By Tony Megahey
In form Dubbo trainer Connie Greig and Hawkesbury based Simone Vella, celebrated the apprentice’s breakthrough win as a professional, and they take momentum and confidence into Saturday’s in depth Coonabarabran TAB meeting.
Connie has won recent races at Dubbo, Warren and non TAB at tiny Carinda’s Cup, and she and Simone combine in three of the six races on a bumper programme for the historic Coonabarabran Jockey Club.
“It was really exciting for us, Simone rode our little stable favourite Naoko to win the Carinda Cup, her first win as a professional.
“It was a Non-TAB but it meant just as much to us,” Connie enthused.
“Simone has ridden winners for me at the picnics and her first win as a professional will build confidence, and more opportunities. The prize-money might be different but the thrill is just the same when you’ve put in all the hard work.
“Naoko is under 15 hands and just a super genuine little trier, she’s won five and so many placings so it’s really important for the mare that Simone can claim 3.5kg off that 60.5kg. “But it’s a lot harder race obviously, and tough day generally. With big fields, we’re hoping for luck in running with my chances.
“They’re drawn wide and get back, but that’s their racing pattern and the way they produce their best.” Naoko contests the second event a BM 60 over 1600m, along with stable-mate Malibu Stacy.
“Her recent runs have been good in much tougher races," Connie said.
Felicette is in the fourth, a BM 54 1200m.
“She’s got ability and she’ll be flying late, but she’s been so frustrating, just such a hot headed and temperamental thing. “Her best could be good enough but who knows?”
Ausbred Petal is in the final event a BM 50, 900m.
“It was near last chance at the non-TABs then something clicked with her, we decided to try and lead and she did it all the way in a Dubbo maiden. But out of a weak maiden it’s so tough to go to the next level and this race is a big field with depth.”
The strong regional stables of Brett Thompson, Cameron Crockett, Sue Grills and the Lunns have numerous winning chances.