By Doug Ryan
Veteran Port Macquarie trainer Margaret De Gonneville celebrated a win with six-year-old gelding Gold Beret, the first foal of five from broodmare Gold Waltz, at Taree-Wingham Race Club’s TAB meeting on Monday.
Gold Waltz was raced by Port chemist Kevin Baker, won seven races and was placed 10 times from 48 starts, and gave birth to a filly, her fourth, this month. Gold Beret ($6.50) is the lonesome male of the dynasty but he has developed into what De Gonneville describes as “a bread and butter horse".
“He is honest and always puts in,” she said of the nose win in the Manning Valley ... Naturally!! Benchmark 50 Handicap over 1250m.
“That was a hard win; he beat some good horses today. You can always rely on him to give his best.”
Gold Beret was scratched from Tuncurry on September 8 when he got a leg over part of the starting structure but hadn’t taken any harm from the experience. Prior to that, the gelding was runner-up at Kempsey and at Port Macquarie.
De Gonneville used to ride her horses trackwork until she had a hip replacement and ankle surgery but now has to rely on local jockeys.
The finish on Monday was very busy with half the field within a length of Gold Beret with Wauchope gelding Stop The Fight ($9 and sixth 1.5 lengths back) most unlucky when held up on several occasions behind the pack.
De Gonneville praised Taree jockey Scott Thurlow in having a good winning record on her gelding, he going on to notch a winning double on Taree trainer Ross Stitt’s three-year-old gelding Blinkin Artie ($4.20) in the Pre Christmas At Taree Races Class 1 Handicap over 1300m.
“Blinkin Artie was going to run seventh at the 200m but the speed on early helped his finish,” Stitt said. The gelding powered home wide out for a half length win from Newcastle’s Sepae which tried to lead most of the way for trainer Paul Perry.
Perry had better luck with three-year-old gelding Marathon ($9), ridden by Paul King, in the Saxbys Soft Drinks Maiden Handicap over 1400m.
At its first start on the Beaumont track, it was last when beaten 7.4 lengths but Perry’s son, Shannon, said the gelding was “switched on” over the last three or four days and could now win another race this campaign.
Wauchope trainer Colt Prosser wasn’t trackside but that didn’t stop five-year-old mare Raining On Sunday ($9), ridden by Ben Looker, coming from the tail of the field, it being the widest on the turn, to storm to a half-head win in the Make It A Day!!-Melbourne Cup Day At Taree Races Country Class 1 Plate over 1600m.
The mare showed her second over 1600m at Moree was no fluke at her previous start to again relegate one of Taree trainer Wayne Wilkes’ runners, Sniponet, to second.
“Best horse I have had,” said Newcastle trainer Ken Lantry after three-year-old gelding Warrumbungle ($17) scored a long neck win for jockey Chris O’Brien in the Manning River Times Maiden Plate over 1250m.
“This is his fourth preparation (only second start) and he has been so green in his attitude until today. I think he will be a great miler.”
Four-year-old gelding Mosrai ($4.20) raced up to its looks with a half-length resuming from a spell win for Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan and jockey Grant Buckley in the Functions @ Winning Post Function Centre Benchmark 55 Handicap over 1000m. It made it two wins from only four starts.
Biggest win of the meeting was by nearly three lengths for four-year-old Wyong gelding Nosey ($5.50), trained by Les Tilley and riden by apprentice jockey Kellie Holding, in the Raphael’s Cat @ Oxley Island Thoroughbreds Maiden Plate over 1000m.