By Doug Ryan
Last year’s winner and runner-up are among nominations for the $80,000 Stacks Law Firm Taree Cup Showcase (2000m) on a $305,000 eight-race TAB meeting at Taree on Sunday.
They are seven-year-old Olympic Academy, trained by Newcastle’s Kris Lees and eight-year-old gelding Get On The Grange, locally owned and trained at Wyong by Allan Kehoe. Both are among 22 nominations of in-form gallopers from city, provincial and country trainers on a card attracting 115 nominations, it being the highlight of the three-day carnival.
Olympic Academy has been aimed towards back-to-back cups and its three starts in Sydney company this campaign should have the gelding ready. The form of Get On The Grange has been super with wins in Sydney and Queensland and placings in strong city company to suggest he is on song to go one better this year as he heads towards the Wyong Cup, a win on Sunday ensuring a spot in the field.
Sydney trainer Bjorn Baker would be making a rare visit to Taree-Wingham Race Club’s meeting at Bushland Drive Racecourse with Gold Ambition. Port Macquarie’s 'flying machine' five-year-old Glitra, trained by John Sprague, gained entry to the cup with a big win in The Prelude over 1624m and has won three of its past five starts.
Other provincial trainers with notable gallopers include Wyong’s Kim Waugh with last start city winner King Viv, fellow Wyong trainer Damien Lane with Mr McBat, Pirate Ben and Nissile, Newcastle mentor Paul Perry with The Getaway and Lees also with Singing, Admiral Jello and last start winner Wahng Wah.
Big Port Macquarie Cup winner last year, seven-year-old Sofin, trained by Shannon Fry at Coffs Harbour, is finding form for the distance and Taree mare Who Is Game, trained by Michael Byers, will be tackling the 2000m for the first time
More than 110 nominations have been received for Friday’s TAB meeting, the feature $32,000 Winning Post Function Centre Hopkins Livermore Cup over 1400m receiving 16 of them, including one from the Rosehill stable of Gerald Ryan.
It is Gerry Harvey’s five-year-old mare Rosetta’s Whey which has had six starts at the distance for a win and three placings. The mare’s form of late includes seconds at Newcastle and Wyong, a third at Newcastle and a last start fifth at Hawkesbury.
The field includes gallopers from Wyong, Newcastle, Gosford, Grafton, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Inverell and Taree. One is six-year-old gelding All But Gone, trained at Wyong by Damien Lane, who has plenty of success at Bushland Drive Racecourse lately, which was second at Grafton before another as runner-up to Taree mare Shotgun Roulette in the Daniel Baker Sprint at the Coffs Harbour Cup carnival on August 3.
Seven-year-old gelding Anecdote, trained by Benjamin Smith at Broadmeadow, has had two wins from its past three starts, they being over 1300m and 1280m at Muswellbrook. Six-year-old mare Cash Spinner, trained at Grafton by John Shelton for Exchange Hotel, Taree, publican Gary Rollings, comes into the race after wins in the Krambach Cup, Kempsey Cup last campaign and the MacLean Cup over 1400m at Grafton on July 16.
Port Macquarie gelding Drummed Out has been in great form for trainer John Sprague, scoring three wins, two of them here,from its last six starts. Last season’s premier provincial trainer Kris Lees from Newcastle has nominated five-year-old mare Fleeteor, a winner on the Beaumont track over 1350m on July 27.