By Geoff Newling
Rachael Murray and Paul Perry might have wrapped up Hunter & North West Racing Association's jockey and trainer premierships, but Sunday’s final H&NWRA meeting of the season gives four apprentices the chance of claiming the apprentices' title.
Vad Bolozhinskyi (20), Rachel King (19), Jodi Worley (18) and Jackson Murphy (17) are just four wins apart entering the final meeting of the season. Bolozhinskyi is favoured to hang on and at this stage has just the one ride, Josie Mae in the FSDP 3YO Maiden Showcase Handicap (1200m).
Sydney-based King doesn’t have a ride and cannot progress while Worley has five rides. She will partner Skill Set (R1), Frenetic Star (R3), Bonnie Sare (R4), Newcastle Dancer (R6) and Super Cooper (R8) at this stage, while Jackson Murphy has three bookings – Press Reset (R1), Our Minaan (R5) and Eat The Rich (R6).
The apprentice premiership adds extra lustre to an eight-race Country Showcase meeting dispensing $240,000 in prizemoney and which is also being promoted as a family day by Tamworth Jockey Club, advised TJC's GM, Kay Jeffrey, who has been confirmed as the new GM and is delighted with the support for the meeting.
It attracted 176 nominations this week and after acceptances this morning could have as many as 119 runners on Sunday.
“The Showcase ($30,000 races) meetings are a great incentive for country racing,” said Kay Jeffrey. “We have great fields and have very good local support as well as from trainers from all over.
“It’s also a family day for us and we will have markets stalls as well, so there will be something for everyone. It is something a bit different but we are trying something a bit different to promote racing.”
Tamworth trainer Sue Grills said all eight races will be strong and hopes for success on a day where she will have five runners on her home track: “It will be a busy day for us,” sue Grill said. “We’ve been travelling a lot of miles lately so it is great to be back at home.”
She won at Moree last week with Onya Rosie and hopes to finish the season with a win or two. Grills is currently third on the HNWRA Trainers Premiership with 27 wins, trailing only Paul Perry (45) and Kris Lees (37).
H&NWRA PREMIERSHIPS (unofficial as at Thursday 27 July; compiled by Geoff Newling):-
TRAINERS - 45 Paul Perry, 37 Kris Lees, 27 Sue Grills, 26 Greg Bennett, 24 Rod Northam, 15 Jane Clement, 14 Mark Schmetzer, 13 Paddy Cunningham, 12 Leon Davies, 11 Bjorn Baker, Cody Morgan, Stirling Osland, Peter Sinclair, 10 Gavin Groth, 9 Allan Denham, Paul Messara, George Woodward, : Jason Deamer, Paul Grills, Brett Partelle.
JOCKEYS - 62 Rachael Murray, 44 Greg Ryan, 32 Aaron Bullock, 29 Andrew Gibbons, 28 Ben Looker, 25 Robert Thompson, 20.5 Darren Jones, 17 Mitchell Bell, Daniel Northey, 16 Matthew McGuren, 15 Peter Graham, 14 Grant Buckley, 13 Paul King, 12 Allan Chau, Serg Lisnyy, Alison Threadwell, 11 Kody Nestor.
APPRENTICES - 20 Vad Bolozhinskyi, 19 Rachel King, 18 Jodi Worley, 17 Jackson Murphy, 9 Mikayla Weir, 8 Mollie Partridge, 7: Jean Van Overmeire, Jake Pracey-Holmes, 6 Chloe Baker, Melanie Bolwell, Cejay Graham, 4 Courtney Van Der Werf, Chris Williams, 3 Andrew Adkins, Louise Day, Jesse Graham, Blaike McDougall, Matthew McGillivray, 2: Winona Costin, Chelsea Ings, Gemma Steele, 1 Nyssa Burrells, Samantha Clenton, Colless Coombes, Michael Dee, Carla Dougherty, Melinda Graham, James Innes Junior, Koby Jennings, Kaylee Kirkwood, Taylor Marshall, Jackson Murphy, Les Tilley, Olivia Pickering.