By Geoff Newling
RACE 1: So You Emerge is doing just that after breaking through for her first race win in Monday’s $20,000 Thread Effects Maiden Handicap (1600m) at Tamworth. The Kris Lees-trained four-year-old daughter of So You Think had been something of a “barrier rogue” advised stable foreman, Chris Hull, after her half neck win over a fast-finishing Saint Element (Paddy Cunningham). Sally Torrens’s Schmizo was a length and a quarter away third. So You Emerge is “learning how to be a racehorse” Chris Hull said. Aaron Bullock, who rode her, agreed. “It’s the first time she’s been in front and she pulled up on me,” he laughed. “They went quick early but then came back in my face. Credit to her though, she did everything right.” That was on until she gave him a few heart flushes as she thought she could clock off a little early. Chris Hull said the mare has been a handful in her previous four starts. “She is just learning how to be a racehorse,” he said. “Her last couple of runs have been good, the racing has helped her. She was a mad barrier rogue, been funny in the gates, well everywhere really but she will be alright and will be better next time in. “We might put her away for a while too.”
RACE 2: Todd Howlett will be looking for a “nice, easy Class 1 somewhere” for Magic Choir after the Magic Albert colt finished powerfully for a length and three-quarter win in Monday’s Shay Brennan Constructions CG&E Maiden Plate (1200m) at Tamworth. The lightly raced four-year-old surged past Kris Lees’s Hillfiger to win at his third attempt. Sue Grills copied her third placing in the first race when Murtalert also finished off strongly for third, a half-length away. Aaron Bullock also copied his opening race success when he won on the Kris Lees-trained So You Merge by knocking off the Lees-trained Hillfiger aboard Magic Choir. “The penny has dropped,” Aaron Bullock told Todd Howlett on dismounting but also had a word of warning. “He will be alright when he learns to concentrate. I had to make him race.” Todd Howlett, who moved his 28-strong stable to Muswellbrook about six weeks ago, is loving his new surrounds and has plenty of time for Magic Choir. “It was only his third start today, he’s a colt,” he said. “Won well and finished it off real well.” That last point was the most pleasing part for Howlett, who didn’t have any specific target for his colt. “Find a nice, easy Class 1 somewhere for him,” he said. The move to Muswellbrook from Cessnock has been a good one too, he said. “It’s worked out really well for me.”
RACE 3: Not A Princess romped home with a right royal performance at Tamworth. The daughter of Not A Single Doubt might have raced fiercely early on for Korean apprentice Hyosik Lee, but then settled nicely as she cruised to the lead before the turn and then raced away to a two-length victory in the $20,000 Advanced Inland Security F&M Maiden Plate (1200m). The four-year-old mare had had her first run for Tamworth trainer Sue Grills at Tamworth on October 15 when a gritty and good second to Royal Villa. She franked that form by racing clear in the final 200m for her first win for owner David Bentata in six starts. Sue Grills believes the mare has more improvement and a longer journey in store for her. She also has a share in the mare with her son Todd and sister Julie McGrath. Also in the syndicate are Tamworth tiler Troy Carroll and professional tennis coach Mitch Powert. They were also in Carmel, who won at Moree and ran a couple of placings for them. “She was my first horse,” Mitch Power confirmed yesterday of Carmel before having a winner’s picture taken with Not A Princess in the saddling enclosure. “She won at Moree and ran a second here at Tamworth for us. She looked like being pretty good but just couldn’t live up to it.” Carmel might have been his first horse but her demise as a racing proposition didn’t dampen his enthusiasm. It had the opposite effect. “I got the itch,” he said. “It was great fun.” And this is even better. Troy Carroll agreed. “She was impressive,” Troy Carroll said via telephone from his worksite. “She’s done well. beautiful, very happy. Good to be in her with Mitch and with Sue again.” Sue Grills, who celebrated a big win in Sydney with Fickle Folly, reckons Not A Princess has plenty of upside. “That was very good,” she said of the Not A Princess win. “I think she might get a bit further too on that.”
RACE 4: Don Pellegrino charged home from last to make two wins on the trot at Tamworth. Just when Mark Mason’s Epic Event might have seen off all challengers, the Paul Perry-trained gelding, a six-year-old son of Testa Rossa, flashed home late for a length win over his Tamworth opponent. Rod Northam’s Husswick was a long neck away third just in front of Sue Grills’s Moonlight Spy. Paul King rode Don Pellegrino and had been on board when the gelding had won the Krambach Cup at Taree on October 20. “I got to the 1000m and thought I’m in trouble here,” the jockey told stable foreman Mick Rowlands as he unsaddled. “He’s legless,” Rowlands said of Don Pellegrino’s early race efforts. “Just got to let him find his own feet.” King nodded and said the last 100m was a far different than that first 600m. “I was getting heart palpitations at the 800m,” Mick Rowlands admitted too. “But once he got stuck into it he just swallowed them up.” Paul King said the winner “is a lot of hard work early” but then his finish is exciting. “He might have found a purple patch,” Mick Rowlands also admitted to Sky Thoroughbred Central’s Gary Harley.
RACE 5: Olivia Pickering gave her owner/trainer Ken Tynan a long-priced bonus at Tamworth when she piloted Zar Gold to victory in FSDP Benchmark 59 Handicap Heat of the Rising Star (1400m). The 3kg claiming apprentice, who has now ridden 11 winners in her 12-month career, had the daughter of Zariz perfectly placed to rush home for a long head win. Graham Payne’s Dark Image was second with the Paul Perry-trained I Am The Fox a half-length away third. Wyong trainer Ken Tynan was delighted with the result for his mare, who paid $19.20 on the NSW TAB. “We bought her for $1000,” he admitted. “She’d had 20 start but hadn’t done anything. We won her maiden (at Port Macquarie) with her too.” He said Olivia Pickering “is a very good girl”. “We were very confident today because she had a good barrier, a good weight and had a very good ride from Olivia.” He said the mare appreciated the firmer going as well. Olivia Pickering said Zar Gold’s form was better than it read. “She went good at Port the other day,” she said of a seven-length fourth to Sepae. “The track was just a little bit heavy for her but she went well even though she copped a bit of a bump at the 800m too. She’s a real little fighter.”
RACE 6: Mosrai might be a horse to follow after his brilliant win in the $20,000 Country Music Cup January 25 Class 3 Handicap (1000m). The four-year-old gelding son of Moshe dashed over the short course in 56.53secs, covering the last 600m in 34.51secs. Trained by Kristen Buchanan at Wyong, he beat topweight Uthred (Brett Cavanough) by a length and three-quarters with Uthred’s stablemate, Luceo Non Uro, a neck away third. Luceo Non Uro had led and battled on gamely for his Scone trainer but it was Mosrai who starred, snaring a third win in six starts for his Wyong-based trainer. “He’s a smart horse,” said stable foreman Peter Hagger, after Mosrai’s third race win. “He’s on his way up. Got a bit to learn but he’s starting to put it all together.” Mosrai is also a “funny horse to ride” something Serg Lisnyy agreed with on dismounting. Kristen Buchanan has no specific program picked out for the bay gelding. “He’ll just go through his grades,” Peter Hagger said. “There isn’t anything in store for home, he’ll just go home and have a month between runs.” He said Mosrai’s runs are spaced with a month between runs the key to his success.
RACE 7: Crooked Blaze appreciated a good barrier and being back at home for the first time in many months as the Tamworth gelding skipped clear for a decisive win in the $20,000 Allsopp Signs Open Handicap (1200m). The Melissa Dennett-trained six-year-old son of Ad Valorem has been in work for almost 12 months and raced in Queensland, on the North Coast, out west and even in Sydney at his most recent trek. Through all those he has raced with courage and not far from the winners. He’s also been “knocking on the $200,000 prizemoney door’ for all that time too, Melissa Dennet said. On Monday she had just one main instruction for 19-year-old apprentice Clayton Gallagher: “Be patient”, she asked. He was. Gallagher, who is apprenticed to Rodney Robb but currently on loan to Brett Cavanough at Scone, made the most of barrier one. “He’s a beautiful horse to ride,” Clayton Gallagher said. “I just let him slide up the inside of He’s Our Toy Boy. Travelled so well for me.” Then when he asked for him to respond Crooked Blaze gave nothing else a chance, racing clear to a two and a half-length victory from He’s Our Toy Boy with Golden Shoes another two lengths away third. It was also Crooked Blaze’s 40th start and his eighth career win. He has now won $205,465 in prizemoney but Melissa Dennett admits she doesn’t know where he will head next. “Chase dry tracks,” she laughed. “He could go for a spell too. He’s been up since November last year." Clayton Gallagher has now had four rides for her stable, won three of them and placed second in the other. He is, she said, one of those horses who does so well in a stable environment, loves racing. He’s also been up against quality horses too. Ran a big race in the Kirby Handicap at Grafton this year, was beaten a length in the Daniel Baker Sprint at Coffs Harbour was unlucky at Dubbo and was only beaten 3.9 lengths by Osborne Bulls at Canterbury at his latest effort. “Just been unlucky with bad barriers,” Melissa Dennett said.
RACE 8: Social Pirate led and scuttled his opposition to win Monday’s $20,000 Tamworth City Toyota Class 1 Handicap (1400m) at Tamworth. The Tony Newing-trained gelding son of Salade had too much resolve for his opposition beating First Family (Stirling Osland) by a length and a half with Jester Lionheart (Nicole Hudson) another half-length away third. It was the Gosford gelding’s second win, following a maiden win at Orange two runs previous, and gave Greg Ryan his first win of the day. Ryan had jumped the brown gelding well and was a bit worried when a few took him on early. “I gave him a bit of niggle and he took off,” he said. “He pulled hard on me, I tried to hold him for a couple of hundred metres around the back but in the end I let him go and he set himself alight. So it was a good effort to pick up when I asked for him and held them off.” Tony Newing was delighted to return to the track where he won a Tamworth Cup with the now retired Timeless Prince earlier this year. “It was a good win, we’ll reassess him now after a good effort today. Look for a Class 2 somewhere for him. He’s a progressive horse, not a city horse but a provincial horse although I said about Timeless prince and he proved me wrong.” Tony trains the gelding for a large syndicate and said they have put a lot of effort into making it a fun racing group. “They do a fantastic job,” he said.