Scone mare relishes soft track at Narromine

SPEED and an ability to handle wet conditions were the ingredients for Lyreb breaking through for the third win of her career in Sunday’s Narromine USMC Kokoda Trail Handicap (1100m).

The four-year-old Scone mare made light work of the slow conditions as she cleared out for a comfortable win, in the process taking her career earnings to almost $50,000.

“She’s paid her way throughout her whole career,” trainer Stephen Gleeson said.

“She’s no world beater but she’s very honest and tries and we found the right race for her today.”

Lyreb was an unlucky third behind stablemate Roger That at Scone recently but, despite that, punters sent the Holy Roman Emperor (USA) mare out as a 7-1 chance.

But those who got on were rewarded as she jumped well, found the lead under rider Leanne Henry and gave nothing else a chance as she shot away to win by two-and-three-quarter lengths from the fast-finishing Speedreader (Samantha Clenton) with Dantess (Michael Hackett) a nose back in third.

She clocked 1min 08.07secs for the 1100m.

“That form around Scone is quite strong so I thought coming back here today she would be pretty hard to beat,” Henry said after the race.

“She grows an extra leg if there’s a bit of sting out of the track and, where it slows the others down a bit, she’s able to get through it well.

“Back in this class of race and with the track wet I really thought she’d be a big chance and in the end she won pretty easily. 

“I was confident a long way out.”

Lyreb’s win ended the winning streak of Greg Ryan in the early part of Sunday’s program.

Ryan landed the first three winners, including Mio Modo in the Narromine USMC Korean Veterans Plate (1600m) for Coonamble trainer Cecil Hodgson.

Mio Modo had been consistent since joining Hodgson’s stables and was rewarded with a narrow win from All For Kicks and Still The Man.

Ryan’s other winners were Autumn Nights for Scone trainer Rod Northam and Time’s Ticking for noted Quirindi trainer and breaker Peter Mills.

 Henry’s win also followed her victory in Saturday’s Warialda Cup with the Gavin Groth-trained The Early Bird.

That was her ninth win of the HNWRA season.

Ryan leads the HNWRA jockeys’ premiership with 46  from Robert Thompson while Luke Griffith has a four-win lead over Sue Grills in the HNWRA trainers’ premiership. They have won the last three HNWRA trainers’ premierships between them.

HNWRA attention turns to Moree on Saturday while the Singleton Cup will be staged at Muswellbrook on Monday. Nominations for Muswellbrook’s seven-race TAB meeting close at 11am today.

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