Mare takes a big step up and storms home

RAW Storm stepped up against some open company class horses to edge out another improver in a narrow finish to the Liverpool Plains Shire Benchmark 60 Handicap (1600m) at Quirindi yesterday.

The Todd Howlett-trained mare was having just her 10th race start when she held on to beat the Cody Morgan-trained Right Vintage by a nose. He too had won two races entering the race.

Robert Thompson rode Raw Storm and reported the Domesday mare had done well in a slowly run race.

“It was a good effort, they went a bit slow for us,” Thompson told trainer Todd Howlett and co-owner Barry McTaggart.

“It was a big step up for her though and she had to get going a bit early.”

Howlett said the mare had “come back well this time”.

“I think she’s up to her best distance now,” he said of the 1600m race.

“She might even get a little further.”

Raw Storm had won second-up at Taree over 1200m and went up 400m in distance yesterday to claim her third race win for owners Barry Mctaggart, Deborah Richardson and Keith Hughes.

“We bought her at a Classic Sale in Sydney,” McTaggart said.

“We’re very happy with her and what she’s done. That was a reasonably strong race too and hopefully it’s an indication she might win a few more.”

McTaggart, from Broke, had been to Quirindi a while ago.

“We were in a photo finish that day too,” he said.

“Won it as well.”

HNWRA chief steward Shane Cullen reckoned the Quirindi track was in its best condition since he’s been running meetings there.

“The club should be congratulated on their improvements,”  Cullen said.

“The installation of the new running rail has improved the safety of the track and the track surface is certainly as good as I have seen it. I intend to write to the club and congratulate them.”

Quirindi Jockey Club president Jeff Galbraith said the club was delighted with its presence yesterday, starting with a track rated a Dead 4 before being upgraded to a Good 3 later in the day.

“There’s been a lot of work go into it in in the three months we’ve had off,” Galbraith said.

“The new plastic running rail is up and we used the old fence to fence off the rest of the track.”

Tamworth trainer Leon Davies reckoned it the best he’s seen it as well.

“Certainly a credit to you all,” Davies told Galbraith before saddling up.

“Might have to bring a few down here to gallop.”

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