, before it ran second in the Lismore Cup at its first run from a spell.
“I was happy with the way he went after such a long time off and he has worked very well since,” she said.
Five-year-old gelding Discombe has won over 1600m and at Taree for Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer who at his last visit to the track won the $100,000 Taree Cup with Decroux. His confidence is high about Discombe which will be enjoying a drop in weight, having Taree Cup jockey Christian Reith in the saddle, and being at a track he “loves”.
No luck at Wyong last start and a win here over 1400m on August 21 has bolstered his hopes. Then there is Saxton Rock, trained at Murwillumbah by good winning strike rate trainer Matthew Dunn, it being sixth last start in the Port Cup Prelude.
And Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan has Ocean Go engaged, the horse having had only 12 starts for two wins and three seconds, one of the wins over 1600m, in what should be an exciting race.
RACE 1: One Star Shining 1, Boys Home 2, Luminoso 3.
RACE 2: Bear The Crown 1, Pace Stick 2, Venusian 3.
RACE 3: From The Hip 1, Flying Scotsman 2, Black Jacamar 3.
RACE 4: Editors 1, Discombe 2, Fabricator 3.
RACE 5: Foxy Xenia 1, Moonhawk 2, Lobban Hood 3.
RACE 6: Ever So Natural 1, Asudem 2, Classic Gaming 3.
RACE 7: Oh So Hot 1, New Tycoon 2, Meyer 3.
RACE 8: Zodiacus 1, Prince Arli 2, Wandzel 3.