Injured apprentice Cejay Graham will have to sit out Friday's $30,000 Kempsey Cup (1450m) but her disappointment will be eased somewhat if she can cheer home her father, Peter, who is chasing a remarkable seventh win in the race.
Cejay was having a great week - landing doubles at Taree on Tuesday and at Grafton on Wednesday - however, she was injured later in the Grafton meeting, fracturing her left wrist when Media Maid fell near the 200m of the Jacaranda Cup (1100m). She was down to ride the Marc Quinn-trained Explosive Scene in Friday's Kempsey Cup but that horse will now be partnered by apprentice Chloe Baker.
"Cejay has three fractures in her wrist and we're taking her to Sydney to see Racing NSW's doctor, Dr Duckworth," said Peter Graham. "It's a pity she's suffered this injury at this time - she was having such a good run and the horse she was going to ride in the Kempsey Cup looks to have a really good chance."
Peter Graham has won countless cup races around NSW during his long and successful career and has been especially dominant in the Kempsey Cup. He clocked up his sixth win in the race with Clunes Rocket in 2014 and believes Present Sense can give him a seventh.
"I've won more Kempsey Cups than any other cup race in NSW - it's certainly been a good race for me over the years," he said. "And Present Sense is racing very well and definitely looks a strong winning chance."
Trained at Tamworth by Craig Martin, Present Sense was an 18th birthday present earlier this year for his son, Liam.
And Present Sense has proved to be the gift that just keeps on giving - he has won four races in recent months, never runs a bad race and has collected about $65,000 in prizemoney for his young owner.
And he deserves to win a country cup after a number of minor placings. In recent starts Present Sense has finished second in the Maclean Cup (1400m) at Grafton (July 16), third in the Narromine Cup (1600m) on August 13, third in the Gunnedah Cup (1600m) on August 21, won the Barraba Cup (1400m) on September 23 and finished third in the Coonabarabran Cup (1600m) at his most recent start on October 23.
"This horse is so consistent - never runs a bad race - and Craig has placed him extremely well," said Graham. "I must admit I would have liked to have drawn a bit closer in on him, but I still think he'll be very hard to beat with any luck."
Present Sense, the topweight with 58kg, drew gate 11 in the 12-horse field. Other leading chances in the race look to be Annandale Lass, coming off a last-start third to Art D'Amour and Gadfly in the Aberdeen Cup over 1450m at Muswellbrook last Sunday, Explosive Scene, Mosgiel Ruby and Another Valley, who can improve at her fifth run back from a long layoff.
Kempsey trainer Barry Ratcliff is chasing his first win in his hometown cup with Pomme Petite, a two-time winner on the track. The rail for Friday's eight-race meeting will be in the true position and the track on Thursday was rated a good 4.