By Geoff Newling
Husswick will attempt to make it a big weekend for Scone trainer Rod Northam when the seven-year-old gelding tackles today’s $30,000 Hopefuel Gunnedah Cup (1600m). The son of Hussonet jumps from barrier five with leading HNWRA jockey Rachael Murray on board in the nine-horse field.
Stablemate My Tagoson, a five-year-old gelding son of Octagonal, flew the stable flag high at Randwick on Saturday when he won a Highway Handicap, consigning another Scone runner, Last Try Wins, to second.
“It was brilliant,” said Rachel Northam, who was tending the gelding with Rod on an overseas holiday. “As per normal I got the winner,” she joked. “Hopefully we’ll get a few more at Gunnedah.”
My Tagoson was having just his 11th race start and landed his second win for the Scone stable while Husswick lines up in his 36th race in today’s Gunnedah Cup. It’s a race Rod Northam has had success in too, said Rachel Northam.
“We’ve won it with Prior Baron,” she recalled. "Husswick is in good form, one of those horses who gives you his all. We’ve also got a couple in at Muswellbrook on Tuesday as well. Hopefully get a couple of winners there too.”
Husswick has had three runs back from a spell finishing fifth over 1100m at Wellington, 13th at Canterbury over 1250m and then ninth in the 1280m Bengalla Cup at Muswellbrook to Anecdote. He was beaten just over five lengths at Muswellbrook and at his best gives this race a real shake in a race where Narromine Cup placegetter Present Sense (1) has drawn the pole while Brett Cavanough is hoping to end a long “bridesmaid tag” with Avroson.
Not only did Cavanough finish second in Saturday’s Highway Handicap with Last Try Wins but The Virginian also finished second in the 1200m and $150,000 Group 3 Show County . Cavanough also has two runners in the $22,000 Fuchs Lubricants Lightning Handicap (1000m) – Escebee and Yours Mine Ours.
Tamworth trainer Sue Grills also has two Lightning entrants – Hammoon Boy and Polskie Prince while 2015 Gunnedah Cup winner, Pippi’s Pride, also tackles the Lightning and goes from barrier 11 with Leanne Henry aboard for Muswellbrook trainer Stephen Gleeson.
First race today is at 1.35pm, the H&M Refrigeration GJC Legend Frank Gallen 3YO Maiden (1200m) first of seven races and also including the XXXX Gold Akwazoff Benchmark 49 Handicap (2050m). While Rachael Murray rides Husswick in today’s Gunnedah Cup she is also one of the recipients of an HNWRA award when the HNWRA joins with Tamworth Jockey Club to honour the family of ill-fated jockey Darren Jones at the TJC this Thursday night.
Sky Racing’s Greg Radley will MC a charity night including Australia’s top jockey Hugh Bowman and former champion jockey Malcolm Johnston. Johnston, who hails from Forbes (just south of Bogan Gate), Bowman and Radley will be part of a huge night also including more than 60 lots for auction at the Darren Jones Family Benefit Night.
Murray will receive the HNWRA jockeys' premiership while Paul Perry (trainer) and Vad Bolozhinskyi (apprentice) also receive their premiership awards with the HNWRA Horse of the Year also announced. Tickets to the Benefit night (6pm start) are $50 and available from the Tamworth Jockey Club (02) 6765 9387.