SCONE trainers were in sparkling form at Grafton last week and might be hard to toss at home on Friday.
While Rod Northam won the Ramornie with Big Money and fellow Scone trainers Luke Griffith and Michael Gallagher also won Ramornie day races, the locals will have a good hand on their home track Friday with the likes of Greg Bennett, Mary Moses and newcomer Simon Casey all lining up.
Bennett has nominated two – Clickety Snip and Snip ‘N’ Paste – for the feature race, the $15,000 Satur Handicap (1400m).
Luke Griffith, who landed a double at Tamworth last Friday as well to lead the HNWRA trainers’ premiership by 10 wins, also nominated two for the Satur Handicap, South Grafton Cup runner-up Bouzy Rouge and All That Excites.
In all it has attracted 14 nominations and while it’s been extended until 11am today, will finish with a handy field with the likes of Southern Shimmer (Ross Stitt) and Prince Of Sofia (Kim Waugh) nominated.
“It will be a small but handy little field,” agreed Scone chief executive officer Sarah Wills.
She was delighted with the success of the Scone trainers at not only Grafton but Tamworth and Newcastle (Mary Moses) in recent weeks.
Unfortunately the success didn’t extend to Marlee Dancer, a little four-year-old mare she races in a local syndicate with Todd Willan the trainer.
A fourth at Tamworth behind Subtract last Friday was an unlucky effort.
“She raced ungenerously to the turn, got on horses’ heels and got sideways,” she recalled.
“When she did get some room she raced well and flashed home for fourth.”
She is entered for Friday’s Class 2 1300m but whether she backs up at Scone is another matter.
“It would be nice to have a horse race here,” she said.
What will be nice is the HNWRA awards presentations.
The SRC will host the annual awards on Friday, September 26.
“I’m not sure in what format yet,” Sarah Wills said, “but they will be before the first race.”
While she missed out at Tamworth last Friday, Alan and Heather Martin didn’t when New Player notched a third career win.
The four-year-old mare had won at her previous Tamworth start in May and returned to reprise that success in the $15,000 Downtown Magazine Class 3 Handicap (1200m).
The Martins had bought New Player’s dam, Lavender Road, as a hack for their two daughters.
“Then we decided to breed from her, she’s been a great little thing,” Heather Martin said.