By Geoff Newling
RACE 1: Miss Expensive broke through at Tamworth on Monday for what might have been a morale boosting win for the Newcastle filly. The Paul Perry-trained daughter of Exceed And Excel led all the way from her good barrier (2) to hold off Bowie’s Boy (Melissa Dennett) for a half neck win in the Carlton Mid Maiden Handicap (1000m). The Troy O’Neile-trained She’s Sharp As was a half length away third. Courtney Van Der Werf, who also notched a win at Gunnedah last Friday, rated the filly perfectly and was delighted how Miss Expensive fought on strongly. “She kept finding for me,” Courtney Van Der Werf told Shannon Perry, son of the trainer who was also delighted with a breakthrough win at a seventh attempt. “She controlled the race to suit herself,” Shannon Perry, son of the trainer said of the female apprentice. “It was a good confidence boost for her (Miss Expensive) too.”
RACE 2: Kris Lees ensured a Newcastle double to start the eight-race TAB meeting at Tamworth today when Lets Get Nauti Gal romped home in the Allsopp Signs Maiden Plate (1200m). Paul Perry had won the first with three-year-old Miss Expensive and Lees followed suit with his two-year-old filly a little over half an hour later. Lets Get Nauti Gal was having her fifth run after debuting with a second at Scone and then placing third at Randwick and Newcastle at her last two starts. “Good to see her win today,” said stable foreman Chris Hull. "Dropping back in class helped her today," he added. “She’s always shown ability and she should go on from that. Might go back to Newcastle or a Sydney mid-weeker now.” Andrew Gibbons partnered the daughter of Harbour Watch and thinks the confidence boosting win might launch her into more success. He is also celebrating his best ever season. “65 was my best,” he said as he has also tallied 23 winners in the HNWRA this season as well. “I’ve now ridden 69 winners. She goes good though and let go good today.” He was able to extricate her and launch a winning and swamping run down the middle of the track over the last 250m.
RACE 3: Big Ben The Clock chimed in at the right time to race away with today’s Tamworth City Toyota Class 1 and Maiden Plate (2100m). The Rod Northam-trained gelding had been sitting deep midfield mid-race when jockey Peter Graham elected to 'roll forward'. It was a race-winning move as the gelding son of Benfica joined the race leader and then raced away on the turn to eventually post an easy five and a half length win. “Peter rode him perfect,” trainer Rod Northam said of the coastal jockey. Peter Graham had found himself midfield after jumping. “They went quick early and then they slowed around the back,” Peter Graham said as he decided to roll forward. “He kept rolling,” he added. “He’s a tough horse too.” Rod Northam agreed. “He’s only a three-year-old and might develop into a tough stayer. He loves Tamworth too, won his maiden here as well.” In 10 starts he has now won twice and placed another four times.
RACE 4: Our Tickets might have lost her racing debut on protest but there were no such problems when the Scone mare was first past the post in today’s Goodwin Kenny Maiden Plate (1600m) at Tamworth. The Brett Cavanough-trained daughter of Tickets had lost her debut at Dubbo on protest and might have hit the front too far out for jockey Travis Wolfgram’s liking but outstayed her opposition to snare a two and a quarter length win from the Brett Thompson-trained Sorry I’m Awesome. Wolfgram said the lightly raced four-year-old mare had “travelled well” and shared the lead. “When the pressure came on she was going well,” Travis Wolfgram told connections. “I knew we had the race in the bag but I was a little worried we hit the front too far out.” However, she finished the race off strongly, something that impressed Scone trainer Brett Cavanough. “She’s a good, strong type of mare,” Brett Cavanough said. “Been towelling a couple of the older horses at home too. I was pretty confident today although I thought her odds might have been bigger.” Cavanough heads across to Grafton tomorrow with four horses including Ramornie Handicap hopeful The Monstar. “I’ll walk the track in the morning,” he said. “If it’s not up to scratch we won’t run him.” He’s hoping for a little moisture to enable The Monstar, who likes it wet, to race at his best. The Monstar is topweight for Wednesday’s $160,000 Grafton District Services Club Ramornie Handicap (1200m) and drew barrier seven in today’s barrier draw. Josh Adams will ride the Scone gelding who won the June Stakes at Randwick two starts back before running a gallant second in the Civic Stakes at Rosehill at his most recent outing.
RACE 5: Magic Arli might have earned herself a crack at a TAB Highway Handicap in Sydney after the 3yo filly lifted today’s $20,000 Corey’s Catering F&M Class 2 Handicap (1400m) at Tamworth. Trained at Taree by Bob Milligan, the daughter of Arlington, who was having her ninth race start today, surged to a two length win from the Jane Clement-trained Unique Shadow. George Woodward’s Ayda was three quarters of a length away third. Glen Milligan, son of trainer Bob Milligan, said the filly had been working and racing well. “We just had one query today, whether she got the trip (1400m) or not,” Glen Milligan said. “We didn’t know whether she’d run it or not. Her sister is a year older but every time we put her over 1400m she couldn’t get it.” Jackson Murphy’s 1.5kg claim also helped and the young apprentice couldn’t have ridden her any better. “Jackson said he had plenty up his sleeve too,” Glen Milligan added. “She hit the line good.” He said a Highway Handicap could be a nice race for her now.
RACE 6: Isthmian fought on doggedly to claim a fourth win in today’s $20,000 Advanced Inland Security Class 3 Handicap (1000m). The little three-year-old filly turned for home in a line of three with Shadow Boss and Epic Decision but never wavered to hold on for a short head win from Malverna (Wayne Collison) with Sally Torrens’s Guilty As Sin flying late for third, beaten a short half head in a blanket finish. At the line eight of the nine-strong field were within a length. Isthmian became the 150th winner of the season for the Kris Lees stable and Andrew Gibbons’s 70th winner. The Newcastle jockey said the race couldn’t have panned out any better for his filly. “She stuck it out and didn’t want to get beat,” Andrew Gibbons said. Stable foreman, Chris Hull, was delighted: “She fought all the way,” Chris Hull said. "They came from everywhere to get her too. She’s not a big filly, only slight but she’s got some ticker.” She is raced by a large syndicate of owners including Narrabri’s Justin Orman and Quirindi’s Bruce Gowing. They both own Totoya dealerships in their respective towns. "Five of the Toyota dealers got together and we have 25% of her,” Bruce Gowing said as he conferred with Justin Orman about all things equine and mechanical.
RACE 7: Happy Go Plucky exploded away with today’s $20,000 Thread Effects CG&E Class 2 Handicap (1400m) at Tamworth. The Allan Denham-trained three-year-old gelding gave nothing else a chance when Robert Thompson released the brakes in the straight. The son of Pluck accelerated to what was a third career win at his 10th start, beating Hussonplaza by two and a half lengths with Mahboob another length away third. Allan Denham was confident before the race and delighted with the way his gelding put his opposition to bed. “If there was a problem we thought it might be the weight (60kg),” Allan Denham said. But he sprinted well. He did look the winner before the turn.” A Muswellbrook winner four starts previous he was run down after leading at Newcastle at his most recent start. “He had to lead that day through no fault of the jockey,” Allan Denham said of a gelding who might now head to Scone. “There’s a Class 3 there in a couple of weeks,” he said.
RACE 8: Dean Jackson was confident Annandale Lass would run well in today’s FSDP Benchmark 65 Handicap (1200m). That confidence transformed to celebrations when the six-year-old daughter of Akhadan raced clear to record a three quarter length win from Captain Scott with the Allan Denham-trained Duck In Dubai a half neck away third. It was Annandale Lass’ ninth race win at her 53rd start and her Cessnock trainer believes there might be a few more in store as well. "I was expecting her to run like that,” Dean Jackson said. "I was pretty confident after that run at Mudgee (last start third). It really topped her off. She is very honest though." He and his brother, Brett Jackson, have half a dozen in work at Cessnock. "We did have nearly 20 but we have weaned a few out,” he said.
NOTE: Tamworth Jockey Club will also host an Industry Forum in the John Clift Stand on Tuesday 18 July. People with an interest in the thoroughbred racing industry can table their ideas for consideration in the next Racing NSW strategic plan. The forum starts 10:30am.